Bill Moos: WSU needs to 'revitalize (the) fan base'

Plenty of good seats still available at Beasley Coliseum. - William Mancebo

Ken Bone is out as WSU's head coach but talked about the state of the team before he left, while Bill Moos discussed the move.

For weeks we waited for Ken Bone being fired to become official. Now that it has, we want to know what everyone has to say about it. Bone has yet to comment publicly since the news broke, but he has been very candid and open about the situation and even next year's team. Here is a little taste of what Bone and Bill Moos are saying.

Edit: Moos just finished he conference call with reporters. He talked about the decision to fire Bone, the state of the program and the impending coaching search.

Moos on what he told Bone

"It wasn't working. The record reflects that. The attendance reflects that."

When Moos made the decision to move on

"I started to come to that conclusion about the last third of the season. We were struggling and the attendance was as low as I've ever seen it. Not only here, but at any Pac-12 venue."

Moos on recruiting

He said college basketball comes down to recruiting more than coaching. He mentioned that many of the teams in the NCAA Tournament are there because of good players, not necessarily good coaching.

On discussions with candidates

Moos said he hasn't had any contact with coaches in person, but does have a short list and will begin lining up phone conversations soon.

Qualities of a candidate

College coaching experience is important "preferably" as a head coach. Moos wants someone who can recruit to WSU and sell Pullman as a community. He emphasized the need to improve recruiting several times throughout the call.

Can WSU be a successful program

"Yes, I think we can win here. I think we can compete year in and year out and have those moments where we can win a (Pac-12) championship. I certainly believe we can be in the postseason, three out of five years. I think all of those things are doable."

On Ernie Kent

Kent has proven he can do all of the things Moos wants a coach to be able to accomplish. He said Kent was able to successfully recruit to a "rat hole" of a gym at Oregon. "Someone like Ernie, who would have a passion for Washington State -- like he did at Oregon -- would be someone I'd be interested in."

Moos said Kent is a "TV announcer" but said he would be happy to talk to him if he had interest in the job. He said more likely Moos would talk to Kent about coaching candidates. Moos is either being very coy, or Kent is not a legitimate candidate.

On Ben Howland

Moos said he thinks if Howland gets back into coaching, he expects him to land at a program that doesn't require the rebuilding WSU needs.

Moos on facilities

Moos downplayed the need for new facilities, again pointing out the work on the practice facility and "face lift" Beasley is currently undergoing. "I don't think we're terribly far behind in facilities in the sport of basketball."

On travel

"I don't think any school is chartering more than we are." Moos said the team flies out of Pullman and does have charter service available when needed.

Proven commodity

"I tend to go with a proven commodity and it's different being an assistant than a head coach." Moos said he likes a head coach who hasn't had a "silver spoon" and worked his way up through the ranks. Said he admires coaches who worked their way up through the ranks.

Leon Rice

Moos said Rice has done a nice job at Boise State and expects him to get some looks, but opted not to go into whether Rice is a potential candidate at WSU.

Moos on salary of the next head coach

"I think my track record is I will invest. I think to get the best fit and the right person, we're going to have to spend some money." Moos said he's willing to be competitive on salaries both for head coaches and assistants.

On a timeline to hire a new coach

Moos said he would like to get things done quickly and ideally would make a hire during March Madness.

On signed recruits

Moos said he would have to look into each case "very, very carefully" if a signed recruit asked out of his Letter of Intent. Curtis Allen was named the interim head coach and Moos said he expects Allen to work to calm the recruits and make them aware of Moos' intention to improve the program.

Here are some more quotes from Moos and Bone

Moos on the decision

"Ken and I met earlier today," said Moos in a statement. "At that meeting I informed him I would be making a change in the direction of the program. I appreciate what Ken has done for Cougar Basketball, leading us to the postseason twice in the last four years, and I thanked him for his service to WSU. But at this point we need to revitalize our fan base, particularly our student body, and position this program to compete for championships."

Bone on the state of the program (prior to being fired)

"We've gone in a (downward) direction. It's not good enough," Bone said, via the Spokesman Review. "I look back at this year and I still believe that you need a point guard in this game, and we didn't have a point guard."

Moos on hiring a new coach

"We will begin the process of naming the next head coach immediately," Moos said. "I will not be discussing details of the hiring process, only that I expect to name the new coach as soon as possible."

Bone on the current team (prior to being fired)

"It's one of the most favorite teams I've ever had a chance to coach, and yet maybe one of the worst teams I've coached in 30 years," Bone said, again via the Spokesman Review. "But it's because they've had really good attitudes, they've been extremely coachable, they've been a close-knit group."

Bone on Jordan Railey (prior to being fired)

"I mean we're going to play the best players but Jordan Railey - you know maybe I've given him too many chances. Because it's not like he had a great year. But I think there is something there. And he showed it against UCLA, I mean he showed it against one of the best teams in the country. He rebounded, he scored a couple buckets, he was aggressive, he was good defensively." -- via the Spokesman Review

We'll add more to this as it comes available. I wouldn't expect to hear much from Moos at this point. It doesn't appear he'll be holding a press conference like he did when Paul Wulff was fired. Scratch that, Moos will be holding a conference call at 2 p.m. PT.

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