Wednesday, March 28, 2007

News Conference!!!!

Posted an hour ago at the Spokesman. T-Bennett to stay at WSU. What a great day for WSU athletics.

In the meantime, per the Times, Doba is talking up Little Buddy's improvement and arm strength. He even mentioned the NFL.

This just in to Cougfans:

I'll take any bet you want on the Little Buddy's chances for an NFL roster spot. Any bet you want.

7 Months til the great Alaska Shootout!


Sedihawk said...

"I think the journey is just starting. I want this group of young men, I want our program to know we don't want to be some flash in the pan. We've worked hard for four years to get to where we are."

BRAVO young Tony, bravo.

Best thing about this? As I spoke with Duckhater this afternoon, to think that we just locked him up for 7 years when all these bigger name jobs were open and, likely, wanting to talk to him? Amazing.

As JFK might say if he were around today:
"Let it er, uh, be known from this day forth, er, uh, WSU is now a basketball school."

Sedihawk said...

Oh, and for good measure? We know own WSU Basketball blog! Check it out:

Anonymous said...

Awesome...who needs this stinkin old blog when we can start a new one.

Lets get it up!!

Sedihawk said...

Funny how Glenn today says his source says Michigan was interested and trying to make contact. Hmmm, didn't we hear that, like, last week!?! Geez, our source really scooped him, not only in the fact that Bennett and Sterk were hard at work, but also the Michigan stuff, we knew over a week ago! Nice to have inside sources.

I'm just jacked about all this. I can't wait until next fall and the anticipation will begin to build for what could be one of our best teams ever. And just think of it this way, if we were a program starting out looking for a new head coach, wouldn't we just die to get a Tony Bennett? Squeaky-clean, strong values, graduates his players, a winning style that doesn't need the superstar element, the list just goes on and on and on.

However, I heard one argument against Bennett on KJR last night that made me at least think about it. Granted it's the UW flagship, and they never miss a chance to take shots. But, not that he's a bad coach, of course not, but the argument was how hard it would be to win on a yearly basis in Pullman without getting the All-Americans. The host, Elise Woodward, brought up the fact that yes, this was a great season, but what happened the last 2 years? These same core guys just got thumped, because they needed the time to learn. The argument was that it takes a few seasons of playing in the system before you really understand it, and then it's great, but getting there can take a couple of very long years because the type of athletes WSU gets just isn't very good. They don't have the guys that can make up for mental mistakes with athleticism, and for it to work, everyone has to know exactly what they are doing and where to be on the floor at all times, and with younger players, it just takes a couple of years.

Her final argument was that WSU would be good again next year, and then take a dive in '08 and '09 before getting good again in '10. But, then it sort of dawned on me. Yes, it did take a couple of years of pain to get where we are today. But you know what? Those guys that came in 3 years ago, they were just the foundation to get things started. But even the veteran players that were still on the roster, they all were starting at ground zero with the Bennett's too. So in reality, when they took over the job, it was like starting the program with 15 freshman! Nobody wins with 15 freshman. That won't ever happen again, because you won't have everyone, every year, starting at ground zero. Even in '08 - '09, you'll have Harmeling, Rochestie and Baynes, plus Nikoli and Matthews? The point is, you can't look back at the last couple of years and think this trend is going to continue in the future, because there won't be a point of everyone totally starting over. They now have a decent mix of vets and youngsters and that, my friend, is how you grow a program and stay competitive for years to come!

Maybe now that the Clark fall-out has happened, I'm understanding more and more about why Bennett went with Baynes down the stretch. We've speculated on it for months, but there was clearly bad blood there. I've heard more than one person say they've heard bad things about Clark's attitude, and you know what? Bennett's been around the game too long to let a bad attitude push him around. If anything, there absolutely zero doubt in that lockerroom in regards to who's in charge. This was just his first year, but dealing with Clark was his first real test of his leadership, and the message is now loud and clear to every player - I'M IN CHARGE, and you'll either do it my way, or you will play 7 minutes on senior night. This is a team, period, end of story. So in the end, maybe we just saw a player challenge a coach, and the coach won?

Anonymous said...

The Clark thing was too bad, there's just no way around it. And its hard to believe that they would have lost the Vandy game had he been on the court in the second half. Period.

Well, the drop-off thing is really a bunch of crap. Everyone drops off. Case in point: the UW. Didn't even make the NIT last time I checked and that was with two McDonalds cheezburgers, I mean, All-Americans.

The thing that naysayers like the person above often don't understand is that basketball is not football. That may seem like a "no duh" comment, but it really isn't. In football, you don't get PT, you just don't develop at least not over the course of the season. The reason: outside of spring and fall minicamp, if you aren't at the top of the depth chart, you really don't play. Or, you're on the scout team and you play against the starters when they're half trying.

Of course the reason for why the starters don't try is obvious: if you practice REALLY hard in football, you get BLUDGEONED by the time that Saturday rolls around. Which is why low-depth programs like WSU have a hard time building depth when you don't recruit 7 waves of All-Americans, cuz they don't during the year..

But in hoops, its different. Guys DO practice hard. Moreover, the second string guys usually get A LOT of PT. And the third string guys play routinely against the 1st string guys in practice who are almost ALWAYS playing hard. The result is that you have guys who are really LEARNING and participating in the system all the time--even when they're not playing.

Now, does this mean that PT doesn't matter? Of course not. But it does mean that development is much more readily facilitated during a basketball season than it is in football.

So, you look at the Sophs plus Abercrombie, plus the new kids and you have to think that they'll be pretty good in 08-09. After that, its a crap-shoot, but you can say that about anyone.

Final thing: In football, if you're an All-American as a frosh, you stay for two more years. In hoops, you leave after one (see Hawes who wasn't even all-conference). So ya, you can take your All-Americans, but are they going to make you a better program???

Next year will be fun...that's for sure..

Anonymous said...

Just keep adding to the pile of awards Tony:

NIIICE. The announcement of the extension couldn't have come at a better time, not only is TB getting major face time this weekend as the national coach of the year, but he's got the opportunity to show everyone on the national stage that he's committed to WSU. So Sowwww-weeee Michigan!