Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Greetings Cougar Nation. Hope you all are STILL hanging in there.
As you all have read by now, today Sterk came flat out and said we'll have a coach in tow in the next couple of days. So hang tight.
In the meantime, before we get a first hand update on Spring Drills from Sedi and Longball over the next couple of days, a quick post-mordem on T-Bone.
First and foremost, please know that I feel the collective pain of the Nation. I really do.
At the same time, I think its high time that we EASE off the "Kill Tony" comments and reflect seriously on what his departure signifies.
With that in mind, I think that it is important that you all believe, as I do, that all things being equal, Tony Bennett would have liked to stay at WSU. I really believe that.
But, in the end, I think he left because he didn't think he got the job done here, and because of that, I think this move was his way of rescuing his future as he envisions it.
And while I DO think that jettisoning his previous promises and commitments technically makes him a quitter, I doubt that many of you would shy away from a 1.7 mill a year "do over" if you were afraid you were losing your grip on your current job.
The reason for my suspicion that he left here "in failure" can be traced directly to his decision to NOT take his assistants (less Sanchez) with him. And with that, you can read between the lines: Guys that can judge talent and bring home the bacon get rewarded with the highest quality of salary left-overs. Those who can't, get shown the door.
The reality is that, despite bringing in two All-Staters from Oregon recently, Lodwick didn't look like he could guard a tree all year long. Meanwhile, Harthun gets caught doing his doobies impression, looks uncomfortable as a distributor, and has a J that doesn't look right despite all of his gusto in jacking it whenever able. And Fabian Boeke-Boeke-Goose and Charlie Boy look more Brian Payne than Blue Chip to put it mildly. Last I checked, that's four spots filled for the next 2-3 years on guys who can't and won't play.
In short, what we have is a TON of filled scholies without depth in the front court and without room to build depth in the backcourt at the same time that names like Few and Petino may be coming soon to a Pac-10 school near you.
And, for a guy that has sight on bright lights and the big city both for himself AND the program, that's a recipe for potential hardship if your future goals are an NBA job or a Duke type job in three to five years.
So, in essence, what we have is a guy that ran like hell from his own failure to develop the type of depth you need to be competitive year in and year out. You see it in the broken promises and platititudes, and you also see it as he runs from his loyal assistants whom he failed to properly evaluate, monitor, support, and mentor along the way.
It's really that simple.
Tony is a good guy, Nation, even if he is a flawed good guy (I can only say I'm flawed). He just didn't feel that he could accomplish what he wanted to here, and I think quietly, he would blame himself (and his assistants) for that limitation.
Now, he has a tough, tough road to climb in a tough, tough league where Dad won't be there to help him with the initial HUGE push.
As for us, the mountain is steep, but the summitt portends to be breathtaking.
So, stay on the up and up: Stay away from the negative, and lets see if we can build this thing moving forward.
And remember: Tony was leaving in three years anyway.
Now we get to see if this NEXT group of fellas can be the ones to send us on a Gonzaga like trajectory.