Jan. 28, 2010
Jan. 29, 4:25 PM: We're locked and loaded at Beasley Coliseum. The FSN NW broadcast team is is filming as we speak, and the Huskies have just finished their warmup. For those of us new to the this rivalry in Pullman, it's definitely a different experience for a ballgame.
For one, there is this "super fan" who gets all dressed up in Cougar garb and dances behind one of the baskets. When our team stretched, she stretched as well. Still not sure what to make of that. Also the Cougars football team is going to show up and stand underneath one of the baskets and basically heckle the Huskies. During the pregame show with Steve Sandmeyer, coach Tia Jackson mentioned one word over and over again - poise. The Huskies will have to display that quality tonight on Friel Court in order to leave the Palouse with a win.
Jan. 29, 10:55 AM After an overnight in Idaho, we're back in Washington State. Only six miles separate Pullman from Moscow, so it was a quick bus ride across the state line to Beasley Coliseum, where the Huskies are in the middle of shootaround.
This isn't your normal shootaround environment, mind you. Tonight's game is televised on FSN NW, so there are producers from the cable network milling around and setting up their production feeds.
This morning, the team filled up at breakfast inside the hotel. A lot of the coaching staff and administrators made there way over to the Starbucks at the Palouse Mall, where you had to weave your way through the mall-walkers. To say we're a caffeine-addicted bunch would be putting it lightly.
9:56 PM: It's a long drive to Pullman. After five hours on the road, the Huskies have decamped at their hotel in Moscow (that's Mos-KO, not Mos-COW in Idahoan parlance) and were treated to some light refreshments upon arrival.
Five hours is a long time to spend on a bus. Thankfully we were treated to a couple of movies on the DVD player, which helped ease the grind a little bit. Some players worked on homework and there was a lot of napping involved as well. Senior guard/forward Sami Whitcomb had some media duties to take care of, spending part of the ride speaking to a reporter on the phone.
One of the best aspects of the trip was the drive up the mountain pass near Snoqualmie. But once the bus hit Central Washington, the state flattens out considerably. Just outside of Colfax, Wash., assistant coach Judy Spoelstra (who played her first two collegiate years at WSU) recognized some landmarks and announced we were a half hour away.
"I know my Palouse," Spoelstra chirped.
It's curfew time, so we'll sign off for now. Be sure to keep checking into GoHuskies for all that is going on this trip.
3:15 PM: The Huskies will make their trek across the mountain pass and to the Palouse the old-fashioned way - on a bus. With weather on the Eastern side of the state hovering in the 40s, it meant the passes are clear enough to traverse in the comforts of chartered bus service. When there's snow in the forecast, the Huskies will fly to either Pullman or Lewiston, Idaho.
This means bring your pillows and blankets, your iPods and all other forms of electronic entertainment. It's going to be a long trip. Google Maps has the trip taking 5 hours and 16 minutes, with some added time for the size of the vehicle we're traveling in. Because of the travel, the Huskies will have a somewhat early curfew tonight at their hotel in Moscow, Idaho.
It should be noted that bus trips with the Huskies are a fun experience. While some athletes choose to sleep, there is definitely a lot of joking and laughter that comes from the back of the bus. Sometimes, Sara Mosiman will tote along her guitar and belt out a few tunes. Or someone will crank up the tunes on the iPod and turn the charter bus into a regular Karaoke party. Out of all of the Huskies, Christina Rozier is the leader when it comes to no fear performing in front of a crowd.
The focus for the Huskies on this trip, though, is pure business, i.e. pick up a W. The team will be in Eastern Washington for less than 24 hours, so there will be much downtime for the Dawgs.