Perimeter and post: Bone style

VINCE LOMBARDI AND Tony Dungy, in terms of personality, are about as polar opposite as one can find in the coaching profession. But neither that, nor the fact that they're football coaches, has stopped Ken Bone from considering them among his mentors. Cougar hoops fans will also want to replace terms like "pack defense" with ones like "four-out, one-in" in their crimson basketball lexicon.

In a recent and wide-ranging interview with, Bone said his professional life has been influenced by many people.

There's Marv Harshman, of course, for whom Bone served as a ball boy growing up. But he also names his father Walt, who coached high school ball at Queen Anne and Nathan Hale, and brother Len, who holds the reins at Snohomish, among those who have shaped his style.

And the list doesn't stop there, nor does it stop at basketball.

"I've really tried to steal from everyone in the profession -- even reading different football books like (those by) Vince Lombardi and Tony Dungy...I've just studied different coaches over the years and tried to take bits and pieces from all of them," Bone told CF.C.

AS FOR X's AND O's, Bone says he's studied just about anyone who has run a four-out, one-in -- or a three-out, two-in -- motion offense.

In the most basic of terms, a motion offense is built on player movement, passing and cutting, floor spacing and screens. The "in" and the "out" refer to the perimeter and the post.

For Cougar hoops junkies who want more detail on four-out, one-in and three-out, two-in motion offenses, try here and here.

DEFENSIVELY, YOU'RE NOT going to see an overdose of full- and 3/4-court presses. But Bone does like to apply pressure on the ball.

"Also, once we get the ball on one side of the court, I like to work to deny the ball from coming back to the other side. When you allow them to swing the ball from side to side, I think that's where your defense breaks down more often than not," said Bone.

Bone will also bring something seen for all of about five minutes out on the Palouse since Dick and Tony Bennett took over at Wazzu six years ago: Zone defense.

"I enjoy having a few different zones to throw at different teams, depending on how they try to attack," said Bone.

ALSO A THING OF the past will be the deliberate pace in bringing the ball up the court.

"On offense, I really like to get the ball out and go -- whether it's off a made shot, missed shot or a turnover. Once we get the ball, we really want to try and get the guys to switch direction and head downcourt quickly, just to see if we can get an opportunity," said Bone.

But teams cannot live by fast break alone and in the half-court game, Bone's motion offense had it's beginnings in what Cougar fans have seen in recent years.

"In the half-court game, it's very similar to what coach (Dick) Bennett ran, what used to be called a blocker-mover offense. That's what we instilled at Seattle Pacific and I've continued to try and change some things, tweak some things," said Bone.

BONE WILL PROBABLY need a few recruiting classes to bring players in that fit his philosophy to a tee. He's said he plans on transitioning the Cougars from Bennett Ball toward his philosophies at a measured pace -- his first WSU team may not look wildly different from the past few years.

"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," Bone said last month.

Still, it's not difficult to imagine athletic players like freshmen DeAngelo Casto, Klay Thompson and Marcus Capers making a swift, successful transition to Bone's style. And if that's the case, Cougar fans might well see some of those changes sooner rather than later.

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