Terry Porter tosses name into WSU mix

SOURCES AT Washington State have confirmed that Terry Porter, a former NBA All-Star and coach -- as well as a disciple of Dick Bennett's -- has expressed interest in becoming the next head coach of the Cougars. Rumors that Porter is on campus today have not been verified.

Porter, a mainstay on the great Portland Trailblazers teams of the early 1990s, played 17 seasons in the NBA before entering the coaching ranks. He has been the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns and an assistant with Sacramento and Detroit.

He has never coached at the college level, but he is known to have excellent leadership and communications skills, and a formidable work ethic.

Porter starred under Dick Bennett at Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the early 80s. A true believer in the Bennett Way, one of Porter's hallmarks as an NBA coach was his emphasis on defense. Ball care was another cornerstone of Porter's coaching. His Bucks team of 2003-04 led the Eastern Conference in scoring as well as fewest turnovers.

In his 22 years as an NBA player and coach, Porter's teams made 20 playoff appearances. He has played for some of the great names in coaching: Jack Ramsey, Pat Riley, Flip Saunders, Gregg Popovich and Rick Adelman.

Porter was fired as head coach of the Suns last month, just four months into his tenure. The team was 28-23 at the time. He had been brought on board, in part, to step up the team's defensive game the way he did as the lead assistant with Detroit. But the clash of cultures –trying to turn a team built around shooting within seven seconds on each possession into one that plays tenacious defense – proved difficult.

Sources at WSU say Jim Sterk and President Elson Floyd hope to have a new coach in place no later than Monday.

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