Too Little, Too Late
The Washington State Cougars finished their season at 13-19 and ranked 11th in the conference, both career lows for head coach Ken Bone.
After the departure of senior point guard Reggie Moore, the team had to rely almost entirely on their star forward, Brock Motum. Motum had an outstanding senior year–averaging 18.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest–but the team lacked the support necessary for success.
The Cougars failed to qualify for any postseason tournament for the first time since 2010.
They ended the season with two encouraging victories over #23 UCLA and USC. However, they failed to make any noise in the Pac-12 tournament and were eliminated by Washington in the first round.
The late season success would have been a convenient life raft for the sinking ship that is Ken Bone’s job security. Now we find ourselves at seasons’ end, and athletic director Bill Moos has a decision on his hands. Before any outcome is decided, let’s review the pros and cons of Ken Bone love ’em hate ’em style.
While the offense sputtered on a consistent basis, the defense was constantly impressive. Many overlook this, but the Cougars only allowed 63 points per game–best in the Pac 12! Bone has a very interesting strategy of swiftly cycling between defensive schemes throughout the game.
It catches opposing offenses off-guard and creates difficulty in game planning.
Though the Cougars have yet to breach the top 5 in the conference, the talent coming in next season could reach that potential. Bone has brought in players with potential, but they just have yet to reach it. Next season, the roster will be consisting of only Bone-recruited players.
The lineup will look something like:
- G – Ikenna Iroegbu – Freshman
- G – DaVonte Lacy – Junior
- G – Royce Woolridge – Junior
- F – Demarquise “Que ” Johnson – Freshman
- C – D.J. Shelton – Junior
This specific lineup is very small–considering Que is a small forward at the most–but nevertheless young and talented. Not to mention it will consist of an actual point guard, therefore they could finally run with any guard combo in the conference. If Bone does stay, and finds a way to keep all of these guys on the court together, the potential is very intriguing.
While Bone has brought in talent, he has yet to find a way to coach it. He cannot seem to help players reach their full potential–much like Washington’s Lorenzo Romar.
Bone has yet to reach the NCAA tournament. Even with the luxury of future lottery pick Klay Thompson and defensive standout Deangelo Casto, Bone failed to place above 6th.
His pedigree has been far from impressive during his WSU tenure, on and off the court.
Not only has he failed to win, but he has failed to earn the respect of his players. Klay Thompson, Reggie Moore, and Deangelo Casto headline the group of players who experienced issues with the law during the college career. This showed disrespect and lack of discipline, something a coach should distinguish in the locker room on day one.
The fact of the matter is that Bill Moos will not settle for mediocrity. Unfortunately, mediocrity is all Bone has produced. Throw in the fact that his latest season was the worst of his career, and things aren’t exactly looking up.
Bright years are ahead for this Cougar basketball team. It will just be interesting to see if Bone will be on board during the ride.