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Marvin Cannon becomes fifth member of Ernie Kent’s 2018 class

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He’s long, he’s athletic, and ... yes, he’s from a junior college.

Ernie Kent’s quest to piece together a recruiting class for the Washington State Cougars after a series of defections once again led him back to the junior college ranks as he signed Marvin Cannon out of Barton CC in Kansas.

Cannon is 6-foot-5 and 170 pounds and has three years of eligibility remaining; Cougfan.com reports he also held offers from the Wichita State Shockers, Virginia Commonwealth Rams, New Mexico Lobos, St. Bonaventure Bonnies, Southern Miss Golden Eagles and others.

“Marvin has great energy and passion for the game and his teammates,” Kent said via news release. “On top of that, he brings an extreme amount of athleticism and we’re excited to have him in the program for three years.”

Kent’s playing pretty fast and loose with the word “extreme” there, unless he’s comparing it to the athleticism currently on the roster, in which case ... yes, Cannon would possess “an extreme amount of athleticism,” relatively speaking.

Here’s the relevant clip:

And here are some highlights from high school — there don’t seem to be any juco highlights:

Interestingly, WSU lists him as a small forward despite his distinctly guard-like frame. That presumably has to do with his style; in 35 games, he shot 320 twos and just 65 threes, hitting 54 percent on the former and just 29 percent on the latter. That ratio and those shooting percentages can only be approached by the big men on WSU’s roster, so in that way, he’s quite the anomaly in terms of the kinds of perimeter players Kent typically has targeted.

That might not be such a bad thing. In addition to all the two-point attempts, Cannon also made 184 trips to the free throw line, giving him a free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 48% — a figure that’s 10 full points ahead of what anyone on last year’s free-throw-challenged roster posted. That’s highly intriguing, particularly since the lack of free throw attempts is one of the major things that has held WSU’s offenses back under Kent.

What will be interesting is how Cannon fares when there is high major athleticism standing between him and the basket. Will he still be able to be productive in the way in which he’s become accustomed? It’s a virtual certainty that he’ll have to develop a serviceable three-point shot to keep defenses honest, lest he become Marcus Capers 2.0; having him for three years as opposed to the typical two-year tour is a big-time positive.

If you’re curious, he averaged 16 points and 7 rebounds this season, but he turned it up in postseason play averaging 20.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in six outings and was named to the Region VI and NJCAA DI All-Tournament Teams.

With that, it appears WSU has filled its scholarship allotment for the upcoming season. However, Barry Bolton at Cougfan has repeatedly written about one more scholarship being available if Robert Franks does indeed turn pro. The working assumption seems to be that KJ Langston is no longer on the team — something I’ve also long assumed — but there has been no announcement from WSU about his status since he was suspended months ago. So, for now, we’ll continue to leave him on the scholarship chart.

As WSU notes:

Cannon becomes the fifth member of the signing class that includes incoming freshmen Charles ‘CJ’ Elleby (6-6, 195, Forward, Seattle Wash./Cleveland High School) and Aljaž ‘Jaz’ Kunc (6-8, 190, Small Forward, Ljubljana, Slovenia/Impact Academy-Fla.), as well as incoming juniors Jervae Robinson (6-2, 175, Guard, Aurora, Colo./Otero JC) and Isaiah Wade (6-7, 215, Power Forward, Minneapolis, Minn./Iowa Western Community College).