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Posts tagged: WSU basketball

Highlights from each school’s Pac-12 media day session

USC: The Trojans have six new players this season, including highly-touted freshman point guard Jordan McLaughlin. Head coach Andy Enfield expects McLaughlin, ranked No. 4 nationally among point guard recruits by ESPN, to contribute immediately.

“Jordan is a terrific student-athlete,” Enfield said. “He's a student of the game. He understands where his teammates need to be. He lead's by example, he's a very hard worker, he has an amazing attitude … We're expecting big things from him. I think he came to USC for that opportunity, to be relied upon as a freshman. He'll have that opportunity as a freshman.

WSU: DaVonte Lacy is known for feeling a kinship with the jungle's king. He has a huge lion tattoo on his left arm that reads “Soul of a Lion” and his philosophy on social media is that a “lion does not concern himself with the opinions of sheep.”

It sounds like new Cougars coach Ernie Kent may have found his spirit animal as well.

“Having been out of (coaching) for four years, the definition I use, I feel like I've been a big bear in hibernation and now you get a chance to come out and eat!” Kent said.

We have more Pac-12 media day highlights after the jump.

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 men’s basketball media poll

The Pac-12 men's basketball media poll was released today and, as expected, for the fourth consecutive season Arizona was picked to finish first, followed by Utah, Colorado and UCLA. Washington State was picked to finish No. 11 and Oregon State is projected to finish in last place by a wide margin.

The poll is after the jump.

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

 
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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.

Robert Franks joins WSU 2015 recruiting class

Yesterday Scout.com's Josh Gershon reported that Robert Franks, a 6-foot-7 forward from Evergreen High in Vancouver has given a verbal commitment to play basketball for Ernie Kent at Washington State. The above video shows Franks making what was certainly one of the most incredible shots in Washington high school basketball last season.

The All-State forward averaged 19 points and eight rebounds last season and was also believed to have a scholarship offer to play for Portland. According to this premium article by Braulio Perez, Franks is expected to be a face-up forward in Kent's system and will guard posts on defense.

Franks is the third member of WSU's 2015 recruiting class, joining Derrien King and Jeff Pollard.

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 Rivals.com and Scout.com.

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.

Morning after links

Washington State overcame an early deficit to take a solid lead against Rutgers in Seattle yesterday, but was unable to sustain it, eventually falling 41-38.

Links from that game and from around the Pac-12 are after the jump.

Lunchtime Links: Meanwhile, in China …

While most of Pullman has been gearing up for fall sports season, DaVonte Lacy and the Pac-12 All-Stars have been barnstorming around China and beating up on professional teams. The All-Stars are 2-0, both blowout victories, and Lacy has been a solid contributor averaging 6.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and three assists per game.

The All-Stars will face their toughest test tomorrow in the Shanghai Sharks, former NBA All-Star Yao Ming's old team that he now owns. The Sharks have a couple former American college basketball stars in Quincy Douby and Darnell Jackson, so the All-Stars should get a good test. Unfortunately, it appears that the team will no longer face the Guandong Southern Tigers and former NBA lottery pick Yi Jianlian.

We have a couple links to pass along after the jump.

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.)

DaVonte Lacy heads back to China

Washington State senior guard DaVonte Lacy has been chosen to participate as one of 13 Pac-12 men's basketball players who will play in a four-game All-Star tour of China this summer. The tour is part of the conference's Globalization Initiative, which aims to market the conference to international fans.

Utah's Larry Krystkowiak will coach the team, which includes players from every member school except Oregon and UCLA. 

It will be at least the second basketball-related trip to China for Lacy, who led the Cougars with 19.4 points per game last season. He also competed internationally in Jamaica through Athletes in Action.

WSU's press release explains a bit about what the athletes will be doing abroad:

The Pac-12 All-Star team will face a Chinese university all-star team and play three games against teams from the Chinese Basketball Association, including the Shanghai Sharks. Eight-time NBA All-Star Yao Ming owns the Sharks. Max Zhang, a former CALIFORNIA student-athlete has been the center for the Sharks since his return to China in 2010. It will also play the Guangdong Southern Tigers, the 2013-14 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) regular season champion. The Tigers' leading Chinese scorer is Yi Jianlian, who played for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks under Krystkowiak during the 2007-08 season before returning to the CBA in 2012.

