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Power ranking the Kyle Smith advocates

Pat Chun definitely did his homework searching for the next men’s basketball coach.

NCAA Basketball: San Francisco at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Coug fans. It’s been quite a week. We got ourselves a new basketball coach in Kyle Smith, and the consensus feeling seems to be positive. That’s good! Sure, our best player announced this week that he’s testing the NBA waters, but why wouldn’t he? He’s not hiring an agent so who can blame him for taking advantage of the rules? It’s the same thing as professional development seminars that I’m sure a large amount of us have sat through over the years.

As for Kyle Smith, it seems Athletic Director Pat Chun leaned on some big names to make the hire. Almost all of these names are people who are quite busy this time of year, too, whether it’s in the NBA or in the NCAA Tournament.

Now, we have no proof that all of them just happened to suggest Chun hire Smith. More likely, Chun asked many of them what they thought of Smith after Chun had zeroed in on the San Francisco coach. That’s a great strategy: Don’t think you have all the answers and can do it alone. Come up with an idea and test it out on people who know a thing or two.

So with that in mind, let’s rank the Kyle Smith advocates, shall we?

Steve Kerr

I don’t know if Chun talked to Kerr before hiring Smith or if Kerr was asked about the hire after the fact, but when he says something like this, you take note. He’s an eight-time NBA champion (five times as a player, three times as a head coach). Of course he’s going to be no. 1 on our list! Plus, he coaches Klay Thompson.

(As an aside, I had no idea he won a championship with, let alone played for, the San Antonio Spurs.)

In order: Klay Thompson and Aron Baynes

Both are WSU’s claim to fame when it comes to NBA players, and both had all sorts of success as players at WSU. They each have NBA championship rings. Their opinion matters.

Tony Bennett

Bennett is one of the best college basketball head coaches in America and was at the helm in Pullman for the best stretch of Cougar basketball ever. He knows what it’s like to coach in Pullman in the current era, and the fact that he wanted to hire Smith as a WSU assistant coach should be validation.

In order: Kelvin Sampson and George Raveling

Sampson, the former Cougar head coach, is reigniting his career with success at Houston and Raveling is a voice of authority for Cougar athletics. When Raveling talks, you listen.

Validation from big names in the NBA and NCAA are great. Now, we await Smith’s introduction.


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