Archive for the ‘Xavier Hicks’ Category

Young Secondary a Primary Concern?

August 4, 2009

Good morning Coug Nation. Hope all is well in your corner of the world. As you may or may not be aware/care, we’ve looked at the ’09 Cougs among the positional previews, and so far, so good. Now we come to the last group to check out, and that is the secondary.

Err…maybe not. Some of you already saw it, but, WSU has put out their own pre-camp depth chart, complete with an analysis of the candidates to start at each position. And new and improved, NOW WITH comments from coach Wulff! It’s a really good read, so if you haven’t already clicked over, check it out.

That said, we’ll still weigh in and offer up our own opinions. Hey, we’re a blog. It’s what we do. So let’s scan the secondary, and see if things are going to be better in ’09? Or, are we doomed for more struggles in the last line of defense? Let’s see….

To get the obligatory “2008 was a disaster” out of the way, yeah, the secondary had their issues too. But it’s not as bad as you might think, at least on paper anyway. They finished 6th in the PAC-10 in passing yards allowed per game, just a couple of yards per game more than 5th place Cal. But they gave up the 3rd-most TD passes in the conference(22), and at 7.8 yards per attempt, were just ahead of UW for ninth place.

While this isn’t good, well, I don’t think it’s entirely the fault of the secondary. The sack totals were really down, just 16 as a team, tied with UW for dead LAST in the conference. Can’t get any pressure on the QB, give him time to set up, make a ham sandwich, and still deliver the ball wherever he wants? Not good. And then you consider the lack of takeaways, where the Cougs averaged one takeaway a game (13 for the entire season), and you can see it wasn’t exactly an opportunistic group.

Wow, 16 sacks and 13 takeaways for an entire 13-game season. Just thinking back to the early part of the decade, WSU’s defenses used to pride themselves on two things – SACKS AND TAKEAWAYS! Think about that great run from ’01 – ’03. In ’01, they had 40 sacks and grabbed 26 INT’s, second only to Miami in the country. In ’02, they had a school-record 55 sacks(!), and led the PAC-10 in rushing defense. In ’03, Doba’s boys led the nation in takeaways (48), tops in fumble recoveries (24) and second in interceptions (24). They were also in the top 10 in rushing defense and pass-efficiency defense.

So you can just take a peek back into our own history to remember and realize how important sacks and picks are to a defense, hell, to an entire football team overall. And the Coug D in ’08 didn’t do much sacking or taking away of the football!

The lack of pressure up front really trickled down. Even the best defensive backs in the country can only be expected to hang with the coverage for four or five seconds, but after that, even the best are going to give up plays. It’s the nature of the beast, but the secondary without a pass rush really has no chance to thrive…let alone survive.

Obviously the numbers can sure be skewed, too, can’t they? For example, Oregon gave up nearly 1,000 MORE passing yards on the ’08 season than WSU, and they surrendered 25 TD passes, the worst in the conference. In fact, Oregon gave up 270 yards per game in the air, also worst in the entire PAC-10! Not what you would assume, just thinking of their strong pass-rushers like Nick Reed and Will Tukuafu, and a stacked secondary with Jairus Byrd, Patrick Chung, Walter Thurmand III, etc. But as you know, Oregon won 10 games last year and were Holiday Bowl champs. So, trying to swallow the entire stack o’ pure passing D stats and justifying things isn’t the best route to go. Just look at WSU’s rushing defense, or lack thereof, and you can see there’s always two sides to the argument. The Cougs, after all, allowed SEVEN opponents last year to rush for at least 317 yards a game! Why should the opponent do anything but run the heck out of the ball, especially when staked to early lead after early lead?

Anyway, that was last year. Let’s just leave it where it belongs. There was a problem. But it’s gone. And there’s nothing we can do about it….

Starters: Aire Justin (soph) and Brandon Jones (redshirt junior).
Key backups: Daniel Simmons(redshirt frosh), Anthony Hayward (redshirt frosh), Anthony Houston (junior, switched from WR last couple of years), Shane Thomas (junior).
New faces: Nolan Washington, Anthony Carpenter.

