Washington State Cougars basketball coach Ernie Kent signed 17 players in his first three classes — the athletes who ostensibly would become the building blocks upon which the resurrection of the program would occur.
But with the announcement last night by redshirt sophomore Arinze Chidom that he would be transferring, 12 of those 17 players have now left for other schools before completing their eligibility.
That’s 71 percent.
Ernie Kent’s Recruiting
|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 2015|
|Valentine Izundu||2014||TR||Transferred, March 2015|
|Renard Suggs||2015||JC||Transferred, March 2016|
|Derrien King||2015||JC||Transferred, December 2016|
|Conor Clifford||2015||JC||Graduated, 2017|
|Charles Callison||2015||JC||Graduated, 2017|
|Viont'e Daniels||2015||HS||On track to graduate|
|Robert Franks||2015||HS||On track to graduate|
|Malachi Flynn||2016||HS||Transferred, March 2018|
|Jamar Ergas||2016||HS`||Transferred, March 2018|
|KJ Langston||2016||JC||Transferred, May 2018|
|Milan Acquaah||2016||HS||Transferred, April 2018|
|Arinze Chidom||2016||HS||Transferred, December 2018|
|Jeff Pollard||2016||HS||On track to graduate|
|Drick Bernstine||2017||GRAD||Graduated, 2018|
|Kwinton Hinson||2017||JC||Transferred, June 2018|
|Davante Cooper||2017||JC||On track to graduate|
|Carter Skaggs||2017||JC||On track to graduate|
When you include the departure of juco transfer Kwinton Hinson from the 2017 class, the total number of transfers has reached 13.
It has led us to a point where Ernie’s fifth team is just 5-3 — despite playing the second-easiest schedule in the country to date, via kenpom.com — and coming off an embarrassing 95-90 loss to Montana State. Kenpom ranks WSU as the 175th team in the country, which is actually higher than where they’ve finished in Kent’s first four seasons (186, 186, 193, 18
It’s unlikely, though, that Chidom’s departure makes an already bad team appreciably worse; despite playing more minutes this season, the 6-foot-9 forward found himself struggling to find a role in the offense. He fell out of favor in December, logging just 12 total minutes in three games, including just two in the loss to the Bobcats. Following a 5-of-10 performance in the opener against Nicholls State, Chidom shot just 4-for-17 afterward, including only one 3-pointer. Juco transfer Isaiah Wade — similarly sized and with a similar skill set — plus the emergence of CJ Elleby left Chidom swimming upstream.
If the timing of the transfer seems odd, this actually is not an uncommon time for these things — this gives Chidom the opportunity to enroll somewhere else for winter quarter/spring semester and be eligible to play the second half of next season.
Just remember: The next time Kent crows about how his academic track record — which, to this point at WSU, includes just three* graduates — think about the 13** kids who didn’t stick around long enough to earn that piece of paper.
*Comprised of a pair of two-year jucos and a grad transfer.
**Six of the 13 transferred into the program prior to transferring out.