Cougfan.com is reporting that former Phoenix Suns coach Terry Porter has thrown his proverbial hat into the ring to replace Tony Bennett, and you can go ahead and count me among those who think that would be an absolutely terrible idea.
As my buddy LeaveItToWeaver pointed out to me via text a moment ago, there are a lot of potential positives to such a move. He played under Dick Bennett and as a former NBA player and coach, he would have some clout with recruits. He's a defense-first kind of guy, so it's a philosophy fit. It's a big name, and that alone makes it interesting.
But what about the potential downsides? I obviously don't know Porter personally, and I don't know what motivates him. But I have to wonder: Is a guy like Terry Porter, who's spent years in the NBA, really going to want to invest the time and energy it takes to win at a place like Washington State? Is a guy who's been used to charter flights and cushy practice facilities really going to want to put in the hard work that we know WSU takes?
Porter has absolutely ZERO college coaching experience and really has no idea what he's getting himself into. Ask Houston how hiring Clyde Drexler, another guy with zero college coaching experience, worked out for them. Drexler came in, expected that his name alone would attract recruits, and it didn't. I know this is a little different since Porter has been a coach (Drexler had never coached anything), but it's going to take a lot more that Terry Porter's name to get recruits to seriously consider coming to WSU.
Besides, does he really want to be here? Or is he looking at WSU as a chance to build a college resume so he can bolt for a bigger program at the first opportunity? I know whoever is the next coach will leave, but it's different when the guy comes in with the intention of padding a resume. I'm not saying that's Porter's motivation -- again, I don't pretend to know the guy -- but it's not a stretch to think that would be the case.
I know it's precisely the kind of out-of-the-box hiring that AD Jim Sterk has become notable for, but I can't help but think it's a disaster waiting to happen. WSU is not big-time enough to satisfy a guy with NBA roots. I want a guy who's worked his way up through the college coaching ranks -- a guy who really knows what he's in for.