Bud Withers at the Seattle Times is reporting that AD Jim Sterk interviewed both Portland State coach Ken Bone and Utah State head coach Stew Morrill today in the Seattle area, leading to the logical conclusion that this coaching search is drawing to a close.
I'd be pretty surprised at this point if there were more candidates to interview; the only way I see this thing dragging out is if Sterk and President Floyd are undecided and want to do a second round of interviews. But I'd bet against that.
Did Sterk save the best for last? I sure hope so -- you know about our feelings for Bone, but I have virtually the same feelings for Morrill. What he's been able to accomplish in Logan, Utah is nothing short of remarkable, and I have no doubt that he'd do a fantastic job at WSU.
Withers notes that luring Bone may prove easier than luring Morrill. Honestly, I don't care which one of these two guys we get -- both are excellent coaches, and either one would make me happy. Porter would still intrigue me, but I'm wary of the boom or bust factor.
Let's just hope, above all else, Sterk isn't setting us up for the Mike Davis or Mark Gottfried fall.
Grady's thoughts (7:45 p.m.)
So now we know why Sterk left the Final Four so early:
Sunday, WSU interviewed both Portland State coach Ken Bone and Utah State coach Stew Morrill in Seattle, and those two appear to be among the top choices to succeed Tony Bennett, who abruptly left for Virginia last Monday.
What does this mean?
One: it means the favorite, Ken Bone, is likely still the favorite.
Two: it means that Stew Morrill could be a viable option for WSU after all. The biggest question mark with Morrill was always whether he'd be willing to to leave Logan in the first place. Now, it appears, he's actually considering it. Morrill's resume is impressive - he's made it to the NCAA or NIT in each of the last ten seasons. All at Utah State - a program with little history and resources to match.
Morrill could find the WSU job intriguing - he's actually one of the few coaches out there who prefers to avoid the bright lights. This may be the only candidate who views Pullman's location as an attraction instead of a detraction. Would he be successful in the Pac-10? Only one way to find out.
Regarding the other candidates, I'm starting to feel much better about the possibility of Terry Porter. Mainly in the fact that he was a player under Dick Bennett, and could be the most likely candidate to mesh with our current players and our slow-tempo system. The question mark that remains would be whether he could keep the momentum rolling through recruiting. That area would be foreign to Porter, but he'd get some help if he could keep Johnson and Woodley around as assistants.
Finally, I'm feeling even less enthralled with Mike Davis than I was when I first heard his name as a possibility. Things have fallen apart of late at UAB, and his players have been less than stellar on and off the court. Academics seem to be a secondary concern to Davis, and that's a problem. The Blazers were cut down to only six scholarship players in December after two left school and two were found to be academically ineligible. And they were already shorthanded from NCAA academic progress penalties. Star player Robert Vaden got a public intoxication charge and five (count 'em, five) players got arrested after an incident at a dance club.
At this point, I feel the Mike Davis interview was nothing more than a waste of Jim Sterk's time.
Don't hire Mike Davis.