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Posts tagged: Ernie Kent

WSU will host Hawaii in Cougar Hardwood Classic

After a one-year hiatus, the Cougar Hardwood Classic is back. Idol Sports and Entertainment announced Tuesday morning that Washington State will host Hawaii on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 in WSU's annual nonconference game in Seattle's KeyArena. WSU is 8-0 in the Cougar Hardwood Classic, which began in 2005, beating teams like Pepperdine, LSU and San Diego State.

“(It) is an excellent opportunity to take our program to Seattle where there are so many great Coug fans ready to come out and support us,” WSU coach Ernie Kent said in a press release. “We are excited to have the chance to continue to grow the event as we battle and outstanding Hawaii team this year. It should make for a great basketball game for all the fans.”

The Cougars are 5-1 all-time against the Warriors, and have won the past four contests between the schools.

Kent lands first 2015 recruit

Ernie Kent has yet to coach a basketball game for Washington State but he's already made headway among recruits who won't be on campus until the season after next, receiving a verbal commitment from forward Jeff Pollard, a member of the class of 2015 who announced his decision with the above tweet. 

Braulio Perez of Cougfan.com spoke with Pollard ($), and the 6-8, 215 pound forward from Bountiful, Utah seems to value defense, telling Perez that it is the strongest part of his game. Southern Utah had reportedly also offered Pollard a scholarship and he told Perez that he was also being recruit by Weber State and the University of Portland.

According to MaxPreps.com, Pollard averaged about nine points and eight rebounds per game as a junior for Bountiful High. Here is a good profile of the newest WSU recruit from Utah's Deseret News.

Trevor Dunbar is headed to WSU

Braulio Perez is reporting that Trevor Dunbar out of St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco has committed to play basketball for Ernie Kent at Washington State. The 5-foot-10 point guard looks pretty crafty in the above video and chose WSU over scholarship offers from Cal Poly, Montana State and others.

Dunbar told Perez that he was planning to visit St. John's as well but has decided to end his recruitment. The diminutive guard scored 40 points against Serra earlier this year. Here is a good article on WSU's newest guard.

The school hasn't acknowledged receiving a signed financial aid agreement from Dunbar yet, but we'll expect a comment from coach Kent when they do. The Cougars still have one more scholarship left to offer, but I would expect them to save it unless they find a big man who can contribute.

(Update: This blog was updated on Monday to reflect that, because the spring signing period is over, Dunbar won't sign a letter of intent with the Cougars, but instead a financial aid agreement. Thanks to Twitter user 7lCoug for catching that.)

WSU releases Tramaine Isabell

Tramaine Isabell has been granted a release from his National Letter of Intent and will not enroll at Washington State, the school confirmed on Wednesday. The point guard was considered in recruiting circles to be the jewel of WSU's 2014 class and was expected to contribute next season.

Isabel was the only remaining signee to original sign under former coach Ken Bone. The class now consists of three players, forward Aaron Cheatum and guards Ny Redding and Jackie Davis.

“We wish Tramaine the very best,” Kent said in a press release. “The future of Cougar basketball is bright. I like the group of young men we have in place now, as well as what we will add in the near future with our available scholarships.”

WSU still has two scholarships available in the class of 2014.

“Ny” Redding signs with WSU

Ernie Kent landed his third basketball recruit at Washington State on Tuesday, and the Cougars fourth in the class of 2015 when Nyaires “Ny” Redding sent in his National Letter of Intent. Redding is a 6-foot-2, 180 pound guard from Solon Ohio via Westwind Prep in Arizona.

“Our system requires us to have very heady guard play and we are continuing to put together a group that we think is going to be outstanding for the future of Washington State basketball,” Kent said in a press release. “In Ny we have a player that is not only smart, but also is very skilled on both ends of the floor.”

Redding last played at the same Westwind Prep that produced current WSU sophomore guard Que Johnson. In fact, he broke Johnson's record for 40 point games in a season, crossing the threshold five times during a season in which he averaged 29.8 points, 8.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He also shot 53 percent from the field and made 89 percent of his free throws.
 
Kent still has one more scholarship to offer in the class of 2014 if he chooses to use it. Saying the Cougars are continuing to put their class together seems to indicate that Kent is open to the idea of signing a fifth player in the class. Besides Redding, the Cougars have received NLOIs from guards Jackie Davis and Tramaine Isabell, and junior college forward Aaron Cheatum.
 
