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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WSU basketball heads to the Virgin Islands for Paradise Jam

Washington State coach Ernie Kent won’t have the services of four-star recruit Roberto Gittens this season. (Young Kwak / AP)
Washington State coach Ernie Kent won’t have the services of four-star recruit Roberto Gittens this season. (Young Kwak / AP)

PULLMAN – Washington State coach Ernie Kent was so pleased with his team’s trip to Italy this summer, he could not wait to take another journey away from the continental United States.

The Cougars (2-0) will spend the next three days in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, playing in the Paradise Jam and testing themselves against some of the best competition they will see all year.

“It’s great for them to go on a trip right now, “ Kent said. “Because, No. 1, it’s going to create adversity and anytime you go through adversity, you start to define the identity of your team. Even going down to the Tri-Cities and playing at the Toyota Center is good because it’s a road trip, even though you’re around your fans.”

The Cougars will begin play at 5:30 p.m. Friday against No. 22 Creighton, a team that just knocked off No. 9 Wisconsin. The Bluejays are the only ranked team in the tournament. This game will not be televised.

“It’s going to be a real fun game,” Ike Iroegbu said. “We know they’re a good team and we know we are, too, so we’re excited to go to the Virgin Islands and play.”

The winner and loser of that game will play the winner and loser of Friday’s game between Montana and North Carolina State. The losers will play on Saturday at 3 p.m. while the winners will take a day off before playing on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Both that game and Monday’s 5:30 p.m. championship game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

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