Monday, March 30, 2009

Breaking News: T-Bone Burns Cougs

T-Bone goes Cavalier today and bolts WSU for the trevails of the ACC. Ya, that makes sense.

So, what are your thoughts?

And who is the replacement?

Mark Few? Ben Johnson? Chubby Checker?

Let us know your thoughts.

And here's mine: STUPID move.

But its still a HUGE loss for us.


Chris '04 said...

Ken Bone from Portland State has been mentioned, I don't know how seriously though. Aside from that, one of his assistants might fit the bill.

bill gray said...


What a terrible career move. Why would you want to go get crapped on by the rest of the ACC every year?

Lucas said...

I feel heartbroken. We knew this was going to happen at some point. But I thought his pickens last year (Indiana, Marquette, LSU, or Cal) were all better openings than Virginia. But I guess Virginia is a storied program.

Lots of people have been saying Ken Bone, which would be nice. He took P State to the Dance, when they had never been before, the last two seasons.

I think there is no shot at Few (Oregon or Zona have a better chance at him). What about Randy Bennett at Saint Mary's? Or Russ Pennell if Arizona doesn't retain him.

Matt Woodley and Ben Johnson would be awesome to keep on hand too. The question now is what happens to the recruiting class? The kid from North Carolina was a family friend of the Bennett's. Thames is a Top 20 guard and has a lot of options I would imagine.

Do Klay, DeAngelo and Company stay or transfer? Guess I won't be framing the thank you letter Tony sent me for being a Basketball donor.

I feel worse than the day Griffey left for the Reds.

PuyallupCoug said...

I'm pretty shocked.

I think in the back of our minds, we all knew he would leave at some point but not for awhile and surely it would be a big time program.

But to leave for....Virginia.

I feel blindsided, it's like the Price debacle all over again.

BH said...

Good call on all fronts, Lucas.

But i wonder about Few. Loves eastern washington, has the national rep, and has totally hit his ceiling at Gonzaga.

If you could mold Few with the Pac defense, you could keep our existing recruits and move forward.

Very interesting time now for Sterk.

Very interesting.

They must be doing cartwheels at Muttlake right now, god damn it.

Chris '04 said...

I agree with the "we all knew it was coming" comments, but the thing that just blows me away is VIRGINIA! I'm certainly not a basketball historian but have they been relevant even in the ACC in the last 20-30 years or so???

BH said...

Virginia was good for several years under Petey G formerly of Xavier fame.

Its a great school in quite a little pristine location.

At the same time, I think he's kidding himself that he has a chance to become elite there.

Here's my thought: rumors of Petino coming to AZ with hot rumours about Oregon + the UW's ressurgence made him become a bit chicken.

Plus, I think that there's little secret that with ALL of the attention on recruiting, that our Oregon boys + Charlie + Fabian can't play high level Pac-10 ball--at least in terms of how the coaches see it.

Again, it will be VERY interesting to see how this unfolds and whether or not we can keep our boys + Thames. If that happens, we're okay.

Lucas said...

And what about Patrick Simon who committed to TB after 2006-2007?

Ike Fontaine said...

First on Tony...This is a horrible decision. In UVA's best years after he rebuilds that program they are going to be about the 4th best team in the ACC. It is a bad job. You enter a conference with about 8 teams with more Basketball tradition than Virgina, and uhhhh Carolina and Duke? Good Luck with all that Tony. Thanks for all you did for us but I fear you will be fired in about 3 years after Virginia continues to be the doormat of the ACC.

For us going forward. We have the AD fund for basketball excellence plus the money from Tony's buyout...we MUST make the right hire. First call should be to Mark Few. Gonzaga has reached the peak of what they will ever do...make the sweet 16 when they are lucky enough to get a 13 seed in the second round.

Other Candidates with NW ties:

Ray Jacoletti (spelling?) Asst at GU took Utah to the Sweet 16 and was successful at Eastern Washington before that.

Bill Grier former GU asst and current San Diego head coach...took them to the Sweet 16 last year.

Ken Bone Portland St...been to the dance 2 years in a row, beat UW this year and has recruited some good talent to PSU.

