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Why Did WSU Basketball Lose to UW? Toughness and experience

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Pay no mind to the fact that UW is actually less experienced.

Wooden Legacy Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Hello, friends, and welcome to the first 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 43-65 overall under Ernie Kent and 14-43 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.

Since the Cougs have now lost seven of nine games and this season appears to be shaping up to be one that is once again devoid of interesting on-court results we figured we’d entertain ourselves by debunking our coach’s most recent excuses reasons for a loss. (Trust me, it’s extremely boring to write “oh no, we suck again” over and over.)

Following yesterday’s meltdown against Washington, Kent offered two excuses reasons for the loss: Toughness, by way of experience.

So, here’s the thing about that. Kenpom.com has an “experience” metric that measures the year in school of the players on the roster, weighted by minutes played:

  • WSU: 1.62 years, 215th nationally
  • UW: 1.24 years, 314th nationally

Well, that’s weird!

Additionally, whatever “experience” the Huskies have, they gained on a team that finished 9-22 and 2-16 in the Pac-12 last season.

Also, their coach was fired for it, so they’re playing in a new system.

Also, the play that sealed the game was made by a freshman.

Also, their best and most experienced offensive player (Noah Dickerson) fouled out of the game with eight minutes to play, when they were trailing by five, after which they went on a 20-10 run to finish the game.

Also, they were on the road. Also, the Huskies didn’t get into Pullman until 3 a.m. Saturday morning for a game that would tip off just 10 hours later.

There’s no doubt the Huskies were tougher. But experience is irrelevant, and it is a really stupid excuse reason for losing that basketball game.

(Also probably worth pointing out that “toughness” and “experience” weren’t issues when WSU was beating St. Joseph’s, Saint Mary’s and San Diego State in a holiday tournament.)

This has been, Why Did WSU Basketball Lose This Time? UW edition.