In addition to the competition in China, the team will participate in various youth clinics, as well as take in the culture and history of China with visits to various landmarks and historical sites in the cities of Shanghai, Nantong and Shenzhen. 

A full roster and tentative schedule is after the jump.

… 

Pac-12 announces a new championship game site, also links

For the next three years the Pac-12 football championship game will be held at an ostensibly neutral site: Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. While fans are sure to point out that the location is a lot less neutral for some schools than others, it's a change from the prior practice of having one of the participants host.

The change was doubtlessly spurred by the desire to guarantee that the game will take place in a large, modern stadium. If UCLA hosts in the Rose Bowl that's fine, but when Oregon State or Washington State win the North, the conference could have had real logistical problems (read: not enough money) staging the event.

It should be quite a venue. Levi's is the new home of the San Francisco 49ers and is scheduled to host the 2016 Super Bowl, and the Fight Hunger Bowl starting this season. It seats 68,500 including luxury suites and club seats.

The conference issues a press release that said things like:

“Pac-12 football is among the deepest and best football conferences in the country,” said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. “Our Football Championship Game is important for selecting a team for the Rose Bowl and possibly the College Football Playoff, and we are thrilled to offer student-athletes and their fans the ultimate venue to culminate a successful season.”
And:
“This is a positive move for our institutions and fan bases,” said Scott. The neutral site location will allow us to showcase the Conference, our member institutions and important initiatives on a big stage, as well as treat fans to multiple events during championship week, concluded Scott.”

The Cougars have been in the news again lately so follow the jump for some links.

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.

Updated: How WSU fared in the APR report

Today, the NCAA released its Academic Progress Rates, a metric for calculating a team's academic performance. Teams are recognized for high APR achievement but also punished for low scores, including potential ineligibility from postseason play.

The APR rates used to determine academic consequences are based on a four-year rolling average. The current scores are the average calculated from the end of the 2012-13 academic year.

The Washington State women's volleyball team faces a Level One penalty after receiving a multi-year APR of 929. That score would be enough to declare the Cougars ineligible from postseason play, but because the team has shown significant academic progress they were granted a lesser penalty. According to the NCAA, “Level One penalties focus on practice restrictions, allowing teams to use that time to focus on academics. Teams facing this penalty lose four hours and one day of practice time per week in season, replaced with academic activities. This year, 42 teams face this level of penalty.”

In this case the Cougars are still paying for the performance of the team under the previous coaching staff, which scored and 837 in 2010-11, their final year. The volleyball team posted a perfect score of 1,000 in the 2012-13 academic year  under coach Jen Greeny. In fact, nine WSU programs posted perfect scores of 1,000 this year, although only women's basketball has a perfect 1,000 four-year average.

They were followed closely by women's cross country (991), men's golf (986) and women's golf (981).

““I am very appreciative and proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff for their continued dedication and efforts in reaching for academic success, and the most recent NCAA data fully supports their hard work,” WSU athletic director Bill Moos said in a press release. “They place their academic pursuits on par with their athletic endeavors and I continue to be pleased at what they are able to accomplish and how well they represent this fine university.”

More on WSU's APR performance after the jump.

“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.”

 

Wednesday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Well, the 2013-14 Washington State football season is in the books. Or maybe we've just finished the first chapter of the 2014-15 one. The “chicken or the egg” of college football.

The Cougars had practice No. 15 yesterday, kicking off the offseason. Here is our practice report and our story on Graham Harrell, the newest member of the coaching staff. We've also got a baseball notebook.

A look at some Oregon State salaries … Which Pac-12 players might go in the NFL Draft's first round … Former Cal quarterback Zach Kline won't be heading to Oregon State after all … Next year the Pac-12 Networks show The Drive will feature UCLA.

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