State of the Program
“This is something I anticipated could one day happen. I just knew he was the type of superstar coach that could end up in our league. But we’re both competitors and we’ll be trying to do everything we can to help our respective teams win when we play each other” – Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar on WSU hiring Ken Bone
Washington State lost a rising star in the coaching profession to the University of Virginia…. but have the Cougars hired another one? The departure of Tony Bennett brought an end to an era in Pullman–an era full of winning, defense, NCAA tourney runs, defense, Taylor Rochesite, and defense.
Now this Wazzu program will move in an entirely different direction. New head coach Ken Bone brings an up-tempo style that places a heavy emphasis on the transition game. The 51-year old coach from Seattle (WA) also brings an impressive track record with him, as he took each of his last two Portland State teams to the NCAA Tournament.
Bone respects the style that the fans in Pullman have come to expect over these last six years (going back to Dick Bennett), but he also believes that his brand can be just as successful: “It’s a different style. Their defense, their offense, their transition defense, it all fit together the way they wanted to play. What we want to do is good, but it should look a little quicker”.
The Cougars return a couple of all-conference caliber players, but they also lost three valuable contributors (Rochestie, Aaron Baynes, and Caleb Forrest). It will therefore be interesting to see how deep Bone’s debut squad is, especially if WSU expects to play up-tempo right away.