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Greetings from El Paso ...



I'm here in El Paso, where it's sunny, chilly and windy, though not necessarily in that order. USF and Oregon have the big press luncheon today, so we'll have lots of access to players and coaches on both sides. Today's Times has a feature on defensive tackle Richard Clebert, who has ridiculous numbers in the weight room and is hoping for a chance to impress scouts at the NFL combine after this season. Read today's notes from El Paso and you'll see that Jim Leavitt was wearing shorts at Thursday's practice, which he called USF's coldest ever.

-- Cornerback Ryan Gilliam, who started his college career with two seasons at Oregon, remains a big story here in El Paso, so I feel better about having two headlines on a non-starter in the weeks leading up to this game. Gilliam got another big writeup in the Oregonion, but the best link I can give you is to his dead-on Jim Leavitt impersonation from a talent show here on Tuesday night, a free video clip on USF's official site, There are cool videos from the talent show, including walk-on Chaz Hine singing Mozart, running back Mike Ford playing the drums and rapping with kicker Delbert Alvarado, who has a new rap out about USF being in its third straight bowl.

-- Is Robert McCullum getting back into college basketball? An Associated Press story on the University of San Francisco hiring former Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton mentioned that the "other" USF is working to bring McCullum in as an assistant. Random shoutout to the Bulls from the Daily Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson -- that's Mike Gundy's "I'm a man! I'm 40!" muse -- who points out that San Francisco "isn't even the best-known USF," saying that the Bulls have that obscure honor. For Sioux Falls and St. Francis, a copy of our home game ...

-- One more basketball note: Curious to see that the perception of USF hasn't changed that much in the preseason. The Chicago Tribune looks at Big East basketball and lists the Bulls second-to-last out of 16 teams in introducing the teams, saying USF "appears to be making gradual improvement." Hard to believe the Big East opener at home against Rutgers is now Wednesday.

I'll be back with plenty more later in the day. Not sure if I've ever been in the Mountain Time Zone, which I've always felt was the Ringo of the four time zones in the mainland United States. Underappreciated, to be sure. Keep those comments coming. ...

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:01pm]


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