Dan Monson...has won before in the Inland Empire. Currently head man at Long Beach St.

John Lamanna...been an asst at UC Davis and Loyola Marymont, Wazzu grad, who was a student asst under Dick and Tony while attending WSU. Has always said WSU is his Dream Job. Young and motivated.

Craig Robinson...Bring the Obama family magic to Pullman.

Guys we can dream about:

Tubby Smith--would be easier to win in Pac-10 than Big 10. Has you know, won a national championship

Bobby Knight--will get back into coaching for one last shot. Hates big media markets, likes to hunt and fish???

Kelvin Sampson--would have to win his appeal with the NCAA first.

Lucas said...

Oh and Tony was quoted last week in the Kitsap Sun as saying "The last couple years, I was the flavor of the month..this year, I'm back to vanilla, I think. You don't have to worry."

Bay Area Coug said...

I'm trying to put myself in his shoes but I can't help but thinking this is a weak move (and by weak I mean of poor character).

On one hand the boosters and administration have made nice efforts to increase his compensation and perks. But more galling is convincing high-caliber kids like Klay, Capers, and Casto to come to Wazzu, asking his players to commit fully to the program--to give blood, sweat, and tears to build something great--and then bailing on them after one tough year. I'm making a lot of assumptions here, but with the prospect of another challenging year looming (still young team losing two key players), seems like Tony isn't holding himself to that same standard.

I'm sure I'm being too idealistic here, but that's how I feel.

Longball said...

This is nothing short of the complete destruction of our program. Anyone who was here for the Sampson departure knows all to well that this is the end. For a while. Kiss all our recruits and the better returning players we have goodbye. It was a nice run, but we are a football school again. Get used to it.

The sad thing is Tony never won with his own team. He took Daddy's team to the dance and then bolted when they graduated. In the end, we only have Dick to thank for it all.

Soze said...

Again, I not surprised he left, but VERY surprised he left for Virginia.

I don't think Few would interview at WSU, and frankly I don't want him to. My opinion is that he's overvalued as a head coach. I'd much rather welcome Giacoletti to the Palouse because he coaches what the Cougs need... defense and team-play.

I'm not a fan of Ken Bone to the Cougs simply because I don't think he would be able to recruit the type of kids (athletic, PLUS Pac-10 talent level) to Pullman.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think we need to stick with what is working. Slow the game down, get high character guys that play team basketball, and grind out wins. We're NEVER going to have the up and down style of the southwestern schools (Zona/UCLA/USC) that Ken Bone brings...

Anonymous said...

Maybe he can call Price and hit a few strip joints.

kaddy said...

Keep in mind that Tony made $1 million - highest WSU employee ever. Few makes over $2 mil...we can't afford him anyway. It all comes down to money...and we don't have much.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Tony will take Sterk with him. Sterk is the worst AD in the Pac-10.

Soze said...

Also... I will add this: whoever the Cougs choose to replace Tony, I hope he not only can recruit the kids we need, but keep Klay, Casto, Capers, etc happy enough to stay in Pullman.

Anonymous said...

Counting down the minutes until Thompson and Capers transfer.....Also I'm tired of this weak crap where coaches and players wrap themselves in religion when it’s convenient for them but when it comes down to it we know that's it all for show....take the money and run... "build a program" my arse...

Anonymous said...

What Would Jesus Do? Why make promises to recruits and then take the money and run to Virginia of course....

Anonymous said...

what would Jesus do. ha! i love it. put that in your peace-out pipe and smoke it.

way to go tony. way to make a fanbase who loved you to death in the morning despise you in the afternoon.

what a classless way to go. you are dead to me.

LouisianaCoug said...

Dear God! We as Cougar fans have a short (and selective) memory.. not to even mention an arrogance surrounding a historically weak school sport.

Dick Bennett gave WSU a gift by coming to the absolutely most awful basketball program in the Pac10. In return we promised to give his son his first gig. Get his feet wet, etc.

We are foolish to think that after two years of making the tournament that all of a sudden we are a "basketball school". I am incredibly thankful for what the Bennetts did for WSU basketball: make it relevant to its fan base.

