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Posts tagged: Ernie Kent

Ernie Kent Q&A: coaching confidence

Since arriving at WSU, Ernie Kent has said that the greatest barrier between the Cougars and success is a lack of confidence.

None of the players, who probably won a great deal in high school, have won much in their collegiate careers and Kent thinks that reminding them what it's like to dominate on the court will put them in a mindset to once again be successful.

But is confidence possible to coach? Kent says yes.

“A lot of what we do in our basketball program is to wrap our arms around these young men and give them the opportunity that we're in this together and have them grow internally,” Kent said during today's WSU press conference.

“A lot of them need to grow internally because of what they've been through in their lives, but at the end of the day the fact that they're on a Division I campus, for some of them and what they've gone through in their personal lives, are already a success,” he added. “And need to empty their backpacks of lack of confidence and guilt, fear, shame, whatever, and let's move forward. So, we spend a lot of time talking about that every day, to get them where they need to be mentally before we even get to the floor to practice or play a game.”

The Cougars sure looked more confident in a 91-71 pasting of Texas-San Antonio last week but will obviously face a much bigger challenge against No. 9 Gonzaga tomorrow.

Kent spoke about WSU's upcoming game and much more today. We've got video and a transcription, after the jump.

Looking back at the UTSA win

Washington State's 91-71 win over Texas San-Antonio on Saturday was insightful, but not indicative.

The Cougars are likely to win every game in which they shoot 60 percent on 3-point attempts and they are unlikely to come close to that success rate very often, so there's not a whole lot to be gleaned from yesterday's shooting performance other than that DaVonte Lacy appears to have found his shot and the team is shooting with more confidence.

But there is still a lot to dissect from yesterday's game and we'll do just that, and pass along the game book, after the jump.

Lacy and the Cougars get hot against UTSA

Washington State dominated Texas-San Antonio despite some struggles with turnovers. You can overcome a lot when you shoot like the Cougars did on Saturday.

My game story is after the jump.

Video: Ernie Kent after UTSA

A transcription of Kent's remarks is after the jump.

WSU basketball: posts need to step up

Josh Hawkinson has been Washington State's best basketball player in 2014 and continued his strong play yesterday.

The 6-foot-10 forward scored 16 points and collected 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

Hawkinson played 33 minutes in WSU's 77-71 loss to Idaho on Wednesday. All of WSU's other posts combined to total just 35 minutes, and that's including 13 minutes from Brett Boese, who is a guard that's playing wing in a post's body.

Apart from the sophomore from Shoreline the Cougars are getting very little out of their big men and it's causing problems for the rest of the team.

Read on after the jump.

Vandals finally triumph in hardwood Battle of the Palouse

The next time Idaho senior Connor Hill sees his Washington State men's basketball friends around the Palouse, he might just have some trash-talking words to say. 

In a friendly manner of course. 

Idaho and Washington State unofficially scrimmage each other over the summer up to three times a week. And for the last four summers Hill has had to heard the crowing of Cougars about their annual triumphs in the Battle of the Palouse. 

Hill, a senior from Post Falls, will now be doing the crowing. 


Kent addresses first-half suspensions

Today Washington State men's basketball coach Ernie Kent answered questions from the media, including a few about his decision to suspend Aaron Cheatum, Ny Redding and Que Johnson for the first half of WSU's 71-43 loss to UC Santa Barbara in the opening round of the Great Alaskan Shootout.

The players were late to a team meeting and Kent took the opportunity for a teaching moment, while acknowledging that the episode probably put the Cougars “out of whack” in that game.

Cheatum is a junior, Redding is a freshman while Johnson is a sophomore.

“The fact that they held up 22 other people, when you talk about players, managers, sports information director people that are in our team meeting and not come on time: No. 1 it's disrespectful, No. 2 you've got to understand the importance of this and what we're trying to get done out here,” Kent said. “The message was sent, it was received and probably cost us a game one way or another and if we learn something from it, that's OK.”

Johnson only played four minutes in WSU's next game, a 76-74 victory over Rice but that does not appear to have been influenced by the previous game's suspension as Redding started and played 30 minutes.

The entire transcript of Kent's press conference is after the jump.

Behind the scenes with WSU basketball

Tonight at 7 p.m. the Pac-12 Networks will air a feature on the Washington State basketball team and new coach Ernie Kent during “Pac-12 Sports Report.” Prior to coaching the Cougars, Kent was a Pac-12 Network college basketball commentator.

WSU wins, can still finish fourth

Washington State beat Rice, 76-74, behind 27 points from sophomore forward Josh Hawkinson.

The Cougars will play at 2 p.m. on Saturday against Missouri State in the 4th play/6th place game of the Great Alaskan Shootout. After WSU (2-3) couldn't get anything fall in a 71-43 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, the Cougars' shooting numbers against the Owls were their best of the season.

