We just received a text message from WSU assistant basketball coach Ben Johnson, back in communication range after his trip with head coach Ken Bone to Australia. Johnson wanted to relay the news Brock Motum had re-committed to Washington State and Bone. With the news last week of the same feelings by Xavier Thames and Anthony Brown, it means three of the four Bennett-era recruits are still on board to enroll this fall. Read on for a quick story.
• Here is an unedited version of a story that will appear in tomorrow's S-R …
PULLMAN – When Ken Bone was named as Washington State's 17th men's basketball coach, his to-do list was as long as a Taylor Rochestie game-winner.
But with the news Sunday that Australian power forward Brock Motum had decided to honor his letter-of-intent and enroll at WSU in the fall, Bone's list has shrunk considerably.
"Brock really was impressed with coach Bone," WSU assistant coach Ben Johnson said in a telephone interview en route home. "And his parents felt comfortable with him as well.
"He's such a humble kid. He said he just wanted us to tell everyone because he's talked about it before and doesn't want to again."
Bone and Johnson, who was former coach Tony Bennett's lead recruiter in Australia, heard the news in person, after flying to Australia to visit with Motum this past weekend.
Motum, a 6-foot-9, 215-pound scorer, joins 6-3 point guard Xavier Thames from Elk Grove, Calif., and Spokane's Anthony Brown, a 6-5 forward from Shadle Park, as Bennett-era recruits who have reaffirmed their intention to enroll at WSU.
Only 6-8 Charlotte, N.C., power forward David Chadwick, whose family has a long-standing relationship with Bennett, asked for and received his letter-of-intent release.
"He said he likes the campus and the smaller college town atmosphere," said Johnson, the only member of Bennett's staff to remain in Pullman. "That was important to him."
Patrick Simon, a 6-8 forward from Ephrata, Wash., who committed to WSU as a freshman, decided last week to reopen his recruitment entering his senior year.
Simon, who helped Ephrata win a state basketball title as a sophomore but did not play last season due to a foot injury, has said he is still interested in Washington State but wants to examine his options.
With next season's freshmen taken care of, Bone will now look to finish out his coaching staff. Only Johnson, who has been at WSU since 2004, has been officially announced, though Bone interviewed several candidates before heading for Australia.
Curtis Allen, a former University of Washington player and Bone's assistant at Portland State, is reportedly in the mix to fill one of the two remaining assistant coaching positions.
• That's it for now. We'll be back if events warrant. Until then …