Ken Bone

Former Washington State head coach Ken Bone joins Travis DeCuire’s staff at Montana

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Thursday new Montana head coach Travis DeCuire announced his coaching staff for the 2014-15 season, and among the three assistants is one who has extensive head coaching experience. Ken Bone, who spent the last five seasons as the head coach at Washington State, has joined the staff as associate head coach with Chris Cobb and Jono Metzger-Jones being named assistants.

Metzger-Jones was a member of Wayne Tinkle’s staff last season, remaining in Missoula following Tinkle’s departure for Oregon State.

In touting the addition of Bone to his staff, DeCuire noted Bone’s head coaching experience as something he can lean on given the fact that this will be his first head coaching job at the Division I level. Prior to leading the Washington State program, Bone spent four seasons at Portland State so he’s also familiar with most of the programs in the Big Sky.

“I thought for me and the first time as a head coach, it’s important to have someone on the bench and in the office that had experience with making decisions, and also having a calm mind to weather the storm in big, pressure games,” DeCuire said in the release. “For me it’s important to have someone like Ken who is very experienced on the bench.”

Montana finished the 2013-14 season with an overall record of 17-13, going 12-8 in Big Sky play. The Grizzlies will need to account for the departure of Kareem Jamar, who led the team in scoring, rebounding and assists in his senior season. Montana also lost guard Keron DeShields, who decided to transfer, leaving Jordan Gregory (13.8 ppg) and Mike Weisner (8.1 ppg) as the team’s leading returning scorers.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown:

Niang, Morris lead No. 14 Iowa State past No. 24 Texas

Iowa State forward Georges Niang drives past Texas guard Tevin Mack, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After falling at Texas Tech for the second straight season midweek, No. 14 Iowa State needed to bounce back with No. 24 Texas visiting Hilton Coliseum. The return of Jameel McKay, who was suspended for two games, certainly helped the Cyclones and the play of Georges Niang and Monte Morris was key as well. But the biggest difference on this night was the fact that Iowa State was able to limit the effectiveness of Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor.

 

Taylor scored just nine points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field, and with Morris and Niang scoring 24 points apiece the Cyclones won by the final score of 85-75.

Taylor had multiple opportunities to make plays around the basket thanks to his ability to beat defenders off the bounce, but he struggled to finish. Add in a 0-for-4 night from three, and Texas’ most dangerous offensive option was unable to duplicate his performance in the first meeting between the two teams. In Texas’ 94-91 overtime win over the Cyclones January 12, Taylor scored 28 points and dished out six assists with just one turnover, shooting 11-for-17 from the field.

Four Longhorns finished in double figures, with Tevin Mack and Javan Felix scoring 18 apiece, but with Morris decisively winning the point guard matchup Texas was unable to pick up the win on the road.

For Iowa State the aforementioned tandem of Morris and Niang performed as they did in the first meeting, which should come as no surprise. What helped them, especially when it came to Texas attacking the basket, was the presence of McKay. McKay finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes of action, and to have their best interior defender back on the floor certainly helped the Cyclones on this night.

With their lack of depth Iowa State’s margin for error is small, especially when it comes to foul trouble, injuries and disciplinary reasons.¬†Even with Texas’ size advantage Iowa State outscored them in the paint 48-34, and McKay’s defensive ability factored into that. The Cyclones can put points on the board with the best of them, but at some point they’ll need to string together stops as the games get even bigger.

Iowa State managed to do that down the stretch, with Morris and Niang running the show offensively. And that’s a good formula to be able to rely upon as the season approaches its most important month.