Reaction pouring in on Bone hire

THE REACTION to the hiring of Ken Bone at Washington State is pouring in from far and wide. Knowledge, personality and ability to teach are all hailed. Here's who's saying what to CF.C today: WSU assistant coach Matt Woodley, junior college coaching legend Ernie Woods, former Cougar and Husky head man Marv Harshman, former WSU star Guy Williams, and radio host Ian Furness of KJR.

Ernie Woods
Legendary coach at Bellevue CC and WSU player in the late '50s

"I think some schools have gotten too caught up in hiring a recruiter, and then when it comes time to coach ... It's a good hire for Washington State because he knows the game -- he's a great teacher," said Woods.

Woods has consulted for the NBA, WNBA, and worked with varied national USA and international teams since 1972. He has known Bone since Bone's playing days in the summer leagues around Shorecrest. He says he would not be surprised to see Bone open things up offensively while still keeping Bennett's defensive scheme this season.

"He'll open it up -- but he's not a racehorse type, they play under control and it's more an (execution-based) offense," said Woods. "One of the things you do as a coach when you take over a program, and I assume Ken will do this, you're going to have to gradually bring things around to your philosophies and your style. So I assume he'll retain a lot of Bennett's defense this coming year. I hope so anyway.

"He's got a lot of contacts being in this area, recruiting in this area and in the Seattle area, and in (once) being a community college coach," said Woods. "Ken's a hard worker and will burn the midnight oil to get that job done.

"He has strong ties to the Northwest -- this is hopefully something where it will be a long term tenure at the school," said Woods. "And I'm impressed, I was over this year to Washington State and did some consulting work with June Daugherty and her staff, and I'm impressed with the facilities they have there now...the A.D. (Jim) Sterk has really done a great job there in support."

Matt Woodley
WSU assistant coach under Tony Bennett

"I think he's a proven head coach," said Woodley. "He's won at the Division II level, he's been with Lorenzo (Romar) and he's done really well with Portland State.

"Obviously he's a Northwest guy and has a lot of passion to be at Washington State which I think is important because Washington State is a great place. It has its own unique challenges but we've obviously proven you can do things (here) and be successful. I think he'll continue on the success and I'm excited for that and happy for Ken."

Marv Harshman
WSU head coach from 1958-71

"That's wonderful news. I think he's the right man for the job. I believe he'll keep the momentum going and maybe improve upon it, too. It's a wise move .... From a coaching standpoint, I respect his knowledge and ability to teach. As a citizen, what you see is what you get -- he's not someone who will tell you one thing and then do another. He's a great one," said Harshman.

Guy Williams
WSU star under George Raveling and former NBA player

"Offensive minded is good. That's exciting play and you certainly need to do that to put people in the stands ... But for me, it really comes down to defense (but) the thing is, in the Pac-10, you really have to be competitive ... and it all starts with recruiting," he said.

"I think it's going to be important for Ken to connect with former players, bring them around the program to establish that continuity. I think the history is important. I've spoken to a lot of guys in years past that felt they were alienated from that and who would certainly like to be involved. So it's going to be interesting to see how he'll do that," said Williams.

Ian Furness
KJR Sports Radio host and WSU graduate

"My initial thought when Bennett left was IF Ken Bone is hired immediately, then we would have a chance to make a smooth transition," said Furness. "Now that it has happened, my thought is OK, we have the guy in place, let's see what he can do.

"I like the fact that Ken Bone has won everywhere, including Portland State which is almost impossible. But make no mistake about it, we just don't know if this program really is in better shape than when the Bennett family arrived. We won't know until we see which current players stay at WSU, and which current recruits stay true to their letters of intent. If we see mass defections or releases, this program could take a significant step back."

Bone will be introduced as the Cougar men's basketball head coach during a press conference Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. CF.C will have coverage.

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