But folks, lets not kid ourselves, WSU IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE A FOOTBALL SCHOOL. Baseball was great for decades until the 90's, but you know what, it was always about football, and it still is!

Soze said...

I wouldn't think we were a football school either, based upon fan attendance last year.

Anonymous said...

He's gone in under 5 seasons at UVA. Stupid fucking move. He will not make that program a winner, sorry.

Anonymous said...

To Louisiana Coug and Jim Sterk...Hopefully the last 3 years should have shown us all that it is a hell of a lot easier for a school like Wazzu to get to the top 25 level in hoops than it is in football. It takes 3 special kids to make you a quality basketball program it takes 20-30 to make a special football team. WE MUST MAKE THE RIGHT HIRE, in the next few weeks. We can stay on top in basketball, it is a bad day but it can happen. It will be years before the football team gets to where the basketball team is right now and can build from with the right coach.

AtlantaCoug said...

I really can't blame coaches for moving on. I mean they get fired all the time at the behest of boosters so they need to get theirs when they can. The losers of course are the players who have comitted to the coach. Aren't the guys who signed with us bound to WSU unless we release them? At least for a year?

Losing TB hurts. I always thought he would move on but not till we were rebuilt again...

Stefen said...

thank you Sterk for giving TB a cheap buyout...which will probably be picked up by uva anyway.

the key for us now is to keep the recruits we got coming in and hang on to the freshman from this season. could be tough. but if we can keep those guys and get a solid coach, then we might be able to keep this train rolling.

Ike Fontaine had a nice list of bout adding Gillespie to that list too? he's obviously looking for work, and might be interested in a job where you don't have to compete for a national title every year to keep your job.

finally, i wish nothing but the worst(professionally, not personally) for TB. i hope he gets canned after 2 years of last place finishes. the grass isn't always greener, as Mike Price can attest.

Anonymous said...

Initially this is not good for basketball however as WSU history has shown once one of our decent (very few) b-ball coaches leave the football team gets good!

K-Bone will (likely) get the job and then blather about how much he respects, loves, wants to marry Romar and have his kids but he will soon be indoctrinated into what it is to be a Coug and detest the University of Obamington.

Hooty McBoob said...

Two words: Benniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Seltzer

Anonymous said...

Well there is a group on Facebook asking our current players to stay and ride this out. Currently, everyone on our team except Harthun and Witherill is in that group. If we can get Ken Bone, I think we'll be alright. Plus, with a high tempo game, more athletic recruits will look at us better.

We still are in the Pac 10 and part of the reason of why Tony couldn't get highly rated players is because they didn't like the slow tempo offense (and Bennett was also extremely picky).

Anonymous said...

Ken Bone - Portland St.
Craig Robinson - Oregon St.
Steve Lavin - ESPN/Formerly UCLA

replace one Bennett for another with Randy Bennett - St. Mary's

Michelle said...

Request of picture removal from the previous post. :(

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe people are on here hating on Jim Sterk. For the budget, support, and facilities he has here in Pullman he has landed a great basketball coach, a young energetic football coach and a baseball coach who has brought the team back to some Pac 10 relevance. But lets all hate on him anyway because our basketball coach left our school. Sterk has been everything we need as a small large conference school. Although I too am devestated by the departure of TB, I will not take out my frustrations on Sterk who has done everything he can to try and make this school a Pac 10 competitor in every sport.

On the subject of Tony Bennett, I am sad he's leaving and also dumbfounded why he left to Virginia. I don't get it at all but do not wish anything bad on him. That is something that I also cannot believe. Why would people ever wish horrible things upon someone because they think they should have stayed and coached our basketball team.

Personally, I think we pick up Bone and start running a fast paced offense. Anybody notice what type of offenses are left in the Final Four? They run faster paced offenses that score but still have the defensive principles instilled in them. I think this would be a great hire and thinking that any big name such as Tubby Smith, Billie Gillespie etc would be like hoping Coach K leaves Duke for WSU.

Jake Whitman
WSU '10