Analysis: Well, right off the top a pair of experienced starters – Devin Giles and Romeo Pellum – are gone. We won’t rehash all that. But clearly the door is wide-flipping-open for any of these youngsters to run right through. Justin (previously known as Tyrone) got a lot of PT last year, six starts plus other action. Justin’s on the light side at 156 pounds on a 5-11 frame, but he did alright in his first shot at playing time as a red-shirt frosh last season. His three pass-breakups are the most among all the returning players contending at corner…..but that’s because, uh, NOBODY else in the mix for cornerback besides Justin actually played a single down of football last year! Brandon Jones has PAC-10 experience, playing in 12 games from his ’07 season at CAL, but that’s about it. Everyone else is brand new to this caliber of play, coming off redshirt seasons or even true frosh right out of high school in Carpenter and Washington.

I guess the corners are similar to what we saw along the defensive line – the faces are new, but, it might not be too big of an issue since the newest kids may be better/more talented than those they are replacing anyway? We won’t really know until things get serious, but it’s an awfully young group of corners. While the PAC-10 might not be what it once was in the air-it-out department, the lack of game experience could be an issue out of the chute. I know, for example, SMU wasn’t very good last year, nor are they thought of as any type of breakthrough candidate for the upcoming season. But they throw the heck out of the ball in that June Jones run-n-shoot, and you better believe these inexperienced corners are going to be tested.

Now, Wulff did mention when talking about the corners that Chima Nwachukwu has some starting experience at the position, and could possibly move back there this year if necessary. I guess it wouldn’t be a shock to see Chima slide over if some of the young guys aren’t quite ready, or we see some injuries pile up.

I know a lot of people really like Nolan Washington, the true frosh. A highly rated kid coming out of Kennedy high school, the early buzz on what he could become has been extremely positive.

You hate to throw out any type of expectation for true frosh, but this could be a different story. He was labeled “a divison I prospect with outstanding speed and great instincts” by the Seattle Times, and it isn’t a stretch to think he could see some early PT. You would hope a talented true frosh like Washington could redshirt that first year, then you cut him loose in 2010, but his performance in camp and the subsequent performances of those in front of him may dictate that he see the field this year.

Starters: Xavier Hicks (senior) at strong safety, Chima Nwachukwu (junior) at free safety.
Key Backups: Tyree Toomer (soph), Jay Matthews (redshirt frosh) at strong safety; Eric Block (redshirt soph) and Leandre Daniels (redshirt frosh) at free safety.
Newcomers: Jamal Atofau, Casey Locker

This area looks pretty strong. Hicks is set for his senior year, and maybe this is the season it all comes together for him. Big hitter and the leading returning defensive player on the entire team in terms of tackles (78), interceptions (2) and pass breakups (5), this is it for Hicks. There never has been much doubt that the kid could play the position. We all remember the de-cleater vs. UCLA where he absolutely destroyed WR Brandon Breazell over the middle….

He has a nose for the ball, and even in just three starts back in ’07 he logged 60 tackles primarily as a backup. That’s taking advantage of limited playing time and making the most of it, no question. Nothing else to really say about his off-the-field stuff, so we’ll leave it at that. They MUST get a huge season out of Hicks – HUGE – to have a respectable defense. Every good secondary needs an intimidating presence of sorts, someone to set the tone with aggression and strike a little fear for those who dare to venture over the middle. Hicks has that ability.

Chima is an interesting player. I still can’t believe he’s only a junior, as he’s been starting since he arrived in Pullman. He already has 25 starts under his belt and he’s still got a couple of years of eligibility left! Smart, strong, and not afraid to get his hands dirty with 57 tackles last year, he will be a crucial piece for the entire secondary. It’s not too crazy to say that the combo of Hicks and Nwachukwu could be one of the best safety duo’s we’ve had in some time, and maybe one of the better sets in the conference?

Eric Block is a guy to keep an eye on. Especially if Chima has to slide over to corner to provide some veteran experience and leadership, but Block, if healthy, could be a rising member of the secondary. Just a redshirt sophomore coming into this year, he’s dealt with some injuries and illness in his time in Pullman, but it sounds as though he’s ready to go. As to the other new faces, I would bet Wulff has designs on redshirting both Atofau and Locker if he can help it. There is depth at the safety spots, but with Hicks graduating after this season, it would be wise to preserve some future eligibility on the talented youngsters. Let’s hope they aren’t forced to play out of desperation.

That’s it for the secondary, and our ’09 pre-camp positional previews are now complete. I hope you enjoyed them. After all those smelly spring fishwraps, it was fun to kind of dig in and see how things are looking for the crimson and gray lads, right on the eve of camp.

