The Final Countdown?

Hello Followers.  Hope you’re doing great.

As for me, well, the last several weeks of this has pretty well taxed my ability to become the super-human blogger that I almost entirely never am.  But today, I am back in the saddle…

After the jumperoo, I will offer the most incredibly poignant analysis of the state of Cougar basketball that has graced these pages since yesterday…

Read on.

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Followers, those of you who have read this blog for a while know that I haven’t been a big fan of our coach, Mr. Ken Bone.  

But, in spite of the fact that I haven’t been a central—or even peripheral–member of his fan club, I have rooted for us to do well over the years.  And a good part of that “good spiritedness” has been reflected in my pretty consistent commitment to stay up late into the wee hours of the morn to watch us play on the tee-vee.

But this year, things have changed for me.  Now, instead of staying up late to watch our team, I’ve been falling asleep before (or not long after) tipoff.  And, on weekends, I have gone out to movies with the brood instead of watching games that would have otherwise captivated my time and interests in years past.

Of course, none of that should trouble Ken Bone and the other Banshees who help constitute Bone Nation. 

But what should trouble Bone and his supporters is as follows:  I am far from alone in my apathy.  For instance, all it took was a quick look at my Twitter feed on Saturday night to see that virtually NO ONE was commenting on the WSU-UCLA game.   Even more importantly, the Cougcenter.com game thread—which usually has 700 or so comments for each contest—now routinely has less than 60.  And attendance?  Well, let’s just say that a lot has changed since the higher points of the Bennett years.

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Of course, Bill Moos is not blind to apathy that currently surrounds Cougar Hoops–an apapthy that LucasCoug and Huddy have recently coined as the #KenBoneEffect.  And, in his weekly Cougar Calls show aired yesterday, Moos sent out an endorsement of Bone that made the word “tepid” seem ice cold.  As noted by Cougcenter, this morning:

Asked point-blank if he has decided if Bone will be retained or let go after this season, Moos said, "No."

He added, "At the end of the day, I’m the one responsible for making those decisions, and it’s never easy."

Asked if money alone will impact his decision on Bone’s future, Moos said, "No."

With this quote firmly in mind, it’s now fair to say that we’re in the final countdown of the Bone era of Cougar Basketball.  With the Cougs now sitting in the cellar at 2-9, we’re going to have win 5 out of the next 7 to give Bone a decent shot at returning next year.  And based on the play we’ve seen so far, I think we all know that just isn’t going to happen.

And yes, I know that next year’s team—who will be comprised entirely of Bone recruits—figure to be much improved. But that is typically when an AD wants to pull the trigger—when the new guy has a chance to succeed right away.  And nothing would do more to bring energy back into Cougar hoops than to put a different face on a program that was in the Sweet 16 not so long ago.

In the meantime, here’s to hoping that our boys and Bone can find a way to right this ship starting tomorrow night against the equally as hapless Oregon State Beavers.

But, like many of you, I’ll probably find myself reading about that game instead of watching it.   And therein lies the problem of the current #KenBoneEffect.

All for now.  Go Cougs!

The Final Countdown

Happy Tuesday Cougar Nation.

If you didn’t see Longball’s work yesterday about the near shake-up among the top of the Pac 12 North, than check this out. Additionally, I have been one of Ken Bone’s harshest critics over the years and have gone so far as to stop watching this team play on TV or in-person. So it was nice for them to pull out the brooms against the Bay Area schools last week.

As I am sure many of you know, this marks the final week before National Letter of Intent Day, which is next Wednesday, February 1st. News broke yesterday, that Leach landed a pair of JC Linemen in OG Niu Sale and DT Ioane Gauta.

Before those fax machines, hopefully the coaching staff gets the remaining targets to sign on the line that’s dotted, before they drink their coffee!

With the 2012 class filling up rapidly, I would imagine there is no more than three or four spots remaining. While all of that can change with Gray Shirts and attrition, I read somewhere recently that if we took 24 guys this year, nobody left this off season, then we would only have room for 15 guys in the 2013 cycle.

Anyways, click the jumparoo to take a deeper look at recruiting and some of the remaining prospects who are in The Crimson Orbit.

If you’re an avid follower of Cougfan, Coug Center or this here site, you know that the recruiting rankings, no matter the source, are a very inexact science. A couple of years back our good friend, Ted Miller over at ESPN, took a look at why things our so inexact. By the way, Ted, I am going to be in Scottsdale in a couple of weekends for FBR. If you happen to be at the tournament, I would love to grab a beer!

