March 31, 2009
Tony Bennett arrived at approximately 2:10am on Tuesday. Just 12 hours later, the newest Wahoo was meeting with his players and talking about the upcoming season. Bennett met with the team on Tuesday afternoon, and says that he hopes it marked the start of a nice relationship.
Meanwhile, changes are taking place inside John Paul Jones Arena. The area outside the basketball offices had been decorated with pictures and biographies of the Dave Leitao coaching staff, but those items are in the process of being removed, making room to educate Cavalier fans on Bennett and his new coaching staff.
Speaking of that staff, the Daily Progress is reporting that Bennett may have his eye on Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay to fill one of the spots. McKay has found success at Liberty, and would provide knowledge of the area for Bennett. The new head coach may also bring assistant Ron Sanchez with him as well, who has coached with Bennett during the last six seasons.
Bennett's Washington State team won 26 games in each of his first two seasons, but fell off a bit in terms of wins and losses this past year. The Cougars finished 17-16 and were ousted in the first round of the NIT, but Bennett's roster featured seven true freshmen and two redshirt freshmen. Washington State finished 8-10 in the Pac10, but eight of those ten conference losses were by ten points or less, with three of them coming by two points. The conference also was greatly improved, as six of the ten teams eclipsed the 20 win plateau.
Tune into CBS19 Wednesday at 1:00pm to see the Tony Bennett news conference live, or right here on www.wcav.tv in live streaming video.