Oregon head coach Ernie Kent shouts to his team during the second half of their NCAA college basketball game with Southern California Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, in Eugene, Ore. (Rick Bowmer)
Ernie Kent has arrived, the coaching staff is taking shape and the Washington State Cougars are on their way to a culture shift, at least that’s the hope. Some of that depends on how this new coaching staff can recruit, but most of it for now is on how they can deal with the players that are on the roster now.
The question begs; does Kent think he can do it with the roster as-is, or will he look to make a few more changes than expected to speed up the process? In other words is some of the current roster on the way out?
Ever since Kent’s arrival, the team has been super excited about the future. For guys like DaVonte Lacy, Royce Woolridge, Junior Longrus, Ike Iroegbu, Que Johnson and a couple others the excitement has got to be off the charts. But there are a select few who might be a little worried about their standing in the locker room, let alone the lineup.
Kent already has a spot to fill with a new Coug-recruit and Garfield’s Tremaine Isabell along with Chicago’s Jermaine Morgan and Vallejo (CA) product Jalen Canty (coming on football scholarship) are presumably on the way as well. But will the coach have a talk with someone to give them the ole’ heave-ho? Or is there anyone who just wants an out with the knowledge that they won’t get much of a shot?
There’s usually a defector or two when these coaching changes happen, we saw that all too clearly when Mike Leach was hired to replace Paul Wulff. We shouldn’t be surprised to see it happen again. If it does, look for Kent to find some young talent from the Seattle area or the JC-ranks. Those two spots are go-to areas for the new coach and would allow for easier access than trying to create an in somewhere.
This should be an interesting next couple of months as Kent and his new staff retool this team.