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Why did WSU lose to Stanford? Slow referees

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Ernie Kent’s latest excuse for losing (again) is a doozy.

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends, and welcome to the second edition of Why Did WSU Basketball Lose This Time?, brought to you by Ernie Kent.

WSU basketball is enduring its longest stretch of ineptitude since Paul Graham roamed the sidelines at Friel Court — the Cougs are 43-66 overall under Ernie Kent and 14-44 in Pac-12 play — which means there are lots of opportunities for Kent to provide excuses reasons for his team’s latest stumble.

Often, these excuses reasons are fairly nonsensical, and sometimes will even contradict previous excuses reasons — this one is the gold standard. These excuses reasons often also tend to subtly shift the blame away from coaching and toward some sort of inherent problem with the players themselves. (Although, not this time!)

Since the Cougs have now lost eight of 10 games and this season is shaping up to be one that is once again devoid of interesting on-court results, we’re entertaining ourselves by debunking our coach’s most recent excuses reasons for a loss.


Following last night’s second half collapse against Stanford, Kent offered a new excuse reason for the loss: Slow referees.

No, really. You should probably read this for yourself:

Just in case you didn’t watch the game or look at a box score, let’s recap:

  • Ernie Kent is calling a collision between an official and Viont’e Daniels, which occurred just minutes into the second half, a turning point.
  • Daniels had taken two shots in 17 minutes up until that point.
  • WSU turned the ball over 22 times in the game.
  • The Cougs scored just 25 points in the second half.
  • WSU ended up losing by nine.

But, yeah — totally the referee’s fault.

Of course, that wasn’t all of it; Ernie Kent went back to the well for a familiar excuse reason:

Ah, yes. Mental toughness. Always an excellent choice. It’s now the leader in the clubhouse:

Ernie Kent Ridiculous Excuse Leaderboard

Excuse Count
Excuse Count
Toughness 3
Inexperience 2
Slow refs 1
Bad shooting by backups 1
Ken Bone 1
Lack of student support 1
It's just a tough job 1
NCAA rules 1