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Former AD Jim Sterk on Bone’s contract

From Spokane — Former Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk is now performing the same job at San Diego State but his duties have brought him back to the Inland Northwest this weekend for the NCAA tournament. He watched his Aztecs cruise to the Sweet 16 by winning a pair of games over New Mexico State and North Dakota State at the Spokane Arena.

One of Sterk's last acts at WSU was hiring new basketball coach Ken Bone, who was dismissed last week by current athletic director Bill Moos. Sterk signed Bone to a seven-year, fully guaranteed contract meaning he'll still be $1.7 million for the contract's final two years. I asked Sterk about that today.

Our unedited story after the jump.

Thursday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — It's tournament time in Spokane and we've got all hands on deck. While the Cougars were left out of the Big Dance, there's still some Cougar flavor to this March Madness. We've got a story on former WSU player Xavier Thames who returns to these parts as one of college basketball's best players. Our tournament notes  have an item or two that will be of interest to WSU fans. 

The WSU baseball team followed its series win over Arizona with a two-game sweep of No. 17 San Diego … Things didn't go so well for the women's basketball team in the first round of the WNIT.

Oregon State's season ended with an embarrassing loss at home to Radford in the first round of the CBI … At least Cal got past Utah Valley.

Wednesday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman —Lots of news out of Pullman today with men's basketball coach Ken Bone and Washington State parting ways. Here is our story on Bone's termination, an interview with Bone about next year's team, an interview with athletic director Bill Moos about the decision, and today's story on Moos' upcoming search for a new coach. John Blanchette has a column about the day's events, as does Bud Withers

A guest columnist for the Seattle PI doesn't think WSU and the Pac-12 are a good fit … The women's basketball team ends a 23-year postseason drought today … The baseball team picked up a big win.

Bill Moos on decision to fire Ken Bone

Opening Statement

Hello everybody. At 10 o’clock this morning I met with Ken Bone to tell him that he would not be returning as men’s basketball coach at Washington State. I got to say that I felt all along that Ken was a good coach and certainly a great guy but it just wasn’t working, the record reflects that, certainly the attendance at our home games reflects it and I felt that it’s time to find knew leadership and go a new direction.

Ken Bone and the team he leaves behind

From Pullman — Rejoice, anti-Bone blog commenters. Your long-awaited day is at an end. Washington State athletic director Bill Moos fired basketball coach Ken Bone earlier this morning in the fifth-year of his seven-year contract. No word yet on who his replacement may be, but here is our story on the firing, Bone thoughts on his tenure and a look at who could be next.

Before he left Bone and I spoke in-depth about next year's roster and what he expects to see from certain players. His thoughts are after the jump.

Monday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — The Washington State men's basketball team is hitting the road a little early, leaving Pullman today and heading to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 tournament. Their opponent will be Stanford. We touch on that and have some highlights in a blog post today … Bud Withers put out his Pac-12 All-Conference team … As did Percy Allen … Chris Foster says UCLA hasn't improved since sacking Ben Howland, but that's no reason to think they won't.

Sunday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — The Washington State seniors went out in style last night, upending UCLA in the regular season finale. We've also got video and quotes from the win. However, the laws of the universe required that the WSU women fall in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals to balance out the men's good fortune.

The day's biggest upset however was Oregon's win over No. 3 Arizona, which likely assures Oregon of an NCAA tournament berth … Stanford scraped out a much-needed win over Utah … Arizona State, California and Washington also came away with narrow victories.

Ken Bone Postgame

Follow the jump for a transcription of coach Ken Bone following WSU's win over UCLA.

Saturday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Washington State knocked off No. 20 California last night to return to the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament semifinals for the second time in three years. Thomas Clouse watched watched Lia Galdeira scored 28 points to lead the Cougars in their 91-83 win and has a game story from Seattle. The baseball team also won on Friday, taking a series opener from Texas State. Suiting up as Cougars for the final time in Pullman will be D.J. Shelton and Will DiIorio. A football player whose time at WSU has passed is getting ready for the NFL draft. Yesterday the State Senate passed a resolution honoring WSU's 1915 Rose Bowl team.

