Clearly, Bennett's initial season at the helm of the program has changed the complexion of what previously had been a college basketball outpost. Michael Harthun (Scout.com No. 92) and Mark McLaughlin (No. 76) comprise the future backcourt at Washington State.
McLaughlin, a 6-foot-3 senior out of Kenmore (Wash.) Inglemoor, picked the Cougars over Oregon State and Nevada. Washington and Southern Cal didn't offer but each was close. The guard admitted he wouldn't have seen himself in Pullman but now wants to be a part of the resurrection.
"Not a year ago, I couldn't (have seen this)," McLaughlin said. "They did really good this year and Tony Bennett has done a good job. It's in-state and it's an up and coming program."
Last year, McLaughlin averaged 23 points a game. However, it wasn't until the spring that he cracked the Scout.com Top 100. It was his stroke and poise that stood out. "I can shoot it a lot better and I'm more athletic. My shot got a lot better. I've practiced every day and worked in the gym.
"They said that I was going to come in and maybe have a chance to start as a freshman. They see me maybe as a replacement for Kyle Weaver."