Ken Bone

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.

Report: Leon Rice interviews for Washington State opening

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When Ken Bone was fired several weeks ago, one of the first coaches mentioned to replaced Bone was Boise State’s Leon Rice. However, since winning in Pullman is one of the most difficult tasks in all of Division I, it wasn’t expected that Rice, a former Gonzaga assistant who has quickly built the Broncos program, would be interested. Perhaps, though, Rice’s desire for Wazzu was underappreciated: the Spokesman-Review reports Rice has interviewed for the vacant Pac-12 position.

The report, penned by Jacob Thorpe, also confirms the university’s president has extended a job offer to a candidate, but it is not known whether Rice is that candidate, or if another coach has been to Pullman in recent days.

It will be interesting to follow the progression of the Wazzu search considering this new information. Rice has been very effective elevating BSU to the top of the Mountain West, and while the team does lose Ryan Watkins and Jeff Elorriaga following the 2014 campaign, Mikey Thompson, Anthony Drmic, and Derrick Marks are all scheduled to return, so there is depth with which Rice can build for 2014-15.

Report: Ken Bone fired by Washington State

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To follow along with the 2014 Coaching Carousel, click here.

After a dismal season once again buried at the bottom of the Pac-12, Washington State has fired head coach Ken Bone.

The news was first reported by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.

Bone was 80-76 in his five seasons with the Cougars, but he managed just a 23-40 record the past two seasons, capped off by a 10-21 campaign this past season. He went just 3-15 in the Pac-12 in his final season.

2013-14 Season Preview: Top 10 coaches on the hot seat

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All month long, CBT will be rolling out our 2013-2014 season preview. Check back throughout the day, as we’ll be posting three or four preview items every day.

To browse through the preview posts we’ve already published, click here. To see the rest of our preview lists, click here. For a schedule of our previews for the month, click here.

As the 2013-14 college basketball season begins, we have a new batch of coaches sitting squarely on the “hot seat”. Although “hot seat” is probably an overused cliché sports term at this point, it still applies as long as there are coaches that need to win and make changes in their respective programs in order to keep their jobs. This year’s top 10 features some familiar names and some coaches that have accumulated tremendous amounts of success in the past, only to fall on recent hard times.

1. Rick Barnes, Texas: Mack Brown isn’t the only veteran Longhorn head coach on the hot seat. After missing the NCAA Tournament last season, accumulating his first losing record in 15 seasons in Austin, and not posting a winning record in the Big 12 since 2010-11, Rick Barnes is feeling the heat at Texas. Roster turnover has been high this offseason as well and top recruits in the state of Texas have recently stayed away from Barnes and the Longhorns. With Monday’s announcement that Texas Athletic Director — and long-time Barnes supporter — DeLoss Dodds is retiring, it only makes the speculation grow.

2. Jeff Bzdelik, Wake Forest: When your own fan base is taking out front page ads calling for your dismissal like Demon Deacon fans did in March, it isn’t a very good sign. Bzdelik is only 11-42 in the ACC in his three seasons in Winston-Salem and with the ACC only getting stronger, that record isn’t going to improve very easily any time soon. Bzdelik needs to win over the fan base and win some games to save his job. But for now, websites like FireBZ.com live on.

3. Herb Sendek, Arizona State: Arizona State has made one NCAA Tournament in Sendek’s seven seasons in Tempe and the expectation will be to make the tournament this season after an NIT bid last season and the return of Pac-12 co-Freshman of the Year Jahii Carson. With eight newcomers and a dramatic increase in offensive tempo, will Sendek’s new-look Sun Devils rise to the occasion and potentially save his job?

source:  4. Johnny Dawkins, Stanford: Before Dawkins’ tenure, the Cardinal had made the NCAA Tournament in 13 of 14 seasons before missing out on the Big Dance in all five seasons under the former Duke assistant. Dawkins has made the postseason in three of five seasons at Stanford — winning the NIT in 2011-12 — but he’ll need to make the tournament to keep his job.

5. Tony Barbee, Auburn: There have been as many players that have left the Auburn program — 12 — as Barbee has SEC wins in his three-year tenure. When you throw in a point-shaving scandal to boot that isn’t a very good sign. The Tigers lost 16 of their final 17 games in 2012-13 by an average of 12 points.

6. Craig Robinson, Oregon State: It’s tough to win in Corvallis, but the Beavers have never finished at or above .500 in Pac-12 play under Robinson and haven’t shown any signs of significant improvement.

7. Ken Bone, Washington State: The Cougars finished 13-19 and 4-14 in the Pac-12 last season and lose their best player in all-conference forward Brock Motum. Bone has never made the NCAA Tournament in four seasons in Pullman and things don’t appear to be getting better very quickly.

8. Mark Fox, Georgia: Despite having the SEC Player of the Year in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Bulldogs finished with a losing record in 2012-13 and Fox has made the Tournament once in four seasons in Athens.

9. Ben Braun, Rice: Conference USA has grown significantly weaker the last few years and the Owls have still continued to struggle. Rice finished 1-15 in league play last season and Braun is 19-61 in the league in five seasons at the helm.

10. Oliver Purnell, DePaul: DePaul is only 30-64 and a horrific 6-48 in the Big East under Purnell, but with a new Chicago arena becoming the focus of DePaul’s administration and with four more years remaining on his seven-year contract, Purnell should be safe for at least another season.

Washington State changing defensive approach

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It’s been a busy month for the Washington State Cougars. On September 4th they lost assistant coach Ben Johnson and on September 7th, they unveiled some cool new uniforms.

Since then, Ben Johnson has been replaced by former Virginia assistant and Boise State head coach — and defensive specialist — Rod Jensen after Johnson moved to Australia and the change to Jensen is leading to a different approach in defensive philosophy from head coach Ken Bone.

The Cougars will up the defensive pressure this season by defending the length of the floor, according to an interview with Bone from Barry Bolton of Scout.com’s Washington State site, Cougfan.com.

“We want to get points out of it … This year (on defense) is going to be very, very different,” Bone told Cougfan.com.

Bone went on to say that this is a defense that the program hasn’t seen in some time.

“We’re going to get after people,” Bone said. “We are going to get after people at the guards spots, and we are going to get out and pressure and deny.

“And we’re going to do it more than Cougar fans have seen in a long time.”

That also means an uptempo game and more tired legs, and Washington State’s rotation is likely going to expand to 9-to-11 guys.

Bone gave more insight to Bolton revealing details about the rotation.
“You figure 8, 9, 10 guys in rotation but in time that might change — we haven’t introduced a lot of stuff to them yet (in the limited practicing allowed this time of year),” said Bone. “You’ve got guys that have played a lot for us in D.J. Shelton, Will DiIorio, Royce Woolridge, Dexter Kernich-Drew, (Junior Longrus) and DaVonté Lacy.

“And then you add in Que Demarquise Johnson and Jordan Railey, who were with us last year but didn’t play. And then you have Danny Lawhorn and the two freshmen, Ike Ikenna Iroegbu and Josh Hawkinson. That’s already 10-11 guys. And you might have one or two who might not be ready to fulfill that 10-15 minute role. And you’ve got Brett Boese, who is coming on and could slip into that kind of role. So there are some things that are yet to unfold.”
The new-look Washington State defense will be interesting and even though they lost arguably their two best players from last season in forward Brock Motum and guard Mike Ladd, they clearly needed to change something up from a disappointing 2012-13 record of 13-19 and 4-14 in the Pac-12.

If some of the new guys or former role players can step up, Washington State should improve from last season.