Alright, as we close out the week, here's how I see it. This is based on words directly out of Jim Sterk's mouth, evidence-based rumors, and just a little bit of unsubstantiated garbage (to cover my back in case it turns out to be true).
Remember this is based who I think we will hire. Not necessarily who I want to hire.
Ken Bone 35%
"The Field" 15%
Mike Davis 15%
Stew Morrill 10%
Terry Porter 10%
Bobby Knight 5%
Dan Monson 5%
Ray Giacoletti 5%
Ken Bone is the odds-on favorite. Not only is he a CougCenter Approved (TM) candidate, but he fits most of the job requirements: experienced, successful Division 1 coach, strong Northwest ties, and about as much of a "big name" hire as we can get. My concern with Bone is that while he's an awesome coach, he doesn't seem like the most personable guy. That could be a problem with recruiting, and with the single most important thing we need to accomplish this offseason: keeping our freshmen around. But then again Dick Bennett was a surly guy at times, and was still a great coach. And a good guy.
"The Field" checks in at #2, because heaven knows who we might be interviewing at the Final Four this weekend (including the next guy I'll talk about). Also, some of the "elminated" choices, Randy Bennett and Bill Grier, could potentially come back into the fold at some point. Remember, these are coaches, and by nature, liars.
Mike Davis, the UAB/former Indiana coach checks in at 15% as well, because of the Sportslink report today. If Grippi deems it significant enough to make a whole post about it, then it's certain that WSU is considering him. How much? Who knows. But I hope it's not as much as Ken Bone. Look, there's nothing wrong with Davis, but he's a guy who never loses much - and never wins much either. Save one Final Four appearance on the heels of Bobby Knight's tenure at Indiana, I'm underwhelmed by Davis' resume. Plus I guarantee you he'll be behind the ball recruiting here.
Stew Morrill is intriguing, but I don't see it happening. He's had a ridiculous amount of success at Utah State, winning about 75% of his games there since 1998. At Utah. State. Wow. But, people are forgetting he was only modestly successful at Colorado State, a much bigger program, making the NIT twice and the NCAA never.
Terry Porter is also intriguing, and would be a boom or bust hire as far as I'm concerned. Since I damn sure don't want to lose the momentum we have, I'm saying no to this one. But word is he's interested.
Bobby Knight would be awesome. But improbable. But still, awesome. Yes, I'm aware he didn't win anything big at Texas Tech. Still, he won, and he kept the program in the spotlight. Think about this: ESPN would actually pay attention to us.
Dan Monson is not a sexy hire, but I'm fine with it because he's proven he can win in Eastern Washington. Any coach who can say that works for me. I just don't understand why his name isn't coming up more. When we hear more about Mike Davis than Dan Monson, I start to worry a bit about our search.
Ray Giacoletti has also won in Eastern Washington, but if you're going down that road, better start with Monson. Plus, as many a commenter has explained, he was a mess at Utah. Maybe his fault, maybe the administration. Sterk should investigate which.