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Bennett spurns Indiana

Posted by Jeff Nusser on March 30, 2008

As I suspected. It doesn’t mean that other programs might not come calling, but if he’s turning down Indiana — still one of the premier programs in college basketball, despite the instability — there’s probably not a lot out there that can lure him away.

If all this talk of Bennett and other jobs has you nervous, think of it this way: He’s now turned down Indiana to stay at Washington State. Think about how that would make you feel about your future if Tony Bennett is recruiting you?


14 Responses to “Bennett spurns Indiana”

  1. Grady said

    LSU is now the only school that would be of any concern IMO, but even they can’t offer the salary and resources that Indiana can. Still, I won’t fully exhale until we get the “I’m not going anywhere” statement from Tony himself. But still, WSU over Indiana? To a casual college hoops fan that sounds crazy, but I think those of us that have been in Pullman for a while know the reason. (By the way, it’s snowing in the Lentil Capital)

    I noticed my blog made it under your “coug links”. Thanks for the nod, I appreciate it.

  2. BillG said

    I’m not surprised. When Dick Bennett came he said he wanted to build a program. That job is not done yet despite an outstanding 2 years. I don’t think LSU is a fit unless Tony changes his offensive style. Regardless, I think the biggest reason he stayed is because of timing.

    I think this is my first comment but I have enjoyed this sight this year. Keep up the good work.

  3. johnnycougar said

    Wait, did I miss something? Not directed specifically at “Grady” but also the ESPN and FoxSports reports…LSU? The team that finished 8th in the SEC and had the worst overall record in the SEC? 0-6 in all their Final Four appearances? Except for their awesome FF run a couple years ago and a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2000, they haven’t been any good since the late eighties. If Tony wouldn’t go to INDIANA (tho the incoming penalties may have been a factor) why on earth would he leave a rising team off it’s best year ever for the scum of the SEC? Just because his wife’s family is around there? My parents always told me to go make my career and then try to move close to home when I am successful enough to go wherever I wish, and I would think that Bennett’s in-laws feel the same way.
    I don’t think Tony wants to start over, which is what he’d be doing at LSU. I know we’re graduating our best players but he seems genuinely excited by the incoming recruits and I think he wants to see if he can win the Pac 10 championship before he would consider leaving.

  4. Grady said

    To johnyncougar: Andy Katz hinted at Bennett possibly being interested in LSU, but as far as I know that’s pure speculation. LSU is actually an appealing program. They have money, resources, and a good location. They may have also already found their man in VCU coach and former FL assistant Anthony Grant, which would be a perfect fit IMO. They also don’t have a new athletic director lined up yet, which is going to be a huge issue if they do try to go after Tony.

    But to try to answer your question, the speculation is based entirely on the fact that Laurel is from Baton Rouge, and still has family there. But if Tony doesn’t think IU, which is closer to his family, is a good fit, I doubt he’ll think of LSU as a good fit. If he was in it purely for the money, he would’ve gone to Indiana.

  5. johnnycougar said

    Thanks Grady for the thoughts. I too believe that it was speculation due to his wife’s family. I probably underestimated the appeal of LSU as a program with money & location, but I still think the rebuilding process would be a dealbreaker for a “hot coach.” I agree, the VCU guy probably is a very good choice, as he clearly has proven his ability at a smaller school.
    Did you guys hear that the San Diego and St. Mary’s head coaches are finalists for the Oregon State job? Either way, it’ll be a little more intense next year.

  6. '03 Couve Coug said

    In my humble opinion, the speculation is basically the national media throwing something at the wall and seeing if it will stick. Katz, Forde, and all of the other national “experts” are simply mentioning every opening they think is “better” opportunity for Coach Tony, and if something ends up happening, they get to look like insiders. If (or should I say when) nothing happens, they simply say, “Oh well, guess I was wrong…” There reporting on this situation in my estimation has been almost pure speculation.

  7. BillG said

    Looks like Oregon State is going to go with Grier. He’s a solid choice and will do a good job at OSU. Sad he only stayed at USD for 1 year. The school gave him a shot and 1 year later is looking around again.

  8. Nuss said

    If you’re curious, this is a nice take from

  9. nwsportsblog said

    The Marquette opening has to look pretty appealing for Coach Bennett.

  10. Alan said

    i dont think anything could look as appealing to tony as bringing in his first round of top-tier recruits after rebuilding a program from the ground up. all this hype about TB leaving for a different school will happen every year WSU makes the tourny (it will be twice as bad when they make the 16 or better).
    the only reason TB would leave (and trust me, he will eventually leave) would be to challenge himself further (whether that be in a different conference or the “Association”) or from friction with the AD/school on adequate practice facilities to develop his talent in.

  11. Nuss said

    Uh, Marquette does not look better to Tony than Indiana. And since he already turned Indiana down, we have nothing to worry about at this point. And that includes LSU. The guy the Tigers really want is VCU’s Anthony Grant, and he isn’t sold on LSU’s commitment to basketball. They’re going to have a new chancellor, and the basketball facilities pale in comparison to football’s.

    Relax, people.

  12. nwsportsblog said

    Well, I’m betting Marquette makes a run at him. They will offer him $2 million, a team Final Four ready, and a chance to come home to Wisconsin. Do we think he’ll go? No, we don’t. But, this opening is much more attractive than sanctions-coming Indiana.

  13. BillG said

    Well, maybe not a team “Final Four” ready. Some of their fans are concerned if they are going to have enought talent to even make the Tournament next season. I think they may have lost a few players/recruits.

    I am starting to think I wasn’t too logical when I was trying to logically speculate about Bennett’s interest in Marquette. In any event, logic says he stays in Pullman anyway.

  14. nwsportsblog said

    Yes, Bennett is staying in Pullman. WSU is ready to announce a new extension for him any time.

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