You’re never going to believe this, but Ernie Kent has added a junior college player to his 2018 signing class.
The Washington State Cougars announced today that Jervae Robinson — a 6-foot-2/175-pound point guard out of Otero Junior College in Colorado who has three years to play two for the Cougars — has signed a letter of intent. He figures to be the immediate replacement for Malachi Flynn, who has announced his intention to transfer.
Cougfan.com reports scholarship offers from Colorado State, UNC-Wilmington, Pacific, Hawaii, Cal Poly.
“Jervae is a very solid, heady point guard that we need in this program,” Kent said via news release. “He’s very well-coached and an excellent team leader and we look forward to him being a part of this program.”
Although he is slight of build, Robinson is crafty in the lane and possesses a skill that is actually quite important for WSU: He takes care of the ball. In 26 games last season, Robinson turned the ball over just 33 times while averaging 27 minutes as his team’s primary ball handler. That works out to 1.5 turnovers per 32 minutes played, a bit better rate than what Flynn posted last season (2.0 per 32).
The reason that’s so critical? WSU was one of the worst teams in the country at turning the ball over last year, giving it away on nearly 20 percent of possessions — 251st nationally. And with Flynn gone, the primary ball handling duties figured to fall to Milan Acquaah, who gave the ball away at a whopping rate of 4.2 turnovers per 32 minutes.
When you’re a team that shoots well but doesn’t offensive rebound at all (WSU was 296th in offensive rebounding percentage), it’s absolutely critical to not have empty possessions. Robinson should help in that regard.
He also can shoot a little, which is always an attraction for Kent — he hit 40 percent of his threes last year, although that was on just 88 attempts. The vast majority of his shots came from inside the arc — in fact, Robinson’s two-point attempts outpaced his threes by a rate of nearly 2-to-1, and that’s really intriguing to me. His highlight video below suggests a guy who likes to probe the paint and then find the best option, whether that’s a shot for himself or a pass to one of his teammates:
That’s not a skill set that’s currently on WSU’s roster.
Although the Cougs were Robinson’s only high major offer and his midmajor offers were generally from some pretty bad programs, I’m at least a little encouraged by the fact that he also was being recruited by Damon Stoudamire at Pacific — that’s a guy who knows a thing or two about point guards.
Hey man, I’m nothing if not optimistic, right??
Here’s a look at the scholarship situation now. Ernie’s got one more scholarship to give, provided nobody else leaves the program.