From Las Vegas — The Cougars went on a 7-0 run to take a second-half lead against the heavily favored Cardinal. The game was a face-off of the team's starting fives — both teams received just two points from their bench. Though the Cougars played one of their better games of the season Stanford — which has two First Team All-Pac-12 players, the conference's Most Improved Player and an All Defense Team member — proved too talented.
After the game we spoke with coach Ken Bone spoke about the game and speculation surrounding his future as head coach.
Thoughts on the game?
I think we’ve played better but we didn’t play a bad game. Stanford deserves a lot of credit, a number of those kids played well. They hit big shots down the stretch, Powell hit some big threes and then they did a great job at the free throw line.
What made the difference?
I thought their bigs were really productive in the paint. They're good. (Stefan) Nastic and (Dwight) Powell, and (Josh) Huestis — those kids are really, really good players. And I thought they were pretty impressive down low tonight not only on offense but on defense they have great presence. They may not get the blocked shot … but just the presence, the ability to contest shots without fouling, they do a nice job of that.
Did WSU figure something out in these last two games that clicked too late in the season?
I don't know, Que and Ike had a really good game against UCLA and they were not at their best tonight. I think a few of our guys played well but it wasn't like we played a great game. But I do think — I'm proud, like I've talked about all year, I'm proud of the fact that our kids persevered through a tough time. It's hard to lose that many games in a row and unfortunately we went through a period last year. But then at the end of the year we played our best basketball. Last year we beat USC and UCLA and then got beat by Washington by I think one or two and the other night we beat a really good UCLA team and we handled them well and I like the way we competed with Stanford. I liked the way we persevered both seasons.
Do you have a meeting with Bill Moos planned?
I've had a meeting with the athletic director since 1983 when I got into the business, that's just what you do at the end of the season. So I'm sure I'll meet with Bill just like all the other 30 years.
Will you be the coach at Washington State next year?
I sure hope so, I have two years left on my contract, that's what I would hope to be. But I don't make that call, there's actually someone higher up than I am at the university.
Have you been told if you will be back?
No, I thought I just answered that.
I have not been told a thing about my future at Washington State.
Do you think the program is still improving and could make an NCAA tournament in the near future?
I think there are some young kids in Ike and Que, and even though Josh Hawkinson didn't play much I think he's going to be a good, solid big in this league. But Ike and Que are good, a good that we recruited out of Seattle (Tramaine Isabell) was the MVP of the state tournament. He's a good kid, can really score and I think there are some really good young guards and we've got to get some bigs. That's what we're looking to recruit.