Another season has passed, questions were answered and in turn new questions are raised. Since Ken Bone took over at Washington State he is 57-46. Being over 500 is a good accomplishment, especially considering he had two players leave to go pro. Ken Bone’s future at Washington State may not be so bright though. Early on, Bone enjoyed an excellent recruiting class full of young talent and a bright future, including emerging NBA rookie, Klay Thompson. This year put Ken Bone to the true test, dealing with only talent he had pulled in and two from the Bennett era, could he fair well in the new Pac12 conference which was the worst it’s been for years? The answer was most unfortunately no. In fact, out of his three years with WSU, Bone has never had a winning season in the Pac12, going only 22-32 against the conference all together. So what’s the future look like for Bone and the Cougs?
First Ken Bone. Since taking over at Washington State, we’ve seen a lot of different things on and off the court for Bone’s squad. My most pressing question is what’s going on with the discipline of the team? 3 arrests last year, 1 close before the season began this year and no one was either kicked off the team or sat for more than one game? It just seems to me that Ken Bone is not a good disciplinarian. Now I know it’s circumstantial but I think any successful team you see has a good since of discipline. That transferred to the court as well, the killers of several games last year, turnovers and free throws. This year Washington State point guard Reggie Moore, turned the ball over almost more than anyone else racking up a season changing 98 turnovers. Yes that’s right 98! That’s second only to Jordan Theodore of Setan Hall who had 99. That’s what having no discipline gets you, lazy ball handling. Also Washington State lost a handful of games due to poor free throw shooting in the second half, for example the Washington game at home, Washington State shot only 6 of 20 from the line as it gave up a 45-32 lead and went on to lose the game.
The talent Ken Bone brings in is unquestionable but the behavior of the kids needs to be more closely monitored, there needs to be a higher standard to play Washington State Basketball. That doesn’t mean don’t recruit a good player because he sometimes struggles in school or isn’t a traditional guy. I say if he’s a good talent, let him come as he is, just don’t let him stay that way, help him improve his life for the better, give back to the community and get these kids some discipline. A good example are our two prized commits this year in DeMarquise (Que) Johnson and Richard Peters. Neither of them have been able to pass the placement test but they both have a couple more chances. Not passing the placement test yet, concerns me in the fact they may struggle in school without a strong since of discipline. I hope to see both of them take off here at WSU and I really hope to see them stay out of trouble in their career here.
So how will the Cougs fare next year and in years to come? All I can say is the future is bright. We’re bringing in new talent and the current players we have all have had bright spots. The one thing we have to change is consistency. No more coming out against a team we competed with at home and getting blown out on the road. No more not closing games when we have a good lead. Mainly discipline is what’s keeping us from being amongst the top of the teams in the Pac12. If we can fix that little problem, we’ll be seeing the NCAA Tourney in the next few years. Will Ken Bone be the guy who gets us there? I don’t know, but I do know next year will be when that question is answered and his future will be decided. Until then we’ll keep looking forward and keep updated on what’s going on this off season with Washington State Basketball.