No. 7 Cardinal will roll against WSU


No. 7 Cardinal will roll against WSU

The Andrew Luck juggernaut hits the Palouse this week where the Stanford Cardinal will try and keep things perfect and not focus on the real game that takes place the first week in November against Oregon.

And, Id say thats a pretty good idea for the Cardinal. Washington States not going anywhere this year BUT ... they are about 10 minutes from being undefeated, they are vastly improved from the gimme win team they were, they have nothing to lose, theyre playing at home, and if a visiting team -- even a team as good as the Cardinal -- decides to chalk this one up before its played, we could see the biggest upset in college football this year.

That said, I dont think Stanford will chalk it up before its played. Im just sayin...
PREVIEW: No. 7 Stanford vs. Washington State

Stanford is good, and its not only because of Andrew Luck. The defense hasnt been soundly tested yet and probably wont be this week either, but its showing that it has the goods. And, as to Luck, one of the things -- and there are many -- that you have to love about this guy is that all the notoriety and Heisman hype hes getting is being done while hes playing entirely within the system. Not that he cant, but he hasnt yet been asked to go out and win a game for Stanford. Hes that special.

The Cardinal will roll in Pullman.

I do think the game in Eugene bears watching. True enough the Ducks dont lose at home (they havent since 2008), but I could see them pushed in this game with ASU. The Sun Devils are one of the few left coast teams that can match up with Oregons speed and that -- as they say in boxing -- gives them a punchers chance.

There are two factors that will decide this game:
1). How much of a drop off is there at running back for Oregon without the presence of LaMichael James?
2). Can ASU actually get through an entire game without stepping on its own body parts? The Sun Devils inevitably self-destruct in big games -- usually by stupid penalties.

So, my answer to No. 1 is: Not much. The Ducks have two other running backs who may not be LaMichael James, but arent far behind either. And to No. 2: I dont think so.

PREVIEW: No. 18 Arizona State vs. No. 9 Oregon

Oregon fans will bait visiting teams into mistakes that are far more disciplined than ASU. Somewhere along the line the Sun Devils will shoot themselves in the foot.

It's not out of the question for ASU but Im taking Oregon and the toughest home crowd in the conference.

Falling on their face at Nebraska not withstanding, the Washington Huskies are a team that is suddenly looking capable of beating anyone. The win against Cal and on the road at Utah has the Huskies believing in themselves. Steve Sarkisian is a great motivator, excellent at identifying talent, and is quickly bringing a once-proud program back to where the locals feel it belongs. No problem for the Dogs against Colorado and dont look now but theyll be 5-1.

If the season only started in October the Oregon State Beavers would be undefeated. The Beavs just dont show up until the leaves turn. They get BYU in Corvallis this week. Im still a believer despite an 0-4 start. Beavs win ... Beavs win!

The Pac-12 week winds up with Utah at Pittsburgh. The Utes are bruised and beaten. The move from the Mountain West has been a bigger one than anyone expected. Pitt wins. Im not watching.

Once again -- thats the way I see it. If Im wrong, as always, Ill deny it.

Barry Tompkins is a frequent contributor to CSNBayArea.com and Chronicle Live.

The time Bob Myers questioned Mark Jackson's decision: 'I was wrong'


The time Bob Myers questioned Mark Jackson's decision: 'I was wrong'

Remember when Mark Jackson was the head coach of the Warriors?

During a recent conversation with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Warriors GM Bob Myers shared the following story:

"I made a mistake with Mark one time -- after a game we lost, I went up to him right after we lost and asked him -- I think Curry had been having a big game and he ran a play for Carl Landry to take a shot to win the game; and it was a good play and it was a good shot.

"And I went up to Mark and I went, 'Did you think about Curry?' And he looked at me, and you could tell he was kind of containing himself, and he said, 'It was a good play. It was a good play.' And I look at him and I thought, 'I will never do that again.' If I don't trust the decisions the coach makes, then he's not the right coach.

"The coach gets to decide, right? I learned that lesson with Mark that I was completely out of line in asking him. And I apologized, and I'll never forget that lesson that I learned for myself ... I was wrong. And I learned that. So you learn more from mistakes sometimes. I don't do the debriefing with my coach after the game. Win or lose."

The Warriors fired Jackson a couple days after dropping Game 7 to the Clippers in the opening round of the playoffs.

Myers was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2015 and 2017.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Young Sharks fitting in, not neccessarily standing out


Young Sharks fitting in, not neccessarily standing out


The message for the San Jose Sharks’ prospects was quite clear this offseason.

After general manager opted not to re-sign Patrick Marleau, or sign any free agents of consequence, it was readily apparent the Sharks would need to rely on their young players to fill any holes.

Before the quarter mark of the season, that youth movement is underway. Five first or second-year players will suit up at SAP Center Monday night against Anaheim. 

Partially, the infusion is due to injury, as Barclay Goodrow, Melker Karlsson, and Paul Martin are all on the mend. But as the season wears on, the young players’ presence is becoming a necessity. 

Joakim Ryan looks like a natural fit alongside Brent Burns, and the Sharks are a decidedly better puck possession team with him on the ice than when he’s not. Tim Heed leads Sharks defensemen in scoring, and Danny O’Regan assisted San Jose’s lone goal in his season debut on Saturday. 

That assist set up the goal that ended Timo Meier’s drought, and he looks primed to break out: he’s third on the team in five-on-five shots despite playing the ninth-fewest five-on-five minutes this season, according to Corsica Hockey.  Kevin Labanc’s cooled off since his scorching start, but is still tied for sixth on the team in scoring and skated on the top line at Monday’s morning skate, according to the Bay Area News Group’s Curtis Pashelka.

There’s still room for improvement, of course. Labanc and Meier could stand to score more, but the same can be said about most everyone else. Ryan’s made his fair share of mistakes, but Burns has struggled plenty of times alongside him, too. 

So the young players are fitting in, even if all of them aren’t necessarily standing out. That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. 

Meier’s the only first-round pick of the lot, but he’s also only been able to legally buy a beer for a month. Ryan and Heed have made the best adjustment, in no small part because they’re the oldest (24 and 26, respectively) of the Barracuda call-ups, and thus have the most professional experience. 

Of course, fitting in isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is, however, far from ideal, when that’s what many other players on the roster are doing. 

Having all of their young players stand out is what will ultimately make the Sharks stand out from the rest of the pack. It hasn’t quite happened yet, and San Jose’s one of 22 teams separated by six points or fewer. 

And if it doesn’t, the middle of the pack is where the Sharks will remain.