March 24, 2013 in Sports

Bone stays as buildings rise

A Grip On Sports
 
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WSU basketball coach Ken Bone will be on the sidelines for the Cougars next season.
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Vince Grippi has an opinion about everything local, especially sports. Every Sunday we provide samples of his daily riffs. Read him daily at spokesman.com/sportslink.

Tuesday:  There are a couple stories out there parsing Washington State athletic director Bill Moos’ comments yesterday on his radio show concerning basketball coach Ken Bone.

Don’t expect any Internet-shattering news to come out of the annual meeting between Moos and his basketball coach. The Cougars don’t have the wherewithal to buy out Bone’s contract, even if the desire were there to make a change (and I don’t believe it is). The $2.55 million price tag is way too high.

Want to know why? Look at the new building on the south side of the football field. Look at the new operations building rising on the west side. Those buildings cost money. And there is only so much to go around.

• One quick thought from the women’s NCAA tournament.

Gonzaga seems a bit underseeded as a 12, though, if I were associated with Iowa State, I certainly wouldn’t want to be the 5-seed that has to play the Bulldogs.

It seems odd to me that the champion of one of the top seven or eight conferences in the nation – by the numbers – would be as low as a 12-seed. But that probably became necessary because the committee didn’t want, should GU win, a 3 or higher seed having to play a second-round game on GU’s home court.

One other thing about the women’s bracket. Stanford is the top seed in the West. The second seed is cross-bay rival Cal, which finished second in the Pac-12. Would make for a  great regional final if the two meet at the Spokane Arena in a couple weeks.

Friday: A few years ago, while covering the NCAA tournament, I heard Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun – a crusty, curmudgeonly fella who won two national titles – say the funniest thing about the first round of the tournament. And his statement actually made me think.

Calhoun’s statement came in the interview room after a UConn win in a game that featured, well, “spotty” officiating. Calhoun pointed out that the media – that would be me and about a half-million other folks – love to talk about one-and-done teams. But it wasn’t covering the whole story. “Half those guys,” Calhoun said, referring to the officials, “are one-and-done, too.”

It hit me. He had a point. Just as there is a hierarchy in the teams, there is a hierarchy among the three guys overseeing the game as well. There are good teams, there are good officials. The not-so-good teams are weeded out. Same can be said for the guys with the whistles.

So when there is a first-round game with “spotty” officiating, one can take comfort in knowing that it will improve as the tournament rolls on.

At least that’s what I did yesterday during the Gonzaga game. But what happens when a call is missed that costs a team a game?

Just like the airball Beau Levesque threw up for Saint Mary’s on a 3 late in the Gaels’ two-point loss to Memphis, there may not be a second chance. That was the thought running through my head when Brandon Moore blocked a shot late in the game. The ball headed OB but Javan Mitchell hustled and, according to the official, saved the ball.

Except he didn’t. I ran it back on the DVR and his foot was out-of-bounds when he flung the ball back in. Well out of bounds. The only official with a shot to see it had to avoid Mitchell and must have missed it and probably didn’t want to guess. So he let the play continue. The only problem was the “save” led to a Kelly Olynyk foul and a tie game. And it could have assured Gonzaga of being one-and-done.

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