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November 6, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Fifteen minutes with CWU coach Greg Sparling

Greg SparlingHad a chance to talk to Central Washington coach Greg Sparling before the Division II Wildcats face Washington 7 p.m. Wednesday in an exhibition at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Here’s a transcript of the interview.

(After your exhibition with last week Washington State coach Ken Bone noted the disparity in practice times between CWU and WSU before the game. He expects the Wildcats will play much better in the future.) “That’s dead on. With the new NCAA rules of 45 days to practice and we were on practice 14 and that really showed. We’re probably not going to win that game, but if we had equal amount of practices I think the score would have been a little bit closer. I’m not saying we’d go in and win it, but if you look at the SPU-Stanford game, if you look at the Anchorage-BYU game, there’s a big difference in the amount of practices. We’re just feeling our way along. We’re going to get better.”

(What are the Division II practice rules?) “We started (Oct. 15). We have to give them one day off a week and we were on practice 14 going into that game. I’m not sure on the complete Division I rule, but they’re allowed to start a lot earlier. They have a 45-day rule. And the other thing is and I’m not making excuses, but a lot of them will stay around during the summer. We don’t have the resources to keep our guys around for the summer. A lot of those guys are probably working out and doing stuff with their team during the summer. But I think we’re going to get better. The Cougs are going to get better. I wish we played under last year’s rules where we start on the 15th and they start on the 15th and it would have been a little bit closer. Still with their size and their talent, the score would have probably been in their favor.”

(Quick summary of the Wildcats) “We got some returners, but we also got a lot of new faces. Obviously we have Mark McLaughlin who was an all-conference player and was picked first team preseason with the GNAC. He’s playing well right now. I think a lot of people are going to be keying on him throughout the year. We all know he can score and we know he can pass. Now he has put a complete game together. Kevin Davis is a going to be eligible for a full year. Last year we had him for a half of a year and it really showed. I think Kevin is finally maturing and we expect huge things out of him. It’s his senior season. I think he understands that because after he gets done – like a lot of players – he has aspirations of playing overseas. We got Joey Roppo back a guy that played limited minutes out of Monroe for us. We got a lot of new faces. The Tacoma Community College guys Josh Lord and Julian Vaughn. Out of Walla Walla, you got Dylan Radliff. His father played here in the ’80s. We also have some freshman Terry Dawn from Arlington who I think is going to be very good as time rolls on. Our three freshman we threw into the fire into a Pac-12 game. It’s a little different than playing a high school game. They’re getting better. We got a kid Jalen Peake from over here in West Valley Yakima that we like. He’s a freshman. I think he’s going to get better as time goes on. Then we got Mark Rodgers a kid out of California, a prep school, that I think is going to be good as he matures and gets caught up to the speed of the game.”

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