Safeway, Mouse. Moser and more
Notes from a columnist's laptop as we enter another crammed sports weekend …
• Expect an announcement in the next couple of days regarding Safeway's title sponsorship of the annual LPGA event in our fair city.
'I'm optimistic,' tournament director Tom Maletis told me Tuesday from Orlando, where he was attending the inaugural LPGA CME Group Titleholders Tournament and having dinner with tour commissioner Michael Whan. 'Nothing has been settled yet, and it has taken longer than I'd hoped because there are so many moving parts. But I'm hopeful we're going to continue to have LPGA golf in Portland.'
I'm guessing Safeway will extend its contract for another year, with continuing negotiations for a longer-term deal. If it happens, the event will be held again at Pumpkin Ridge.
• Looks like Mouse Davis will finally be hanging up the coaching whistle after his second season as receivers coach at Hawaii.
The run-and-shoot guru and coaching legend with deep roots in Oregon says he is 'looking not to' coach again next season.
'I'm short, old and overweight,' says Davis, 79 but going on 49. 'I need to get on to something else.'
That will probably be in retirement with his wife, Mary Lou, in Lake Oswego.
Hawaii, 5-5, has three more home games left, starting with Fresno State on Saturday. If the Warriors can win two of them, they'll be in a bowl game.
'We're not terrible, but we lost our quarterback (Bryant Moniz, to a broken bone above the ankle) in our game against Nevada last Saturday,' Davis says. 'Too bad. He's pretty good and he's a great kid. He'll beat you with his feet as well as his arm.'
Davis watched in awe as Oregon destroyed Stanford in last Saturday's Pac-12 showdown.
'The Ducks are so darn fast,' he says. 'I don't care who it is that gets the ball, he looks quick as a cat. And they have speed on both sides of the ball. They're spectacular.'
• Mike Moser has made an immediate impact in his first two games at Nevada-Las Vegas.
The 6-8, 210-pound sophomore forward from Grant High transferred after his freshman year at UCLA and redshirted last season.
In UNLV's opening 83-66 win over Grand Canyon, Moser scored 16 points and grabbed 20 rebounds - the latter figure the most by a Rebel since Louis Amundson grabbed 22 in a game in 2005. In the Rebels' 71-67 victory over Nevada, he had eight points, 11 boards and five steals.
'Mike is all about the team and has an unbelievable motor,' first-year coach Dave Rice told reporters. 'He is a guy who finishes first in sprints and is one of the last guys to leave the court (after practice). He is just a relentless worker, and that carries over to (rebounding).'
• From the oh-what-could-have-been department:
In December 2004, Oregon State signed two players from O. Perry Walker High in New Orleans - linebacker Dennis Christopher and receiver Burnell Wallace - who were to join cornerback Keenan Lewis, a freshman who was one year ahead of the two at Walker.
Lewis - Wallace's best friend - was a four-year starter at Oregon State and is now with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Christopher was a serviceable linebacker and special-teams player for the Beavers.
Wallace didn't qualify academically, however. He originally was ticketed to enter Oregon State in winter term 2006 as a grayshirt freshman.
Then Ed Orgeron was named as head coach at Mississippi, and hired Wallace's high school coach, Frank Wilson, to his staff as an assistant. Wallace decided to follow Wilson there.
After three years as a starter at Ole Miss, Wallace - now known as Mike - was a third-round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 2009. Now in his third season with the Steelers, the 6-foot, 200-pound Wallace ranks fifth in the NFL in catches (53) and third in receiving yardage (922).
'They're talking about him being the best receiver in the league,' OSU coach Mike Riley says, a bit wistfully.