All eyes on Bone after WSU loss to Stanford

Bone instructs Shelton vs. Stanford on Wednesday

LAS VEGAS – The Washington State Cougars put up a tough fight Wednesday against Stanford but the outcome -- a loss -- was all-too-familiar for a program that has dropped 40 games over the last two years. It remains to be seen if the Cougars will now put a wrap on Ken Bone's WSU coaching tenure.

"I have not been told a thing about my future at Washington State," Bone said after the 74-63 loss to the Cardinal in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament.

Asked if he expects to be back, Bone said, "I sure hope so. I have two years left on my contract."

Bone's original seven-year contract includes guaranteed payments of $850,000 ($1.7 million total) each of the next two seasons. Athletic director Bill Moos has repeatedly said the money owed Bone will not prevent him from firing the coach if he believes it is best for the program.

Bone said Moos has not set up a meeting between the two. Moos did not respond to a Wednesday morning email seeking comment on Bone's future.

"It's unfortunate if he doesn't come back," junior guard DaVonte Lacy said.

Asked if he expects Bone to return, senior forward D.J. Shelton said, "I don't know. No comment."

Bone, 80-86 in five years at WSU (29-61 in conference play), fell to 0-5 all-time at the Pac-10/12 Tournament. He broke a tie with former Arizona State coach Rob Evans for the worst coaching record in tournament history.

Washington State finished the season 10-21 overall, 3-15 in the Pac-12 and 0-3 against Stanford. The 11th-seeded Cougars trailed the sixth-seeded Cardinal (20-11) by four points or less much of the way and briefly led 50-47 before Stanford responded with a 10-0 run to take the lead for good.

"I think we played well," Shelton said.

"We've played better," Bone said, "but we didn't play badly.

"I think Stanford deserves credit. A number of those kids played well. They hit big shots down the stretch."

The Cardinal shot a sizzling 58.5 percent from the field, the top mark by a WSU opponent this season. The Cougars shot just 39.6 percent in their 17th straight loss to a Pac-12 opponent outside Pullman. The 11 losses this season included a home game against Colorado played in Spokane over Christmas break.

The game included six lead changes and seven ties.

Stanford's length and athleticism proved difficult for the Cougars to handle at both ends of the court. The Cardinal repeatedly struck quickly in response to WSU baskets when the Cougars began to build momentum.

Stanford's two first-team all-conference players, guard Chasson Randle and forward Dwight Powell, led the Cardinal with 22 and 16 points, respectively.

Lacy and Shelton played hard and well. Lacy scored a game-high 25 points, and joined WSU's 1,000-career-points club. Shelton had 15 points and 11 rebounds, marking his 13th double-double of the season. WSU fans made up a small portion of the official crowd of 9,047, half of which left after the Oregon-Oregon State that kicked off the evening session.

Lacy and Shelton were asked how they will remember this season.

"Rough," Lacy said. "It was very, very rough."

"Losing," Shelton said. "I mean, it was a lot of losses.

"But I really enjoyed this team – the guys (teammates), the coaches. Everyone's of high character. It made it fun, even though we were losing. We still came back the next day and worked harder."

DEXTER KERNICH-DREW CHIPPED IN 11 POINTS.


JUNIOR LONGRUS HAD THE ONLY FIELD GOAL OF THE GAME FOR ANY PLAYER OFF THE BENCH FOR EITHER TEAM.


DaVONTE LACY SCORED 25 POINTS AND JOINED THE 1,000-CAREER-POINT CLUB.


D.J. SHELTON POSTED YET ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOUBLE.


ROYCE WOOLRIDGE STRUGGLED FROM THE FIELD, GOING 3 FOR 11.

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