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Tony Bennett continues to haunt us: Harris picks Virginia

Barring a change of heart, Joe Harris will not be coming to Pullman unless Virginia plays a game there. via <a href=""></a>
Barring a change of heart, Joe Harris will not be coming to Pullman unless Virginia plays a game there. via

Howie Stalwick had a nice little story today on Taylor Rochestie signing with a German professional team ("It’s in the middle of nowhere," Rochestie said. "It’ll be perfect for me -- just like Washington State. My parents thought it was tough to get to Washington State …" Neato!).

However, you've got to read to the bottom to get the real news:

IN OTHER BASKETBALL news, 6-5 Chelan High senior-to-be Joe Harris announced Monday that he has verbally committed to Tony Bennett and Virginia.

AAAAAAAAAAAERRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH! CURSE YOU TONY BENNETT!!!!!!! Why do you insist on continuing to torture us?

Stalwick says this is especially curious because Harris told Cougfan on Sunday that UVa and WSU were deadlocked, and in that same conversation indicated he might not make a decision until after officially visiting both schools in the fall.

That might make you think this verbal might be on the "soft" side. But if you read this story in the Wenatchee World, he sounds pretty set:

"It was my gut feeling," the soon-to-be high school senior said of his decision. "I had an unofficial visit at a mid-June camp, and I just liked the facilities and the school. It was an opportunity I couldn’t really pass up. ... It was definitely a pretty tough decision, but I’m 100 percent sure I made the right one."

The tipping point appeared to be Virginia's academic reputation.

There's really no way to sugarcoat this one: This is a big loss for Ken Bone. Harris is precisely his kind of player, a tall guard who can get his shot off anywhere on the perimeter and is long enough to play Bone's pressure and deny defense.

You can bet Ken Bone isn't going to give up on recruiting Harris until he puts his name on the dotted line in November -- especially when a kid is making a decision based on a "gut" feeling -- but after months of unadulterated success, it appears we have the first swing and a miss of the Bone era.

That the loss came to Tony Bennett and Virginia -- for one of the reasons Bennett left WSU in the first place -- makes it that much more painful