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WSU Men's Basketball

WSU coach Kyle Smith named to Naismith Coach of the Year late season watch list

Washington State head coach Kyle Smith talks with a referee in the second half of a game against Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman, Wa.  (Geoff Crimmins/For The Spokesman-Review)

TUCSON, Ariz. – Kyle Smith can’t do much wrong at the moment.

Washington State’s head coach, who guided No. 21 WSU to a 77-74 road upset of No. 4 Arizona Thursday night for first place in the Pac-12, has been named to the Naismith Coach of the Year late-season watch list, the organization announced Friday.

Smith, who is guiding the Cougars to their best season since 2008 – the last time the program was ranked and made the NCAA Tournament – joins a list of 14 other coaches, among them UConn coach Dan Hurley and North Carolina’s Hubert Davis.

Smith is responsible for a bevy of superlatives at WSU, which was picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12. The Cougars have an eight-game win streak, the fifth longest in the nation, and they have the best 11-game conference stretch since 1945.

Washington State (21-6, 12-4 Pac-12) returns to action Saturday evening at Arizona State (13-14, 7-9).