Bone gives Cougars good grade for on-court achievements
PULLMAN – Three days after his second season at Washington State ended, basketball coach Ken Bone met with the media to answer questions about his 22-13 team.
So what grade would he give his team this year?
“I would say B-plus, A-minus,” Bone answered. “We won 22 ballgames and that’s not easy to do. We won some huge games. We beat some really good teams. And made it to New York in the NIT. So I think our guys really accomplished a lot of good things.
“But we had our issues, whether it was the off-the-court issues or just losing a couple games, like most anybody does, we really felt we could win.”
Bone, who said he would give his coaching a C, saying, “I think that’s fair,” covered a variety of topics in his almost 14-minute press conference.
—Bone still isn’t sure of Klay Thompson or DeAngelo Casto’s plans. Both are contemplating forgoing their senior seasons and declaring for the NBA draft.
With Thompson, Bone said he’s getting “really good advice,” from his father, former No. 1 draft pick and long-time NBA player Mychal Thompson.
“I’m not sure how much I will have to say in his decision,” Bone said, “except to support him and that’s what I want to do.”
As for Casto, Bone said he and his junior center haven’t talked about Casto’s plans since the fall. But Bone knows Casto has aspirations of playing professionally.
Both have until April 24 to decide. Workouts with NBA teams start April 28 and, if a player doesn’t sign with an agent, he must declare his intent to return to school by May 8 to be eligible next season.
—No matter what Thompson and Casto decide, Washington State will have too many players for the scholarships available.
WSU had 12 scholarship players this season. The NCAA limit is 13. WSU signed two players – guard Davonte Lacy and forward Greg Sequele – in the early signing period. Center D.J. Shelton just committed and will sign in April.
Also, Fresno State transfer Mike Ladd, who walked-on this year, did enough in practice to earn a scholarship, Bone said.
Even if freshman walk-on Will DiIorio, who played more often at the end of the season, isn’t offered a ride, WSU would still be at 16 scholarships. If Casto and Thompson leave, one other scholarship must still come open.
“At the end of the day, there will be 13 guys on scholarship in our program,” Bone said. “There’s no way around that, unless there’s less like this year.”
Bone added no player has come forward yet to tell him they were thinking of transferring, but “there’s always that chance,” he said. “It’s happened, I would say, 70 or 80 percent of the years I’ve coached.”
—The off-the-court problems included three players – Casto, Thompson and Reggie Moore – being cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession and given one-game suspensions, though Casto’s was rescinded.
Bone said those incidents and the punishments meted out have been evaluated.
“There will be some changes made in that area,” he said.
—There are no major injuries, though Faisal Aden’s knee, which caused him to miss a game and practices, and Moore’s wrist, which forced him out of the season’s first five games, will be checked soon.
Bone said he believes Aden’s knee tendinitis is more of a chronic thing and that Moore, who hasn’t felt pain from his fractured scaphoid bone for more than a month, will be OK for the offseason.