I have to admit, overall, I’m encouraged and excited to see what happens next week. We’ve heard so much about the improvement in size and strength, all the gains made by so many, all that noise. They should be a much better equipped football team to handle the rigors of the PAC-10. Look for some first-hand coverage of fall camp from our own Longball in the weeks ahead. Here’s hoping for a productive, HEALTHY, high-energy month of practices, and a mentally and physically prepared football team ready to hit Stanford with all they have on 9/5.

Enjoy your day, and GO COUGS!

Wulff Speaks on Arrests

June 15, 2009

Happy Monday Coug fans! Still rolling around over the new uni’s? I was out of town over the weekend but snuck away to check them out on my little blackberry. EA Sports kind of “softened the blow” a bit, and they were pretty close to the real thing. The all-white look might be pretty cool on the road, although they look a lot like Oklahoma? But you can bet they’ll mix-n-match. I thought the gray pants looked a little dull, but that could just be the lighting. And you know they’ll roll out the “Cougars” helmets for the Apple Cup, and hopefully with the gray pants as well. Anyway, overall, put me in the like ’em camp.

Meanwhile, Q-13 spoke to Wulff in an interview over the weekend, and of course, the topic of the recent news is the off-the-field arrests ‘n such. He addresses the recent bad news, plus Xavier Hicks as well. Check it out, in THREE PARTS:

Part One – HAVING trouble directly imbedding the video, so here’s a link to part one:

Part Two – Having trouble directly imbedding the video, so here’s a link to part two:

Part Three:

Note – if you can’t see the videos, here’s a link to the transcript.

Don’t want to click the link? On the juicy stuff (read: arrests), here’s what he had to say:

Q. I have to address the Tyree Toomer and LeAndre Daniels situation. They’ve been suspended from team activities. What else, if anything, can you tell us about their situation?

A. First of all, it’s a mistake, and a poor choice by a couple young guys that have never been in trouble prior to Washington State or in their first year. Both have been done very well academically as well. I think when it’s all said and done, there’s a question mark on whether the charges will even be filed. There are some issues there behind the scenes that look favorable for the players.

Q. Have you spoken with them, and if so, what was your message?

A. Oh, yeah. I had a message. But we don’t need to talk about that one here. But, bottom line is they’re very remorseful and we’ll deal with that, and the bottom line is they need to make sure they learn from those mistakes.

Q. Do you expect them to rejoin the team, and if so, when?

A. Yes we do, and hopefully soon.

Q. You talked about Xavier Hicks during spring practice as being a leader on the team. How much of a blow is that, that it happened again?

A. Xavier’s done a great job. He really had. What occurred was he had a traffic ticket in 2007 in Othello and it wasn’t paid. And college students move around, his address, he didn’t receive any of the information that it was suspended. And then he got pulled over and then he found out then. So, that’s the offense. It’s something he has to learn from, obviously, but those mistakes are going to occur.

Q. Are there any repercussions?

A. We’ve got a few things we’ll do to handle that, but for the most part, at this point, he’s not going to be suspended.

So there you have it. Daniels, Toomer and Hicks will get dinged, but will be part of the team this fall. Interesting.

The entire interview is pretty good, and it’s the first in-depth information we’ve really heard from Wulff this off-season. He sounds pretty forgiving. But they have a process in place and he knows the full story for each of the bad news items. If they don’t deem the offenses bad enough on the scale to actually kick someone off the team, then so be it.

That’s it for today. Enjoy your Monday, and GO COUGS!

Xavier Hicks Jr….Again??

June 3, 2009

You wonder if this cat has just used up his 9th and final life as a member of the WSU program. Xavier Hicks JR (yes, that Xavier Hicks Jr) was arrested on Monday afternoon while driving with a suspended license. If you are scoring at home, that’s now strike number four for the guy who just can’t seem to stay out of the way of the law.

Now, to be fair, this isn’t exactly the biggest offense in the world. I’m no lawyer, but from what I have heard, driving with a suspended license in the 3rd degree, as he was charged, is actually pretty common. This isn’t a DUI, or assault, or anything like that. Basically he was driving a car when he shouldn’t, Pullman’s finest spotted him, and the rest is now history.

