Cougar hoops: 5 things I think I think

PETER KING came to mind as I pondered Washington State's search for a new basketball coach. During football season, King writes a column for SI called "10 things I think I think." As I made a series of phone calls Sunday and this morning looking to get my bearings on the Cougar hoops situation, it became clear I have definitive thoughts on the matter. Not definitive information, but thoughts.

You could say they're a series of educated guesses about what has happened and what is happening with WSU's quest to replace Ken Bone. So without further ado, here are 5 things I think I think about the WSU coaching search.

1. If Bill Moos and/or Elson Floyd were in Boise this weekend then they clearly would have been better choices than Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman to star in The Prestige. Magicians supreme, they are. I haven't talked with either of them, but I've talked with enough people near enough to be 99 percent sure the closest they came to Boise this weekend was likely the Moscow-Pullman border.

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2. I don't believe Leon Rice was ever offered the job at Washington State. He interviewed with Moos, per multiple sources. But there is no evidence he was actually offered the job.

3. To that end, I believe his representatives went into overdrive Friday morning when Elson Floyd's comment to the WSU Board of Regents went public about WSU having made an offer to a candidate and was now awaiting a response. The Rice camp, I believe, at that point began racing against the clock to leverage his interview with Moos into a sweeter deal at BSU before WSU announced its new head coach. The timing is just too convenient. Andy Katz gets a call at 1 a.m. Eastern with breaking news about Leon staying at BSU and then the Spokesman-Review gets one later that morning saying Leon is such a prized prospect that Moos and Floyd are winging their way to Boise. For Shaka Smart, yes. For Leon Rice? Not a chance.

4. Yes, I think ASWSU president Taylor Hennessey's tweet Friday was about someone else entirely. The next few days should help clarify matters, but I believe WSU has its man, or is at least close to having its man.

5. One positive to come out of the Rice Affair is that we know for sure Cougar fans are going to be much happier with whoever the new guy is. Check that, presuming the new guy isn't Dan Monson or Wayne Tinkle, Cougar fans are going to be happier. I say that because the reaction Friday to the idea of Rice was absolutely, positively underwhelming. And the brain trust (I use the phrase loosely) at CF.C pretty much agreed wholeheartedly. Cougar Nation has looked the prospect of Leon Rice squarely in the face and now breathes easier knowing he's not going to be roaming the crimson sidelines.


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