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Three Cups: Ernie Kent Must Develop Washington State’s Talent


Three Cups of Coffee and a side of sports

After Ken Bone’s departure from the Washington State University men’s basketball program, who will take over? The new face of Cougar Basketball: Ernie Kent, a coach with more wins on his resume than any other in the history of WSU.

You may recognize him as a broadcast analyst for the Pac-12 Network, or the former basketball coach for Oregon. Kent’s resume is anything but lacking, with two NIT Final Four appearances and a presence at five NCAA tournaments, as well as two to the Elite 8.

The new hire could not come at a better time for a team that has lacked prime recruits, always the roster is dwindling as players graduate, and the openings will only increase in the coming years. In fact the amount of talent to leave in the next two years could be a reason for the new hire this year. This is about more than what’s here, it’s about the prospect of what’s coming, and it didn’t look any better than the 11th place finishes these past couple of years would indicate. Kent is known as a quality recruiter.

Tramaine Isabell and Jermaine Morgan are two key recruits signed for 2014. Jalen Canty is another big recruit coming, and he’s doing something you don’t see all too often; playing basketball and football simultaneously here at WSU. There’s also still a roster spot available, which Kent should undoubtedly be able to fill with a Pac-12 caliber talent with his connections. The talent of recruits coming in gives hope to a vast improvement of the program. But maybe just as importantly, the development needs to keep up.

The Cougars had a tough season this year, but with such big changes comes an opportunity to break old habits and revitalize the program. It will be interesting to see what the program becomes with the new incoming recruits, a new coach, and a new season with a blank slate.