ArizonaPreps.com has an evaluation of Redding's game:
 

Nyaires Redding – The son of a D-I coach and is a very athletic and strong wing.  He is an outstanding ball handler and controls the tempo of the game.  He averages 5.7 assists to every 1 turnover he makes.  He is a mid-major player that has a high ceiling.  He is a lock-down defender.  The negative aspects of his game include his court vision; he tends to make the hard pass instead of the easy one.  He is an NCAA qualifier and carries a 4.0 GPA.

 

 

Jackie Davis signs with WSU

Men's basketball player Jackie Davis signed a national letter of intent with Washington State today, becoming WSU's 11th scholarship player and new coach Ernie Kent's second signee. Here is what we wrote about Davis when he gave a verbal commitment to play for WSU back in April.

Davis is the third player to sign with WSU in the class of 2014, joining junior college forward Aaron Cheatum and point guard Tramaine Isabell from Seattle's Garfield High School, who originally committed to previous coach Ken Bone. The 6-foot-3 guard from Rolling Hills High School in Long Beach, California averaged 23.6 points, 3.6 assists and 5.4 rebounds after transferring from Allen High School in Allen, Texas.

“Jackie Davis is a very versatile basketball player that can play multiple positions,” Kent said in a press release. “He fits perfectly in our system because of his skill set, his ability to pass, dribble and shoot the basketball, and play the game in the open court. He is a very gifted athlete and I'm sure Cougar fans will come to enjoy his athleticism and his ability to play the game.”

 

Sunday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — It was a return to the spotlight for the Washington State football team, which played its spring game yesterday in Spokane in front of a few thousand fans and anyone who wanted to watch it on TV (except you poor DirecTV subscribers). As far as spring games go, it was another one. The Crimson appeared to be the better squad but the game made a game of it once it stopped turning the ball over. I wrote a game story and put up a blog post with some additional thoughts from the game. John Blanchette says that WSU's secondary proved its mettle during the game. Hard to argue with four picks.

We also passed along some statistics from the game as well as a photo gallery from Dan Pelle. Ernie Kent appears to have landed another recruit.

Cal also had its spring game and so did UCLA. However, the Bruins basketball team will lose Jordan Adams after all.

Ernie Kent lands another commitment

We're about to start the spring game here in Spokane but I wanted to pass along the news that Ernie Kent appears to have secured another recruit for the men's basketball team. Jackie Davis has passed on scholarship offers from Tulsa and Penn State according to Josh  Gershon of Scout.com.

ESPN rates Davis the No. 92 point guard in the class of 2014 and a two-star player. A scouting report on the ESPN site says that:

Davis is physical point guard with a Chauncey Billups type of frame. Due to his strength and solid handle, he can carry defenders on his hip and make plays with his head up. He is best in the open court where he separate from pressure…

 

Aaron Cheatum makes it official

From Pullman — After verbally declaring his intentions to sign with Washington State earlier this week, Aaron Cheatum made it official today, sending in his National Letter of Intent and becoming new coach Ernie Kent's first recruit at WSU. The 6-foot-7, 240 pound forward hails from Moreno, Calif. via East Los Angeles Community College where he was named the South Coast Conference Player of the Year after leading his team to a 20-9 record while averaging 15.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

“We are very fortunate to get Aaron so late in the year,” Kent said in a press release. “Aaron is a very good basketball player with an excellent skill set and will fit into how we want to play and our system very well. He has the ability to not only shoot the 3, but also post up and score inside. We are getting not only a very versatile basketball player in Aaron, but also an excellent young man.”

 

Curtis Allen to remain at WSU

From Pullman — The third and final member of men's basketball coach Ernie Kent's staff is a familiar face. Curtis Allen came to WSU as an assistant under former coach Ken Bone and will remain in the same capacity under Kent. Allen was named the team's interim coach by athletic director Bill Moos during the coaching search and has been on the road with Kent recruiting for the past week.

More after the jump.

Get to know Ernie Kent

If you're in Spokane tomorrow, April 9, and would like to get to know WSU's new men's basketball coach drop by the Davenport Hotel in Downtown Spokane from 7-8:30 p.m. for a free reception. It sounds like there will be some food provided, but make sure to RSVP here.

