For all of the wrong decisions of the 1990s, it turned around quickly in the early 2000s. New athletic director Jim Schaus fired Randy Smithson and brought in Mark Turgeon, who by his third season had WSU with 18 wins and third in the Valley.
Just as importantly, these now-winning Shockers were playing a season in the Kansas Coliseum while the Roundhouse was undergoing a Schaus-initiated $25 million renovation that again made it a college basketball jewel.
Turgeon began a string of three 20-win seasons – WSU’s first such streak since 1983 – that culminated in 2006 with the program’s first conference championship in 23 years. In the NCAA Tournament as a 7-seed, WSU dominated Seton Hall in the first round, then used big baskets from Karon Bradley and P.J. Couisnard to beat 2-seed Tennessee 80-73 to reach its first Sweet 16 since 1981.
WSU was able to keep Turgeon another year before he left for Texas A&M. Then came Schaus’ third big decision of the decade, hiring tournament-seasoned Winthrop coach Gregg Marshall. Rebuilding with seasons of 11 and 17 wins, by the turn of the decade he was beginning a run of 20-win seasons that shows no sign of stopping.
|Off the bench|
|Season||Overall||MVC (Finish)||Coach||Top scorer|
|1999-2000||12-17||6-12 (T9th)||Randy Smithson||Jason Perez (20.2)|
|2000-01||9-19||4-14 (9th)||Mark Turgeon||Terrell Benton (12.8)|
|2001-02||15-15||9-9 (5th)||Mark Turgeon||Randy Burns (12.1)|
|2002-03||18-12**||12-6 (3rd)||Mark Turgeon||Randy Burns (15.1)|
|2003-04||21-11**||12-6 (T2nd)||Mark Turgeon||Jamar Howard (13.8)|
|2004-05||22-10**||12-6 (2nd)||Mark Turgeon||Randy Burns (12.1)|
|2005-06||26-9*||14-4 (1st)||Mark Turgeon||Paul Miller (13.1)|
|2006-07||17-14||8-10 (6th)||Mark Turgeon||Kyle Wilson (13.7)|
|2007-08||11-20||4-14 (9th)||Gregg Marshall||P.J. Couisnard (13.2)|
|2008-09||17-17||8-10 (5th)||Gregg Marshall||Clevin Hannah (11.2)|
* – NCAA Tournament; ** – National Invitation Tournament