Dave Boling: David Riley might be a diamond, but if hiring process is any indication, the shine is definitely off WSU

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Apr. 2—David Riley looks legit. Credentials. Experience. Eye test. Local connections.

He would have been a solid decision if he’d been the first candidate for Washington State’s new head basketball coach.

Wish you nothing but good luck, coach, because you’re going to be starting from scratch.

Somehow, after almost comically botching the job search for the new coach, the landing of Riley could be a winner for the WSU basketball program.

But the process was an embarrassment.

Through it all, the market has spoken, loudly and unequivocally. It has told WSU: You ain’t what you thought you were.

Certainly not the athletic department. Or, more specifically, those souls left in the building trying to hold things together in the absence of athletic director Pat Chun, who left for emerald pastures at Washington a couple of days after Kyle Smith decamped for the hoops job at Stanford.

Surely, Chun was back-channeling with Washington for some time while plotting his escape route. Maybe it’s because I’m paid to be suspicious, but I think it’s fair to wonder how much effort Chun put into trying to keep Smith from leaving WSU, while he was busy packing for Seattle.

Maybe they didn’t have a chance to keep Smith, anyway. He was a finalist for national coach of the year for getting the Cougars into the NCAA Tournament.

That WSU twice dipped into the Big Sky Conference ranks while searching for a replacement for the well-regarded Smith proves that WSU now has to look in somewhat lesser talent pools.

And that’s not meant as an insult to either Riley or Montana State coach Matt Logie, who reportedly turned down an offer from WSU to stay with the Bobcats and make a fraction of what he presumably would have been paid in Pullman.

Look at it from this perspective. When they hired Smith five years ago, he had three 20-plus-win seasons at San…

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/dave-boling-david-riley-might-035900542.html

Author : The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

Publish date : 2024-04-03 03:59:00

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