As to what this means for the young man’s future, well, we’ll find out when the team’s Unity Council has done their thing. Is this the last straw? Who knows. But even though the latest mistake isn’t that big of a deal, maybe it’s time to look at the entire body of work and see someone making poor decision after poor decision? Remember:

1) Credit-card theft and rubbing alcohol in a teammate’s contacts holder, which could have been extremely dangerous. Assault, 45 days in jail.
2) Arrested for leaving jail by driving with a suspended license.
3) Failed to show up for a work release program, and put back in jail as a consequence.

Now the latest mistake. It must be frustrating for Paul Wulff, that’s for damn sure. Wulff went out of his way last year to praise Hicks on a few occasions, saying how much progress he had made in the year and how he was becoming an important leader of the team.

I know I believe in second chances, as many of you do as well. But when you are now on the fourth issue of making a poor decision where the police are involved yet again, you’ve got to wonder if it’s example-setting time.

That’s it for today. Enjoy your Wednesday, and GO COUGS!

When All Else Fails….

September 15, 2008

Three games in, and nobody’s happy. Obviously there are issues, and they are plenty. But don’t fret, as you are not alone in your unhappiness. Coach Wulff is right there with you, and because of the inept performances thus far, changes are a brewin’ on the Palouse. And rightly so. Per Bud Withers in the Times today:

1) Xavier Hicks is back. You may remember him from his off-the-field, uh, slip-ups. But the kid is a big-hitting safety who only started three games last year, but had 53 tackles and some huge hits that separated man from ball. UCLA remembers him, I’m sure, from last year’s 27-7 win:

Hicks coming back means that the secondary will likely do some shuffling, with potentially Chima going back to corner, and Alfonso Jackson moving back to safety. Remember those two had switched positions, but due to injuries and other issues, it wasn’t exactly working out. Go back and watch the first play vs. Cal, when Jahvid Best took the ball 80 yards. Look at the last line of defense on that play, and see the safety who completely whiffed on the tackle attempt. That’s just one example, but it shows that a change needs to be made.

Having Hicks and Jackson in the middle of the field makes a heck of a lot of sense. Jackson had 65 tackles as a safety last year, and even though he’s been beat up this year, he just didn’t look like corner was the spot for him in that first game.

2) Myron Beck, who did a fair job as a safety, has been moved to linebacker. Makes sense. He’s shown a nose for the ball and with his quickness, he could be a pretty good, quick outside linebacker. He’s well-built at 6-0, 210, so it could be a really good move for him as well. And with all the issues we had trying to slow down Baylor’s running game – QB Robert Griffin had over 200 yards himself, remember – Beck is probably going to eat into some of Kendrick Dunn’s playing time at weak side LB.

But no matter what, we’ve GOT to stop the run, whether it’s Beck’s speed at linebacker, or if the tackles are going to be pushed out of the way, you better be strong up the middle in other areas with the safeties. Hopefully this change will help Trent man the middle of the field, because right now he’s all we’ve had out there!

3) The o-line is going to shuffle again, and this time it might be for the better. Vaughn Lesuma will move inside to guard, and that could be the best for him. Lesuma isn’t fully healthy, and even when he is OK, he’s always had some issues with the speedier rush ends out there. He’s a huge dude at 6-5, 330, so he might be better suited to be a road grater inside and lean on some defensive tackles with all that girth. Steven Ayers and Joe Eppele will fight it out for the left tackle spot. This is big news, as Wulff has mentioned in his radio show how high they are on Joe Eppele’s ability as a tackle, but his knee injury has held him back thus far. It sounds as though he is now ready to compete, so, we might see him play for the first time this year.

4) At QB – even with the turnovers shown by Lopina – Wulff made it sound like IF he’s good to go, he will start on Saturday. The wrist is sore, but it will likely be Lopina if he’s ready. We all have opinions on the QB, and the question can’t be fully answered yet if you ask me. I would be fine if they continue to split time this Saturday, and then see what happens. But in true foundless, blog-style rumor mongering…..we’ve heard a few things about the QB situation recently, and well, let’s just say it isn’t a shocker that Lopina is getting a long look.

