Three weeks ago, I wrote a post about newly-hired Cougar basketball coach Ken Bone. The general gist was to welcome him to WSU, and to remind him that there was a lot of work to be done to maintain the incredible momentum of our program. We didn't have a lot of time for the new coach "honeymoon"; he had to get to work right away.
And what do you know.... He did.
I listed three goals in that piece that I felt would give us the best chance at success going forward. How did Bone do?
- Keep our freshmen in Pullman. Obviously, the jury is still out on this one, and as the academic year comes to an end we may yet see our first defection of the Ken Bone era. But so far, not a single freshman has mentioned a feeling of unhapiness with the new regime, of a desire to transfer. That's great. It's natural for some players to want to leave, but in this case we have a special group of freshmen that we need to try and keep together. Ken Bone is doing just that, and making a strong case to the players that they should remain Cougars.
- Keep at least one of Woodley, Johnson or Sanchez on staff. Done. Welcome back, Ben. Not only was he the most senior member of DIck and Tony's Staff, Johnson's impact would be felt immediately on goal number three, which is:
Get at least two of our four recruits to remain with WSU. I wrote this under the assumption that David Chadwick was a goner, and that Brock Motum might not make a 3,000 mile trip to play for a coach he didn't commit to. Incredibly, with an assist from Ben Johnson, Motum remains a Coug. A Coug at a time where we desperately need a big man to fill the void left behind from Aron Baynes. Bone sealed up the commitments of our most highly-touted recruit, Xavier Thames, and our diamond in the rough, Anthony Brown. And the loss of Chadwick? No worries, we'll just replace him with a point guard that was taking a good look at both UCLA and Memphis. Don't believe me? Let Grippi drop some knowledge:
Moore said he planned on taking visits to Memphis and UCLA in the upcoming weekends, but cancelled after visiting Pullman last weekend. He had already visited Oregon and Iowa State.
I almost forgot to mention that Bone assembled an exceptional coaching staff. The aforementioned Ben Johnson, Portland State recruiting guru Curtis Allen, and current Seattle Pacific coach Jeff Hironaka are a formidable group.
Look, I'm not about to throw Ken Bone a ticker-tape parade. But if you ask me what grade he receives for his first 21 days in office?
Keep up the good work, Ken.