Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Be A Big Boner!

I sure am....

Greetings, Cougar Nation, hope you're having a great week.

So, finally we have a new basketball coach. And let me tell you, this is one tremendous hire.



Mind you, the hire becomes officially great the moment that we retain the services of Johnson (a.k.a. "the Benefactor"), Thames, and Motum.

But, after we finish up with that trifecta, then we are left with where we were ten days ago. With one exception: we have a better coach.

Now, granted T-Bone is and was one smoothe customer. He is a great recruiter, motivator, and a darn good basketball coach.

But as good as Tony was and is, he is awfully green. And while his offensive sets have been described as creative, I thought a lot of our execution in the half court over the years was pretty abysmal. And I also think that Tony's rotations have always left a lot to be desired (see our transfer list as an example).

So, now we have a guy with a wealth of HEAD coaching experience, who has won at EVERY level he's coached. And because Bone teams don't average 99 a game, you can all relax that the guy knows a thing or two about playing D.

Moreover, to all the "he's from the Big Sky" haters: THE DUDE HAS coached at the Pac-10 level during the years that the Dawgs were REALLY good (as in #1 seed good even if they were the WORST #1 seed of all time.)

So, the guy is all upside on the coaching end. Then to top it all off, he's 50 which is JUST young enough to relate to the kiddies but old enough to have a difficult time stepping up and out.

In that way, it sure looks like we have our guys (Wulff and Bone) for a while. Lets sit back this year and support them both through the final growing pains.

2010 is going to be a HELL of a year for Cougar sports.

12 comments:

Sedihawk said...

Good work BH. He has won before. But someone else said it in the prior comments, but I think the Wulff experience last year has turned people off to the "big sky coach" deal. It's just too fresh in too many people's minds to take this hire as too pollyana-ish, you know? I am enthused, but a lot of people will be in the show-me state of mind. But let's see how things go the next few weeks in terms of assistants, keeping the recruits, etc.

Meanwhile the Times says that Cam Dollar is a major candidate for PSU, as well as Seattle U (their coach bailed for Cal Poly). But I bet Dollar ends up at PSU. It's definitely the better job compared to Seattle U, at least today it is. That will weaken UW.

KopravicaHater said...

Good point about the Pac 10 experience under Romar. Im excited to see what Bone will do!

Selahcoug said...

Great post. I agree with everything there. I think Bone can be a good one, but I think a lot of the negative nancy's will be piling on after this coming year. I think both football and basketball are young this year and will have their challenges. If 2010 is still very down, then I will probably get a bit negative as well. But right now I think we are in a good position to grow and be competative in the future.

kaddy said...

Couldn't be happier with the hire - found out Bone is basically my neighbor and never knew it. We have some friends that know him, and have nothing but great things to say about him. Nice work.

Longball said...

While some improvement in our half court offensive sets would be welcome, for me the glaring opportunity for improvement this year was against full court pressure. Teams like Gonzaga, UW, the Beavs, Zona (first game), all showed that the key to beating us was to apply any amount of full court pressure. It was frustrating that a team that showed great improvement in so many areas throughout the season, never really solved that one glaring weakness. It actually made me wonder if a team so dedicated to half court, man defense was just not equipped to simulate in practice what they would see in games. I am pretty confident that Bone will have a new approach to preparing our guys for that kind of pressure. One of my favorite things as a basketball fan is watching your team shred an opponent's full court press for easy buckets. They expend all that energy for nothing and you get crowd erupting (or silencing) dunks. Its one of the reasons i was glad our team never pressed.

While all the talk on the interwebs seems to be focused on retaining Thames, I have to admit, it is keeping Motum that has me up nights. With the loss of Baynes I really would like to see another big banger on the roster. I'd also like to see that Aussie pipeline stay in place. If we keep Johnson, i think we have a great shot at keeping Motum.

Soze said...

My guess on the problems with full-court pressure: freshman. Yeah, a bit of it probably came with coaching, but young teams generally struggle with the press. Rochestie dealt with the pressure decently, for being alone. Klay, Harthun and Capers were freshmen and will only improve their decision-making skills with experience. Casto, Koprivica and Forrest had no business being in the backcourt.

Sure, TB chose which players to put there, but his hands were basically tied.

BH said...

LB:

Agree on Motum but for a totally different reason. He's not really a banger. That's Casto's role.