We have box scores and notes from the game after the jump.

Unloading the quote book: Ernie Kent wins first as WSU coach

It wasn't pretty, but Washington State men's basketball coach doesn't expect many wins to come in that fashion in his first year at the helm in Pullman. 

Friday night's 80-68 win over Idaho State at Beasley Coliseum showed as much. 

I unload my quote book from Kent and players after the jump. 

ROOT picks up WSU at TCU

Washington State's basketball game at TCU tonight just got a little easier for fans in the Northwest to watch because ROOT Sports just picked up the 5 p.m. broadcast. Previously the game was only scheduled to be televised on Fox Sports Southwest Plus.

Ernie Kent and the Cougars (0-1) will try to pick up their first win tonight as they take on former Stanford coach Trent Johnson and the Horned Frogs. Last season TCU beat the Cougars 64-62 in Pullman.

WSU basketball: box score and a couple thoughts

Tonight I covered Washington State's NCAA Division One Soccer Championship game against Seattle University, so I didn't catch the men's basketball team's game against Utep. Because of that, my usual post game blog post will be brief. But I've still got a couple notes.

The box score is below, final thoughts are after the jump.



WSU basketball signs four

Today the basketball fall signing period began and new WSU coach Ernie Kent's recruiting class got its faxes in quickly.

All four expected signees sent in their National Letters of Intent by noon, giving the Cougars a class full of lanky, versatile players. Three players are 6-foot-7 or taller and only one of them is a traditional post. Two of WSU's signees were recruited out of junior colleges, while another will likely delay his enrollment by a year to attend prep school.

“The particular style of basketball that we play requires a certain skill level, and what I mean by “skill,” the ability to pass, dribble and shoot the basketball at a fast pace, in a fast-paced system and we feel like the four young men that committed to us, all of them fit our style of play,” Kent said during an afternoon press conference.

“They all can score the basketball, they all have a really high basketball IQ on the play, particularly in quick-thinking situations where they have to make split decisions in transition or in the half court. So their skill set is very good and we're very comfortable with the group we picked up.”

Follow the jump to see what Kent had to say about each individual recruit, as well as a Signing Day Q&A with the Cougars coach.

Ernie Kent and DaVonte Lacy at media day

Here is a transcript of Washington State basketball coach Ernie Kent and senior guard DaVonte Lacy's remarks to the media at Pac-12 media day:

Pac-12 basketball: media day

The Pac-12 is having its annual media day get together of men's basketball coaches, players and media today and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. you can watch the action live on the Pac-12 Networks or right here.

At some point in the next few hours we'll also get the official results from the preseason Pac-12 media poll. This will consists of Arizona followed by the other 11 teams in one order or another.

For the record, here is how I voted: 1. Arizona 2. Utah 3. Colorado 4. UCLA 5. Stanford 6. Cal 7. Washington 8. Washington State 9. Arizona State 10. USC 11. Oregon State 12. Oregon

The schedule of player and coach appearances we'll be working off of today is after the jump.

WSU basketball adds junior college guard


It's been a long grind and I been at the game for so long but it's just the beginning just wanna thank all the people who have been supporting me my whole life and special my parents and my siblings love all you and I'm proud to be committed to Washington state university!!! #holdthat #pac12 #family 🙌🙌🙌

View on Instagram


Shooting guard Rendard Suggs out of Gillette College in Wyoming, broke the news on Instagram that he intends to play basketball for Ernie Kent at Washington State in 2015. If his commitment holds Suggs will be the fourth known member of WSU's 2015 class, joining high school seniors Jeff Pollard and Robert Franks, as well as fellow junior college player Derrien King.

Suggs is the first backcourt player in WSU's 2015 recruiting class.

The guard is a sophomore this season so he will have two eligible seasons at WSU with a redshirt season available. He averaged 14.2 points per game last season while shooting 43 percent from the field.

The 6-foot-2 Suggs is originally from Woodbury, Minnesota.

Here are some highlights from his high school days.

WSU basketball lands 6-8 wing

Derrien King, a six-foot-eight wing from Los Angeles, California has given a verbal commitment to coach Ernie Kent to play at Washington State, according to multiple reports.

King's commitment appears to have been first announced on the Twitter page of his AAU team, the Compton Magic. It was later confirmed by recruiting websites such as and

King was apparently on campus this weekend for an official visit and gave his commitment to Kent during the trip.

Kent has now two known recruits in the 2015 class: King and power forward Jeff Pollard from Utah. DaVonte Lacy, Dexter Kernich-Drew, and Jordan Railey are all seniors on WSU's full roster, so unless there is some attrition Kent will have one more scholarship to offer in this class.

Here's an article on King from the Los Angeles Sports Journal.

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.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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