Finally, Vince has a good round-up of the different positions Wulff spoke about yesterday. Check it out here (but you probably already have by now…)

So there you have it. If you keep failing at something, well, what do you do? You try something else. It’s pretty basic. But now that we are three games in, the coaches have found out quite a bit about the players they have and what they do on game day. And most of all, how they fit into what they are trying to accomplish. It’s been a tough three-game stretch, almost like a mini-NFL-preseason audition if you want to know the truth. But the first three games are now in the rear-view mirror, and these guys can now make some adjustments going forward. Let’s see how it all plays out on Saturday. I’m sure as hell hoping they taste victory, for everyone involved! These guys need a win right now.

In other news, the postings might be a little light this week. Real life is more or less getting in the way this week of our massive output of daily content…..we’ll try to stay on top of things, but it might be a lighter-than-normal week. But just know we aren’t going anywhere. Sorry. 🙂

Enjoy your Monday/week, and GO COUGS!

Good Behavior Already an Issue for Hicks?

May 16, 2008

Yeah, that whole good-behavior thing? It was a nice idea with Xavier Hicks, but, unfortunately we’re off to a rocky start. As part of Hicks’ sentence, he must participate in a work-release program. After a routine check-up on Hicks, well, he wasn’t there. Per the Times today, Hicks was not where he was supposed to be. This latest mess-up could likely result in Hicks having to serve the full 45-day jail sentence, instead of the hoped-for 30 days based on good behavior. Maybe there is a legit excuse or a mis-communication. However, at this rate I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve seen the last of Hicks in a WSU uniform.

Insert heavy sigh….NOW. You hate to see kids screw up, but it’s even worse when they are on their last “strike”, been given second-third chances, etc. He’s hanging by a thread, so you would hope he would make the right decisions at this point. We’ll see how it turns out, but so far, NOT so good.

Wulff mentioned in an article on Cougfan the other day about who would be in line to take over for Hicks, at least in the first three games of his ’08 suspension. The two most prominent names are Myron Beck and Easton Johnson. If you don’t recognize the names, you aren’t alone. Both are walk-on JC transfers. But it might not be the end of the world here.

Beck is an intriguing guy. 5-11, 205, led his JC league in Glendale, AZ in picks last year. He’s a Seattle kid who was excited about coming back to the northwest when he committed in January. Here’s some tidbits from his bio on signing day:

Myron Beck, S, 5-11/205, RS-SO, Seattle, Wash. (Ingraham HS ’06)
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year letterwinner at Ingraham High School…led Metro League in receiving as a JUNIOR…hauled in 52 receptions for 952 yards and 12 touchdowns…named first-team All-Metro Sound Division…named a Seattle Times White Chip prospect following his SENIOR campaign…posted 34 receptions for 828 yards and three touchdowns…two-way player was named first-team All-Metro Sound Division as both a wide receiver and defensive back.
EASTERN ARIZONA: Redshirted the 2006 season.
GLENDALE COLLEGE: Led the Western States Football League with six interceptions as a REDSHIRT FRESHMAN, returning three for touchdowns…named NJCAA All-Region First Team and second-team All-WSFL

Another sad commentary here is looking at the recent run of stories in the Seattle Times that are WSU-related. I know the Times HATES us, heck they have UW alums running the show there, but in order, here’s the most recent WSU headlines:

WSU safety Xavier Hicks pleads guilty to assault, theft

We sound like a broken record here. But we’ve got to get that culture turned over.

Finally, Wulff was on KJR a couple of days ago with Husky Honk Dave Softy Mahler. It’s a pretty good listen, as it always seems to be with Wulff. Wulff is open and honest about things, including the WSU-UW rivalry, and dealing with the APR issues. Give it a listen here.

Xavier Hicks Penalty: 3 Games

May 15, 2008

Paul Wulff’s first major player problem has now officially been addressed. Projected free safety starter Xavier Hicks will miss the first three games of the 2008 season, according to Cougfan. The suspension would end and he would be eligible to return against Portland State on 9/20. Hicks, as you may recall, is due to serve some time in the Whitman county jail beginning 7/1. It’s a 45-day sentence, but with good behavior, he could be out in 30 days.

I like what we’ve seen from Hicks on the field thus far. He logged 53 tackles, 2.5 TFL’s, 3 BPU’s, forced a fumble, even blocked a kick as a sophomore in ’07. And he has already developed a reputation as a really big hitter with decent size at 6-0, 195.