Motum is a scorer and when you think about how well we've played when Forrest and Cowgill shot well then you'll realize how damn critical that 4 spot can be.

Motum will allow Bone to spread the floor even more, creating LOTS of lanes for Capers, Casto, and company to take the ball to the rack.

Like I said, part of the greatness of the hire needs to be put on hold, but overall, this team portends to be GREAT in two years

Whitty said...

Longball- the problem we have with pressure I think will disappear this season. BH made a good point about the guys being young but it also had to do with our style of play. When you have a team that likes to slow down the tempo and pace of the game (like the cougs last season), the best way to speed it up is with backcourt pressure. This is why teams such as Arizona, Gonzaga and UW run this against us. By doing this you are hoping that they make a lot of quick passes and either throw the ball away or lose it because they are not used to the speed. With Bone now at the reins, I have heard he runs a faster paced offense, this will allow us to get used to this faster pace and either break the press with more ease, or not allow them to set it up once there has been a made basket.

I agree with everyone's comments on Motum too. I think he is a big time recruit to come here and can give us some much needed height. I also think it is important because Casto seemed to flourish last season when the opposing team had to focus on not just him, but Baynes instead. I think having Motum would be a big help for him down low. I think getting Thames to stay is also imperative because right now I do not see Capers as a point guard that can carry the full load for the season. From what it sounds like Thames is ready to step into the starting line up as a PG and I think this would help Capers move to the wing and be a better slasher and drive to the hoop kind of guy (which he is better at).

Woody said...

I like the hire,let's leave it at that. I have always maintained that WSU has a glass ceiling when it comes to coaching, for a variety of reasons, that have been bludgeoned to death lately (location, money, etc)

Predominately, you are either going to get a young gun looking to leave, an old timer looking to regain the past, a dud or a good "older" coach who has paid his dues and is looking for a shot.

Only the last two categories fit here (in my opinion). So, let's hope everything is as is advertised with Bone and I think we have him for awhile. He is not a household name anywhere else but the PNW and if we have great success over the next 5 years other schools around the country will look at him and say hey must be a great coach but he is 55, we would like the 40 year old flavor of the month. So, unless other PNW schools would want to steal him, I think we have him for as long as we would want him.

ALSO, did anyone see the ESPN Home Page with the Picture of Tiger Woods teeing off. Look to the right of Tiger. A Coug wearing the colors. I am going to attempt to link the pic.
http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2009/0408/pga_g_tiger1_576.jpg

If it does not work go to ESPN.com and find the Masters Prediction image in the middle of the page.

Go Cougs

Woody

Jimmy Mac said...

It's hard to compare the situation Wulff inherited and the situation Bone just inherited. Bone has just taken over a program on the rise, Wulff took over a program that was imploding.

Bone seems to undoubtedly be a great coach. We'll find out if he can recruit if he can convince the current team and incoming freshman all to stay.

I totally agree with the post. If he gets everyone to stay we're in the same place, if not a better place than we were two weeks ago with Bennett.

sedihawk said...

Bone will be in studio with Ian Furness of KJR tomorrow at 2:20. Get it streamed live at kjram.com. Should be good to hear a WSU host ask him some questions.

Also, on the new KIRO sports station today I heard Jim Sterk on the air. He said they interviewed nine coaches but didn't name names. Might have been a surprise in there as well? Also Sterk said both he and President Floyd had Bone at the top of their list from day one, so, it kind of came full circle.

Finally, Sterk said he "wasn't sure this was the right move for Tony." Interesting that he didn't sugarcoat it too much? He also said that Tony did turn it down last Sunday, as reported, but changed his mind Monday. Sterk said he was extremely emotional on the call, and just said I am taking the job, and I am calling a team meeting in an hour before he trailed off. He couldn't even complete the sentence, he was that emotional.

ptowncoug said...

We really had poor handlers for the press. KT was above avg, TR was solid, but we struggled with the 3rd guard handling the ball. Don't get me started about Nik.
I am excited about Thames because we need another solid ball handler to take over for TR. I really want another guard with this class and wouldn't shed a tear if Chadwick goes to UVA and we fill his spot with a JC guard.
Capers did improve over the season, see 2nd AZ game. He was always looking to get rid of the ball as soon as he touched it.