Could Cougs hire another Bennett?

NEITHER TONY NOR DICK BENNETT is coming back. But Bill Moos could go and get a Bennett disciple, someone off the Bennett coaching tree who could bring back the pack line defense and stir up the echoes. Here are five possibilities, including one that guaranteed would make Washington State the national story of the year in men's hoops from now until next season, and beyond.

Ben Johnson: He spent five years on Dick and Tony's WSU staffs, and another four with Ken Bone. He knows the pack line defense like the back of his hand and has strong recruiting ties to Australia and New Zealand.

Ritchie McKay has been with Tony Bennett at Virginia the past five seasons as associate head coach and has 13 years of head coaching experience, including two seasons at Oregon State. A graduate of Seattle Pacific, McKay has a reputation as a hard-driver.

Ron Sanchez has been with Tony Bennett the past eight years, first at WSU and now Virginia. He's one of the more well-rounded assistant coaches out there, having done budget management, scheduling, video coordination, scout work and more before becoming a full-fledged assistant coach.

Saul Phillips' Bennett connection is less than others - the head coach at Big Dance-bound North Dakota State was an assistant coaching alongside Tony Bennett on Bo Ryan's staff at Wisconsin. And Phillips' teams have done it with offense more than D -- his teams get to the rim a lot. NDSU leads the nation in field goal percentage.

Kathi Bennett. You want to become the story of college basketball? Pure and simple, anyone and everyone would be talking about the Cougs from now until next season and beyond if WSU hired a woman to coach the men's hoops team. Bennett has guided three women's programs to the NCAA tournament and has a career winning percentage of .574 (341-253). But beyond the lofty and lengthy PR bump, would she be the best choice for the Cougs? One thing is for sure, she'd bring the pack-line defense with her to Pullman.

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