ESPN's Pac-12 blog takes a look at each team's safety depth … Washington's Spring practices may not be pretty … The Huskies are also getting ready to say goodbye to their seniors … The Ducks have one more chance to show they're legit, against No. 3 Arizona … Utah looks to cap an impressive late-season run against Stanford … The Beavers hope everything comes together against Arizona State … Cal and Colorado will have a lot of chips on the table in today's game.

 

Friday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — For awhile it seemed that the USC game could very well be Washington State's last win of the season. Then last night they lost it thanks to a brutal second half. Here's our game story from the loss. Before the game former WSU safety Deone Bucannon met with the media to talk about his preparations for the upcoming NFL draft. We've got video of the All-American, as well as post game videos of a couple players and coach Ken Bone. We also had a blog post on former WSU RB/DB Clarence Williams who is on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

On the women's side the Cougars hit the century mark, again, in a win over Oregon to start of Pac-12 tournament play.

In the day's other game Washington fell to UCLA at home.

Thursday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — The vocal majority that despises a proposed NCAA football rule change that would give defenses 10 seconds to substitute got welcome news yesterday. The proposal has been tabled, effectively cast off into a sea of bureaucracy and red tape from which it will never emerge … Today the Washington State basketball team will do battle with USC in a titanic matchup ("Titanic" referring to the ship, not the forebears of the Greek Pantheon). We've  got our Four Corners preview of the game and a local college basketball notebook  … Former WSU football player Steve Broussard has been hired at SMU.

Arizona squeaked by Oregon State yesterday, while Colorado and Utah each had critical road wins. Tomorrow UCLA will try to win at Washington, where it has lost eight of its last nine games.

The Battle for the Basement

From Pullman — The chances of USC winning at Washington or Washington State upsetting UCLA on Saturday are remote at best. Therefore tomorrow's matchup between USC (10-19, 1-15 Pac-12) and WSU (9-19, 2-14) will likely decide the 11th and 12th place conference spots. WSU is favored by 5 ½ points in Vegas.

In a twist, the loser of the game will play at 2:30 against the conference's No. 5 seed while the winner will play the No. 6 seed at 8:30 p.m. (but really more like 9 p.m.).

More after the jump.

Ken Bone on KJR

Washington State coach Ken Bone joined KJR's Mitch Levy on Thursday afternoon to candidly talk about the team's struggles this season. The interview in its entirety can be found here.

 

What would you say to people who say to people who think it’s impossible to win at WSU?

I would say it’d be hard to argue that at this point but I think a lot of WSU fans would have loved to see Tony Bennett stick around. They came in here and they instilled a system that in in time was effective. Those two years Tony was really, really good and then that last year it dropped off but he’d been here a few years already. The system was in place but if he could’ve stayed here but there’s a chance he could have continued to have good success.

More after the jump.

Where in the world is Que Johnson?

When the Cougars lost DaVonte Lacy with a rib injury freshman Que Johnson stepped up and took on the responsibility of Washington State's go-to scorer. He scored in double figures in eight of nine games and routinely led the team in scoring.

But in the six games since Lacy returned against Washington, Johnson has reached double figures only once and is averaging just 6.0 points per game. After starting 14 straight games, including every Pac-12 game, Johnson came off the bench last week at Oregon State and Oregon.

More after the jump.

Ken Bone’s future at WSU uncertain

From Pullman — Ken Bone and the Washington State basketball team are aware of the uncertainty surrounding the coach's future at WSU. While Bone has two more years left on his contract, athletic director Bill Moos hinted before the season began that a coaching change could be made after the season if the Cougars didn't show improvement. 

Today Moos told the Spokesman-Review that while he has not contacted any prospective coaches, he is not yet ready to make a decision on whether or not Bone will be back next season.

Here is our story on Bone's uncertain future.

Moos also added that it is unlikely the Cougars make major upgrades to the basketball facilities, saying:

"That’s going to be a question the coach will ask in the event that I was interviewing someone. I don’t really think that ours are that bad, I think that our practice gym – we really did some great improvements to it. I continue to feel that Beasley is a good seating bowl, good sight lines. I do think however that it’s worn out and needs a facelift and we are in the process of addressing locker rooms and meeting rooms and training rooms, weight rooms etc.

