Now what channel are Coug games on? It's been so long, I've forgotten.
This week Cougar hoops will be on TV and I am here to tell you that despite your reservations, you should tune in. I know, its been open season on Ken Bone and Cougar basketball around here, and for good reason. No matter who we beat all I can do is look at our schedule for what it SHOULD be with 3 gimme wins over Utah, Arizona State and UC Riverside. It makes me insane. But something occurred to me this weekend as the Cougs went on the road to Oregon and came home with a hard fought split, or as we call it round these parts… a Huddy. There is a reason to tune in this season, and one we shouldn’t take for granted. What is it? You know what to do…
While this season is, at best, forgettable, there is something going on that we are certain to look back on with nostalgia many years from now. Brock Motum. The Aussie is having one of the best seasons ever for a Cougar big man and has put himself firmly in the conversation for greatest Cougar big man of all time. It’s not a very long list, and certainly not full NBA hall of famers, but its not very often we get to have a player as good as Motum in crimson and gray, especially in the paint. Historically our stars have been on the perimeter, but we have had our fair share of good ones down low. Recently Steve Puidokas was inducted into the WSU Hall of Fame who, along with fellow big man James Donaldson, helped resurrect Cougar basketball in the 70’s. In the 80’s I grew up following Brian Quinnett and the human flag pole, Todd Anderson. Then, in the 90’s, my friends and I made Beasley our second home, cheering on the likes of Rob Corkrum, Ken Critton, Fred Ferguson, Tavaris Mack and crowd favorite Tommy Otis. During the Bennet years we all loved guys like Jeff Varem, Ivory Clark, Robbie Cowgill and Reed Forest. And of course none of us will ever forget DeAngelo Casto. But over the years there have been a select few that would make my list of favorite Cougar big men of all time (keep in mind, these are not the greatest of all time, but rather "my favorites" of all time). Here are my top five:
#5 – Aaron Baynes
He's ok, Australians just sweat blood.
Baynes was the closest we ever came to having our own Shaq. By his senior year he was a force to be reckoned with. I miss having the biggest, strongest guy on the floor night in and night out.
#4 – Brian Paine
In case you were wondering, there's no way he blocked this shot.
Brian Paine is proof positive that a great mustache is all you need to get on one of my top five lists (In case you don't believe me, Rico Rowe is on my top 5 favorite guards list). He's also apparently so old I can only find pictures of him in black and white. Paine posted modest stats in his roughly 15 year career for the Cougs. In fact he seemed to dedicate himself almost entirely to drawing charges. Still, when Beasley was "The House of Paine" it was truly a sight to behold.
#3 – Mark Hendrickson
Hendrickson was an absolute beast in his time on the Palouse. He was a banger on the boards, a finisher in the paint and also a threat to drop bombs on you from deep. He was, quite simply, one of the greatest all-around players we've ever had. It also helps that he has gone on to play in both the NBA and MLB.
#2 - Brock Motum
Brock has moved all the way up this list because he posesses all the tools of Hendrickson, but with even more athleticism (though I have yet to clock his fastball). He has made dramatic improvements every year in the program and if the current pace continues he could even be our next NBA draftee. He also toils away on a team that is hopelessly mired in a slough of perpetual mediocrity, something he shares with my #1 favorite big man.
#1 - Carlos Daniel
I would happily go shirtless for an entire year to have another Carlos Daniel on the Cougs.
Carlos Daniel also happens to top my list of greatest forgotten players in Cougar history. Daniel was the quintisential "beast" of a forward and completely carried the team on his back during some of the most mediocre years in Cougar history... the Eastman Era. Some of Daniels dunks are seared into my memory, and I think he is the only big-man who could hold his own in a dunk contest agains the likes of Marcus Capers and Neil Derrick. His combination of athleticism, size, toughness and skill basically made him Ivory Clark on sterroids and I can honestly say, even though we weren't winning a lot, I always enjoyed watching the Cougs play when Carlos Daniel was on the floor.
So there are my top five, and who knows, with a moster senior campaign maybe Motum will supplant Carlos Daniel at the top. I know some of you are screaming, "How could you forget Ken Mathia!" (The 7' Mathia is most famous for a missed dunk attempt during which he both traveled AND broke the backboard). Or perhaps some of you old timers are wondering, "what about Bob Gambold?" I encourage you all to join me in the comments with you own lists. Also, tune in this Thursday and watch Brock Motum do his thing against Arizona.
|Date:||Feb. 16, 2012|
|Time:||6:00 p.m. PT|
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I'm with on Daniel as top dog. The guy lived the double double, actually I think he invented it.
Motum is one of the reasons why I believe CKB underachieved last yr. Just think again about that team, with KT and Casto and Moore and Aden. The guy was like a 4th or 5th option on that team. Wow!!!
Aron Baynes will always be my favorite. I will always remember his breakaway steal/dunk and he is 100% from beyond the arc at WSU.
" 'How could you forget Ken Mathia!' (The 7' Mathia is most famous for a missed dunk attempt during which he both traveled AND broke the backboard)."
I'm glad Brian Paine was on your list, because what he will always be remembered for is being 6'9" and never dunking the ball. NEVER.
I was there once when at the end of the game, Paine was in during slop time. We stole the ball at one end of the court and for some reason, Paine had never managed to drag his body down there with the 9 other guys. So, once we stole the ball, we threw it down to Paine who was still at the other end ready to cherry-pick an easy basket. No one was within half the court of him when the ball was thrown. We all yelled "DUNK IT!" And slowly, slowly, ever so slowly, he moved his big body toward the hole, jumped, and... layed it up and in. (He took so long that one of their guys almost got back in time to contest the shot).
Now that, gentleman, is a big man!
@WallaCoug And hence, my endearing love of Brian Paine. I wonder if we have stats on how many charges he drew? I think at some point in his career he realized that mobility was not his strong suit, and the only thing lacking mobility was good for... drawing charges. brilliant.
He's cut! The Aussie is cut! And it's a baaaad cut. See's he's not a machine! He's a man! Thank you for using the Drago-esque picture of Mr. Baynes.
@cougar_jeff Not a "favorite", but definitely on the best ever list and high up too. I was pretty much a toddler when he was at WSU so I mostly watched him play as a pro.
Hmmm..A good list..
1) Ivory Clark
2) Mark Hendrickson
3) Aron Baynes
4) DeAngelo Casto
5) Robby Cowgill
1) Mark Hendrickson
2) Aron Baynes
3) DeAngelo Casto
4) Ivory Clark
5) Carlos Daniel
Now, can I justify #4? Maybe not. But watching him dominate UW's centers, watching him beat up Arizona's post guys, and seeing him (in person) putting up 19 points and what seemed liked 15 blocks in a first round NCAA game...Well, who else has done that?
@Sutra 1. Milton Riley 2. Milton Riley 3. Milton Riley...you get the idea.
@Sutra If Clark had been a 4 year guy, you really have to wonder what his career could have been like. A lot of people like the 2007 version of Bennet Ball better than the 2008 sweet 16 version, just because of Clark.
@Longball Some would argue that he's a half-year guy. He kind of got lost when T-Bone started Rochestie and moved to more of a 3 guard set. But I still can't shake the memory of us being up by 12 when Clark left the game against Vandy. He never returned and we all know what happenned. And yes, I thought that was the best Cougar team of all.