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Derrien King to transfer from WSU basketball

He becomes the seventh(!) player from Ernie Kent’s first two classes to transfer.

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Derrien King, a junior wing who was off to a rough start this season, has decided to transfer from WSU basketball, the school announced on Saturday prior to its game with Kansas State.

King, who came to WSU as a transfer from Santa Monica Community College, started the year off with a bang when he poured in 22 points in a season-opening victory over Montana State. He struggled mightily after that, though, scoring just 37 more points in the subsequent eight games. He leaves averaging 6.6 points on just 28 percent shooting.

It’s never good when a player leaves midseason, because just maybe he gives you something at some point, but the actual loss to the team is probably minimal; for a guy whose calling card was supposed to be his offense, King’s efficiency was terrible thanks to streaky shooting, and the team looked better without him on Saturday, getting positive contributions from KJ Langston in that spot.

The timing of the move will only strike you as super odd if you don’t pay close attention to college basketball; while it’s unusual for a player to transfer midseason, it’s actually not that uncommon for players to transfer at semester, since the year a player has to sit out after transferring is measured in semesters.

Why is he leaving? Who knows? Kent once again blamed it on "an era of transferring." Maybe King wasn’t a fan of being replaced in the starting lineup and having his role reduced. Maybe his academics weren’t in order. Maybe he was being disciplined by Kent and didn’t like it. Maybe one more Pullman winter was JUST TOO MUCH.

Whatever the reason, this is a fact that should embarrass any WSU fan: Seven of the first 11 players Ernie Kent signed have now transferred. A complete accounting of those first two classes:

Ernie Kent's Recruiting at WSU
Player Signed From Status
Trevor Dunbar 2014 HS Transferred March 2015
Jackie Davis Jr. 2014 HS Transferred March 2015
Aaron Cheatum 2014 JC Transferred March 2015
Ny Redding 2014 HS Transferred March 2016
Valentine Izundu 2014 TR Transferred March 2016
Renard Suggs 2015 JC Transferred March 2016
Derrien King 2015 JC Transferred December 2016
Conor Clifford 2015 JC Starter
Charles Callison 2015 JC Starter
Viont'e Daniels 2015 HS Injured
Robert Franks 2015 HS Bench player

In total, 10 players have transferred since Kent was hired.

Ernie Kent came to WSU with a reputation for winning, recruiting and graduating players. In two-plus seasons, the Cougars are now 27-45 (8-28 Pac-12), have yet to sign a top-100 player, and (at least) 64 percent of the players signed in his first two classes will not leave with degrees from WSU.

Hey Ernie — three strikes you’re out rolled over for another $1.4 million. (Jackpot!)