First, let it be said that Ken Bone, the Washington State basketball coach, is a man of integrity, somebody who always represents his institution well.
But as the season winds down at WSU, this is also inescapable: The team he coaches is talent-shy and in danger of a third last-place finish in the Pac-12 in his five years.
The Cougars’ game at Oregon on Sunday night was a bit of microcosm in a 9-18 season. A big underdog, the Cougars played with passion through the first half, slowing the pace, frustrating the Ducks and taking a seven-point lead. Announcers on the Pac-12 Networks mentioned how cohesive and purposeful they looked.
And on the inbounds play to start the second half, they turned it over, gave up a transition basket in the first three seconds and eventually lost by 14, shooting 32.6 percent and committing 17 turnovers.
It’s what they do. So Bone’s future at WSU is hanging by a thread, even as he has two years left on a seven-year deal that would pay him $1.7 million ...