Robbie Cowgill will also be in San Antonio (a chance to play close to home) for the DiGiorno all-star game. Story here. Reminds me that I should have mentioned Low’s school record 92 three-pointers this season when I gave him my offensive player of the year award. The old record was 89 set in 1999, and the Cougs surely weren’t playing Bennett ball then. It’ll be great to see Derrick in a WSU uniform one more time.
Interesting story from the P-I detailing that Washington 4A player of the year DeAngelo Casto thinks he will most likely end up at WSU. He still does not have a scholarship offer (and the Cougs don’t have one to give until we get word on the Sauls situation), but he may be eligible for free tuition by federal standards. Either way he’s a talented player and an intriguing prospect. The Cougs are a little low on big men for the future. Keep an eye on how this story turns out.
I was very glad to see the Daily Evergreen editorial board recognize Bennett’s decision to not pursue the Indiana job. I have one piece of constructive criticism, and it’s somewhat nitpicking, but it relates to this line: “For now, he has chosen his basketball project in Pullman over a hefty promotion.”
I think there are two things about the culture of Cougar basketball that we need to recognize. One, that this is no longer a project. WSU has arrived, and will continue to be competitive next year even without our five seniors from this season. Two, the whole point of Tony turning down Indiana has to do with the fact that he doesn’t view it as a “hefty promotion”. If Washington State is going to be successful in the future we need the kind of program that is viewed as the promotion. Viewed as the final stop, and not a stepping stone. I hope we have reached that point with Bennett’s decision.
My opinion on college basketball coaching is that once you’ve arrived with a BCS-conference school or an elite mid-major (e.g. Xavier, Gonzaga), why change jobs? Remember, Indiana wasn’t Indiana until Bob Knight. Arizona wasn’t Arizona until Lute Olson. UCLA had Wooden. UNC had Dean Smith. Surely a few of them had valuable predecessors, but they got their schools to elite status by building a program and sticking around. It’s harder in today’s ridiculous world of coaching, but loyalty is still very important.
Finally, the Tom Crean hiring at Indiana means the Marquette job is open. Marquette is in Wisconsin, and that connection alone is enough to get the rumor mill fired up again about Tony. But according to the Cougfan boards XTRA (Los Angeles) radio’s Mychal Thompson, the father of future Coug Klay Thompson, has said that Tony personally called them and assured them he isn’t going anywhere. And Tony’s a man of his word. So if this is the case we can breathe a little easier.
Edit: The only problem with the above is that the S-R’s Vince Grippi has now said on his blog comments that he can only confirm that Tony told recruits he turned down Indiana. He may not have publicly or privately addressed any other job openings at this point. Ugh. Let’s just not worry about it for now…