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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ernie Kent after Oregon State


 

ERNIE KENT

(Opening statement)

A great senior day for Oregon State and I thought it was a great environment over here. And again it was the same old story for us. I felt like, again, we left points on the floor, particularly in the first half. We had opportunities to score, make a few more plays that would have made the game more interesting in the second half. By not doing it they got confidence, and I thought they played with a tremendous amount of freedom and energy in that second half, with a great crowd on Senior Day for them.

(How has OSU improved so rapidly under Wayne Tinkle?)

You've got to Tinkle. I've just seen it on TV. The biggest thing is they get players, the fans are back and the style of play is great. That's what I can see from afar, but you have to talk to him about the inner workings. They are a program that's not been to the tournament now since I think 1990. So just keep all that in mind right now. He's on his way. They need to close out and do some things to have that opportunity, but that's a long time not to have NCAA tournament opportunity for a school and for a program.

(How impressive is it that Drew Eubanks and Tres Tinkle play so well as true freshmen?)

I think they've become big contributors because they started out contributors. He had to play those freshmen early and they've kind of gone through the fires, and here they are playing well having gone through the season. We have more veteran players in the program, just now starting to get our freshmen more minutes as we come down the stretch of the season.

(Next year could we see more of Derrien King at the four position?)

It just depends. I've been a guy that loves getting skill on the floor, getting up and down, playing a lot faster, getting speed. I didn't think we played very fast today. We tried to change some things up and put him on the floor, get a little more offense on the floor.

(Feel like you're on the right track as far as building a program?)

Absolutely. And I've done this before. I've been through – we rebuilt St. Mary's and at it's still a championship program today. We rebuilt Oregon and it's still a championship program today. Both of those programs had growing pains like this. They didn't have as many injuries as we had this year. The difference between the two programs – St. Mary's and Oregon had experienced winning in their history, in their past, over the course of the last three, four, five years. This team, this program has not experienced that. So you've got guys in the program – Junior Longrus, Brett Boese – who have never been on a winning team.  Josh Hawkinson, Ike Ireogbu.  So therefore they do not know how to win. You bring in new guys and nobody knows how to win at this level. You have to go through it and come a long way before you get there. This conference has a little bit of a dip next year, we go overseas this summer and play, hopefully learn how to win, we come back and reload it again. We'll see where we're at. So, we've got a lot of work done for less than 24 months done. We've come a long way, because we graduated everybody in the program from the old regime. Everybody's on track to graduate. We're building our fanbase again. We're building our recruiting again. We've put in a style of play. There's a lot that goes into these programs and it doesn't happen overnight, but we feel like we're headed in the right direction.

(Any feedback from Valentine Izundu on what happened when he got hit in the face?)

Just got tangled up. It was a basketball play, nothing big. Charles (Callison) bumped knees, he should be OK too.



Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

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