And the addition of the video board and some of the branding we’ve done in there, I think we can put some more focus on upgrades and a little bit more sizzle in the branding and really the exterior. I don’t think we’re that bad in basketball."

Video: Ken Bone before Cal

From Pullman — Ken Bone addressed the media on Tuesday to talk about Washington State's upcoming game against Stanford, Jordan Railey, and more. Here's the video of that interview, courtesy of WSU Athletics.

 

Thursday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — The 2014 WSU football class is almost if not entirely signed and it's drawn good reviews from its architect … We've got a list of the signees, along with coach Mike Leach's evaluations of each, right here … The men's basketball team fell just short on the road despite a career night from DaVonte Lacy … Stanford avenged its earlier loss to Cal … Washington finished with a respectable class on a tight deadline … But a pair of Huskies might be in trouble … USC finished with a bang on signing day, showing that the new staff will be able to at least recruit well … And recruits are still impressed by all that is Oregon … Stanford also brought in a good class.

Tuesday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Tomorrow high school football stars all across the country will fax in letters of intent to play college football and with that in mind we've got a story on a kid who plans to travel all the way from Florida to run Mike Leach's Air Raid offense. Make sure to check in on SportsLink for our Signing Day coverage. We'll have a blog post that I'll update as signees are confirmed, and I'll keep a live chat running to answer all your questions.

As for today we've also got a blog post up on a trainer who DaVonte Lacy credits with his (relatively) quick recovery.

Recruiting season is reaching a fever pitch. One of the state's top players decided to play for Washington, although he doesn't seem all that thrilled about it … At least he won't have to deal with any sanctions from the Tosh Lupoi investigation … The Pac-12 was well represented in the Super Bowl …  It's official: the Wildcats are no longer No. 1.

Monday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Obviously the Seahawks dominant Super Bowl win dominated the news on Sunday but we've still got a few links to pass along.

The WSU flag made an appearance at the Super Bowl … Jeff Nusser takes a look at the Cougars defensive line recruiting … Arizona's loss to Cal gets even worse as the Wildcats find out that a key player is out for the year … The WSU women fell just short at UCLA … Oregon State beat UCLA in the day's only Pac-12 men's game.

Thanks for reading, if you need me I'll be in the infirmary. Vince and I had a row.

Thursday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — It's Thursday and that means its time for our weekly 4 Corners look at Washington State's upcoming game  and notebook of the local college basketball teams. We've even got a blog post examining why one WSU starter doesn't seem to be getting starter minutes.

There were a couple Pac-12 games on Wednesday. Cal's free-fall from the top of the conference continued with a loss to Arizona State and Arizona narrowly avoided an upset by Stanford. Bud Withers of the Seattle Times takes a look at what else is happening in the conference in Pac-12 Confidential.

 

 

Railey’s low minutes due to lack of offense

From Pullman — 

Washington State center Jordan Railey has been a mainstay in the Cougars’ starting lineup, handling the opening tipoff in 18 of the team’s 20 games. But while getting on the court has been a given for the 7-footer, staying there has been a challenge. WSU coach Ken Bone has had a quick hook for his starting center and junior transfer from Iowa State averages less than 16 minutes per game. 

Find out why after the jump.

Lacy trying to return for UW game

From Pullman – With a home game against the Huskies, Beasley Coliseum should finally fill up on Saturday. The Cougars are hoping that extra energy in the gym can give them a boost against their rivals. But not nearly as big a boost as the return of leading scorer DaVonte Lacy, something that WSU coach Ken Bone says could be right around the corner.


  

Sunday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Oregon is coming to town to face the Cougars and hoping to end a five-game losing streak. We've got an advance on the game and took a look at the Ducks on the blog … The Washington State Indoor Track & Field team did very well in Idaho over the weekend … WSU safety Deone Bucannon played in the Senior Bowl, making three tackles. Bucannon also came in No. 16 in ESPN's list of the Pac-12 top 25 players in 2013.

In Saturday's Pac-12 action the Huskies stormed back to beat Oregon State while Colorado's struggles continued in a loss to Arizona State. Tomorrow Utah will get its shot at No. 1 Arizona, UCLA will rely on Tony Parker when it takes on Cal and UCS will look to continue its positive momentum against Stanford.