Thursday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Lot of news following a lengthy introductory press conference for new Washington State men's basketball coach Ernie Kent.

  • Here's our story on WSU's buzzy hire.
  • We've got some reaction from WSU signee Tramaine Isabell.
  • Here's some video, notes and quotes from the press conference.
  • Here's Bud Withers' on the column from the presser.
  • And here is one from SportsPressNW's Howie Stalwick.
  • And in football news here are five questions with Sebastian LaRue.

Tramaine Isabell waiting on uncertain future

From Pullman — While the excitement of a new basketball coach had Washington State students in a tizzy this afternoon, it's been a bitter few weeks for WSU signee Tramaine Isabell. The point guard out of Garfield high school in Seattle committed to coach Ken Bone originally and signed a National Letter of Intent in the fall.

More after the jump.

 

Video: Ernie Kent introductory press conference

Ernie Kent was introduced to the media today. We've got a lengthy story for tomorrow's paper but here are some addition details:

  • Kent's contract will be for five years at $1.4 million per year. It begins with a $2 million buyout, which “dwindles” in each subsequent year. At the end of each year athletic director Bill Moos will have the option of adding an additional year.
  • Moos added that he doesn't always add the year, saying, “To tell you the truth, with Ernie at Oreogn we had a couple of off years and I didn’t roll it. And I’ll never forget that he said ‘I’ll earn that back’ and that was 07 when they won the Pac-12 tournament and went to the Elite Eight and lost to Florida, so he got that year back.”
  • Kent runs a continuity motion offense. In that offense the guard positions are interchangeable as are the post positions, hopefully mitigating WSU's lack of a point guard on the roster.
  • Here's Royce Woolridge on the hire: “Extremely excited, once we finally heard who our new coach was we were ecstatic because we were waiting for about a week and a half. There was a lot of anxiety but now that we know it’s coach Kent I’m extremely excited, the whole team is excited.”

 

Follow the jump for videos from Kent's introductory press conference, courtesy of the Pac-12 and WSU athletics.

Tuesday morning Pac-12 inks

From Pullman — Lots of links following yesterday's big news that Ernie Kent was hired as the WSU men's basketball coach. Follow the jump and we'll direct you to the news in bullet form.

5 Questions (and answers) with Ken Goe

Columnist Ken Goe has written for The Oregonian for nearly 37 years now and in that time he's seen just about everything. He watched the Ernie Kent era at Oregon from start to finish and is uniquely qualified to grant some perspective on the new Washington State men's basketball coach. Goe was kind enough to answer five questions about Kent, who was announced as the 18th men's basketball coach at WSU on Wednesday.

Questions and answers after the jump.

Bill Moos has his coach

From Pullman — Ernie Kent is the new men's basketball coach at Washington State and he comes with the endorsement of a former Cougars coach, George Raveling.

“Ernie Kent comes to WSU with sterling credentials and the necessary skill set to take the basketball program to higher levels of achievement. He has been a part of the growth of the Pac-12 from eight teams to 10 teams and now to 12 teams, he has lived the history and growth of the conference. Ernie clearly understands what it takes to achieve success in one the most difficult conferences in the country. Congratulations to ‘Cougar Nation,’ I’m excited about the selection and wish Ernie nothing but success.”
 

For all the news on the Cougars new coach read our story here

Confirmed: Ernie Kent to WSU?

Update[3:30]: I have confirmed that Kent will indeed by WSU's new coach.

 

That's what College AD is saying, breaking the news with the above tweet. The hire makes sense, Washington State athletic director Bill Moos also hired Kent when he was the AD at Oregon and Kent took the Ducks to a pair of Elite Eights. Kent, 59, compiled a 235-174 record at UO and a 109-125 record in the Pac-10.

For the past three years he has worked as a basketball television analyst. Prior to today's presumed announcement Kent was working as an analyst for the Pac-12 networks. 

When the coaching search began Moos stated that his biggest priority was finding someone who could recruit good players, one of Kent's strengths while he was at Oregon. From Washington alone Kent lured future NBA players Aaron Brooks and Luke Ridnour, while also showing the ability to pull stars such as Malik Hairston out of the midwest.

We'll try to confirm the report and keep you updated as new information surfaces.

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