Spring is here. Too bad there isn’t a spring football practice scheduled for today. Being outside would be a good thing with the sun shining and the temperatures hitting the high 60s. But no. It’s another day of hitting the phones, trying to get you the latest on the basketball coaching search. Read on.
• UPDATE: University of Alabama-Birmingham coach Mike Davis decided to withdraw his name from the Washington State men’s basketball coaching search. The former Indiana coach interviewed Saturday in Detroit and told friends he was expecting a decision soon. But Monday morning Davis decided to drop his pursuit of the WSU position. We’ll have more on this later. Also, here’s a quote from Ken Bone on the opportunity. And coreyb, thanks for the link on Stew Morrill.
• Before we get to the morning links, I wanted to clarify something. I brought up Bennie Seltzer’s name last night not as an official candidate – his name might be in the mix, but it’s not one I can say I’ve heard – but more as an example of an alum working in the business. Of all the schools in the Pac-10, Washington State needs a coach with knowledge of the peculiarities of coaching here, an institutional memory if you will. Experience is a great teacher, but what a coach learns at, say, UCLA, often times doesn’t translate to Pullman. Xs and Os, sure, but the ancillary stuff about recruiting and retaining players, no. A guy like Dick Bennett, though without institutional knowledge of WSU, instinctively understood that. That’s why his hire by Jim Sterk was such an inspired one. Honestly, there isn’t a big pool of guys who are either as wise about this stuff as Bennett or people with a deep coaching resume who understand WSU. Whoever the Cougars tab needs to have one or the other.
• Let’s get to the links. We start with our story from this morning’s S-R and follow with Bud Withers’ piece in the Times. … The Stew Morrill front is covered by the Deseret News in this piece and in the Salt Lake Tribune here. … Other than that, I wasn’t able to find much more definitive pieces to link about the search. So we found this feature in the LA Times that has a WSU basketball connection. … One football link, that to Nick Daschel’s piece on Buster Sports rating the Pac-10 best receivers. There’s a Cougar on the list.
• That’s it for this morning. We’ll be back as events warrant. Until then …