In that article, here is Ted’s conclusion.

But there’s another issue: Physical maturity.

When you meet a five-star recruit in person, you immediately see the same thing the recruiting services saw on film: A full-grown man.

You typically — not always but typically — see a guy with a full-beard who’s filled out his frame and is buffed up. You see an 18-year-old who could pass for 25.

You see a man who has been dominating a bunch of boys. It’s impossible not to rate this guy highly because he looks better on film than anyone else.

But when he gets to college a couple of things sometimes happen.

First, he stops being dominant. A lot of the five-star guys have been dominant their entire lives. They’ve never been knocked on the rears. How they react to that is often telling.

Second, he may turn out to be a finished product who’s already physically peaked. Often guys like this become solid but never dominant college players and they fall short of the NFL. You see this with a lot of with linemen who arrive as 6-foot-6, 310-pound freshmen already bench pressing over 400 pounds. By their senior years, they are… 6-foot-6, 315-pound seniors bench pressing over 450 pounds. And their feet never really got any quicker.

Meanwhile, there are those baby-faced guys who are 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds as high school seniors for whom college operates as a phone booth did for Superman.

So I guess what I am hoping to point out is that even though Scout.com currently ranks our class the 60th best in the land, which is good enough for 11th in the conference, don’t get too bent out of shape. I see UCLA is working on their fourth Top 10 Class in the last five years, and we all know how things are going in Westwood.

Moving on from one recruiting concept to another, on Sunday, The Seattle Times published their annual list of Washington State Blue Chip Recruits. Taking a look at the Blue Chips from 1997 – 2002 and from 2003-2009, no more than 8 of the paper’s 58 Blue Chips turned in college careers worthy of these high school evaluations! Marques Tui, Reggie Williams, Victor Rogers, Jake Locker, Johnathan Stewart, David DeCastro, Steve Schilling and Mayes. 5 for 58, that’s what I call a Chone Figgins!

Although this year’s list of Blue Chips doesn’t currently include any Wazzu commits, we are one of two finalists for the services of Lakes HS CB Cedric Dozier.  A Cal commit once upon a time, he is ranked the #24 CB by Scout.com, but is considering the two finalists is because they are willing to let him play WR at the next level. Dozier wasn’t even considering the Cougs until the last couple of weeks.

As the recently appointed WSU Football Blog Recruiting Expert (eye keeeed), other prospects to keep your eyes on as 2/1 nears, are WRs Kenny Lawler and Jaydon Mickens, CBs Alphonso Marsh & Raymond Ford, LB Jeremiah Allison and OL Jake Eldrenkamp.

Lawler has narrowed his list down to Oregon State, WSU, and Oklahoma State. Last night on Twitter, Lawler promised to announce which school he will suit up for if his friend eclipsed 500 followers. Wazzu and OSU fans immediately began following Lawler’s buddy and the 500 mark was smashed. As of 8:05, which was about three hours after he hit 500 followers, Lawler was still mum.

Eldrenkamp has visited WSU and UW the last two weekends, but hasn’t said anything more than he has enjoyed both visits and will be making a decision soon. Both his parents are UW alums, so my guess is he winds up in Purple & Pee.

The addition of either Marsh or Ford would be a major coup for Leach, as I strongly believe Cornerback is the position we have the least depth/talent at heading into 2012. Both recruits sport a BCS offer sheet longer than Jerramy Stevens’ arrest record:

  • 1998 – Second-degree assault armed with a deadly weapon and fourth-degree assault
  • 1998 – Tested positive for marijuana and served a day in jail
  • 2000 – Arrested for the sexual assault of a 19-year-old University of Washington freshman
  • 2001 – Reckless driving and hit and run after crashing into a nursing home
  • 2003 – Reckless driving and driving while intoxicated
  • 2007 – DUI
  • 2007 – Arrested and charged with possession of marijuana
  • 2011 – Arrested and charged with felony battery for punching two bouncers in a bar

Ok, now that I’m done making jokes, my work here is done after this last comment.

On Sunday, you may have seen Drew Bledsoe presenting Robert Kraft and the Patriots with the Lamar Hunt Trophy for winning the AFC Championship. Some people made fun of Drew and Kraft on Twitter and Deadspin, but I read today where the kisses were a tribute to the late Myra Kraft. A classy move, by a true Coug!

Have a great day and we will see you next Tuesday! Go Cougs!

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