Bone wasting no time on first day

KEN BONE GOT off to an early start the morning of the day he was officially announced as the 17th head coach in men's basketball at Washington State. The Cougar players had a weightlifting session at 6 a.m. on Tuesday. Bone was waiting for them when they were done, meeting with the players at 7 a.m. for the first time.

Bone said he plans on transitioning the Cougs from Bennett Ball towards his philosophies at a measured pace -- his first Cougars squad this coming winter may not look too wildly different from the past few years.

"I think it will look more similar than different in that I really believe in the system they've put in place here," said Bone. "I'm not so sure it would be wise to take the kids who have been in the system and then all of a sudden change it.

"I have a certain philosophy I think will be great but hopefully we'll get there in 2-3 years, just like it took a few years to get there at Portland State -- we didn't change it right away, we changed it over time once we were able to recruit certain players."

Further insight might be found from when Portland State and WSU held a closed door scrimmage last November. The word was PSU took it to WSU a bit that day. Taylor Rochestie sat the scrimmage out with a sore wrist and Bone took that as an opportunity to be aggressive.

"Without him in the lineup, they were going to have some real challenges to being able to handle the ball but again, that was November 1. And I think that might have been the first time that a lot of the kids had put on a Cougar uniform. We had a lot of upperclassmen who were aggressive and we just kind of went after them and I think pretty much put them on their heels," said Bone.

Bone said there are a number of areas the Cougs will target recruiting-wise. And he intends on keeping open the Australia-WSU pipeline -- which could mean Bone will have an interest in retaining assistant Ben Johnson, the WSU recruiting point for Down Under.

"We definitely want to recruit the Northwest, we'd like to do a good job in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and then like everyone else in the country, get into if not Los Angeles at least Northern California...and another big kid (coming in) that will be a freshman next year (Brock Motum)...we'd like to continue to try and look into those kids because we've had good luck obviously with (Aron) Baynes.

Bone said Seattle will be an emphasis, adding that Wazzu did not appear to be aggressively recruiting the Westside of the state when he was an assistant at the UW (2002-05).

"I've lived over there for a number years and I have, I think, good contacts -- I'll find out now," said Bone. "There are a lot of coaches I know over there that I've been friends with a number of years and there are a lot of good players over there, so I think it would be foolish for us not to recruit the Westside.

"I really don't know how aggressive Washington State was in trying to recruit the Westside. I felt like when I was at Washington they didn't really recruit kids up and down I-5 too much at least in the state of Washington."

Bone said Tuesday afternoon it was something of an overwhelming feeling today now that he's the head man at WSU.

"This is where coach Harshman coached, and Kelvin Sampson, and because I'm familiar with the state of Washington and college basketball, I've obviously followed Washington State...to me there's a lot of tradition here," said Bone, who comes from a family that has deep coaching ties around the state.

As for if Washington State is viewed as a stepping stone job, Bone said it wasn't for him.

"I think a lot of jobs people look at as being stepping stones. For me, hopefully this will be the last step. I would love to stay here and finish my career here if I'm able to. If we can have success here, being a part of Washington State basketball in the Pac-10, I'm totally fine with that and would love to be here for as long as they'll keep me," said Bone.

NOTABLE NOTES:
Ken's father, Walt Bone, was a longtime prep coach in Seattle at Queen Anne High and Nathan Hale High. His older brother, Len, is the head coach at Snohomish High.

For 30 more bullet points on today's press conference, head here.


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