On Friday Ernie Kent and Josh Hawkinson spent their day in San Francisco for the Pac-12 men’s basketball media day previewing the upcoming season.
After a promising seven-win conference season his first year as coach, Kent won just one conference game last season which makes this season full of question marks. WSU lost a handful of players from last year’s team (graduations and transfers), which makes this 2016-2017 as young of a team Kent has ever had.
Not surprisingly, Washington State is projected to finish dead last in the Pac-12 standings. Each year the Pac-12 proves itself as one of the deeper basketball conferences in the country and no conference game for WSU is an easy one.
Of course, there are some bright spots on this Cougar team. Both Hawkinson and Ike Iroegbu are seniors who carry the team offensively and strong consistent performances by them could help their NBA draft projections, which I would say are low at the time of writing.
It’s hard to say which freshmen will see a handful of playing time, but Kent has raved about his point guard Malachi Flynn and with seven new players in total, some freshmen will get their minutes.
The Cougars take on Carroll College in an exhibition game two weeks from Sunday on Nov. 6 before starting the season for real against Montana State on Friday, Nov 11.
Washington men picked sixth, WSU last in Pac-12 preseason basketball poll | The Seattle Times
Washington picked sixth and Washington State is 12th in media predictions heading into 2016-17 season.
Washington State coach Ernie Kent hoping to improve scoring | The Seattle Times
During his first two years at WSU, coach Ernie Kent is 22-40. The Cougars were 1-17 in the Pac-12 and 9-22 overall last season.