So, there you have it. Hicks pled guilty to a couple of misdemeanors and will pay for his mistakes, with jail time and a 3-game suspension. Is it enough in your mind? Does the punishment fit the crime? All things considered, personally I thought he would get at least four games, or at most, miss the entire first month+ of the season. But with a 3-gamer, that still gives Hicks the chance to play in 10 remaining games (remember we have 13 this year). Let’s hope he steers clear of trouble from now on, and that he’s learned from this.

Top 10 Most Unsportsman-Like Plays

April 16, 2008

In honor of Clay Bennett’s underhandedness, your top-10 most unsportsmanlike plays in recent times:

And in honor of our favorite Ohio State fan, check out #1 on the list….Meanwhile I was disappointed they didn’t put the Jerramy Stevens-Tyler Brayton knee to the groin in the mix. Remember?

Moving on, some of the lads have run afoul of the law. Xavier Hicks pleaded guilty to a lessor charge and will now serve 45 days in jail. You may remember Hicks as the rising big-hitter sophomore safety who made a bunch of highlight-reel shots on receivers last year (including this one vs. UCLA):

But you may also remember Hicks from that whole rubbing alcohol in the contact lens case incident with his roomie last year. NOT SMART. Luckily Grady Maxwell didn’t actually try to put in the contacts as he realized pretty quickly something was wrong. Hicks will start serving time on July 1, and with a 45-day sentence will surely be out in time for the start of August practices.

Andrew Roxas was arrested early Sunday in connection with an alcohol-related driving offense on College Hill. Perhaps he was busy celebrating the end of a long spring practice session? Boys will be boys, but getting behind the wheel when you’ve had a few is never a good idea. Interesting angle is Roxas is just 19, and he wasn’t what you would term as officially being intoxicated. He was cited for a “baby DUI,” given to minors who are found to be driving with a blood-alcohol content between .02 and .08. We’ll see how it shakes out in regards to punishment and/or if the charges stick.

Finally, yes, more Sonics stuff. We’ll keep it brief. You’ve had a day to digest the news. Late yesterday the governor chimed in with a letter to the NBA’s board of governors. A lot of people were disappointed that the letter didn’t include the bridge funding for the final $75 million to renovate the publicly-owned Key Arena. Well, I was disappointed too, but this letter is actually stronger than you might think. Why? Because according to a legal expert I heard on KIRO last night, it is littered with “legalese” that hints at a lawsuit against the ENTIRE NBA if they approve this move with all the lawsuit stuff that is going on right now. It’s a lot more of powerful message that they are sending below the surface. And not only when you consider it’s signed by the governor. but other parties signing the letter include house speaker Frank Chopp, senate majority leader Lisa Brown, KC exec Ron Sims and Seattle city council president Richard Conlin. Frank Chopp?? REMEMBER, FRANK CHOPP, WHO HATES THE NBA, PRO SPORTS IN GENERAL AND IS ANTI-ARENA FUNDING, signed this letter! That’s no easy task.

My disappointment was that I, like many fans, wanted the commitment to the arena so it was strong enough to send in Slade Gorton to the NBA meetings Thursday and Friday. He could stand there, wave the lawsuits in their faces, and oh yeah, not only do we have potentially the richest ownership group in pro sports led by Ballmer (yes, overall they would be ahead of Paul Allen), they also have a $300 million dollar renovation deal in place. But Gregoire did what she could do right now. She couldn’t guarantee the money because even though this is a strong deal, there is still a lot of opposition to giving public money to Key Arena, and certainly didn’t have enough votes lined up to call a special session. So it will have to do. Anyway, according to the KIRO interview, don’t be surprised if there is yet another lawsuit thrown on the pile, this time the state of WA vs. David Stern and the NBA owners, all of which are named in the letter (including Clay Bennett!). Sue EVERYBODY!

Will the letter do anything? No. The NBA won’t follow this letter and will probably just give it a glance, at best. But there IS at least some talk right now that the NBA COULD in fact postpone their vote on Friday until some of this craziness is sorted out. However, there is also a report from an NBA spokesman that says mid-week last week the Board of Governors has already finished their report and that they are giving the 100% recommendation to vote YES for the move. Then again, that was done before the Howard Schultz news broke that he was going to sue to unwind the transaction on the basis that Bennett is full of you-know-what. But don’t think this thing is over once Friday comes and the NBA rubber-stamps the move with a yes based on the completion of the lease. This thing has many chapters left. Stay tuned!