Whenever Washington State Cougars basketball plumbs the depths of awfulness, there’s generally one frame of reference most of us use to try and gauge just how bad it’s gotten: The tenure of Paul Graham.
Regular readers of the site have likely heard us refer to the “kenpom era.” That’s because the tempo-free college basketball stats published by Ken Pomeroy of kenpom.com go back to 2001-2002, which allows to do some semblance of apples-to-apples comparisons of teams. That means WSU’s tempo-free historical data begins with the last two years of Graham’s reign of terror.
In those last two years, Graham’s teams went 13-41 overall, won just three Pac-10 games, and ranked 216 and 208. So far, Ernie Kent has yet to coach a team that ranked in the 200s (although that could change this year!), with each of his first four teams landing in between 186 and 193. When you factor in that there are 353 teams in Division I now vs. 327 back then, we have been able to put Ernie squarely — if only marginally — in the “not as bad as Paul Graham” category.
Folks, a new piece of evidence has emerged in the quest to contextualize just how bad things have gotten: The 2000-2001 Pomeroy Rankings, which have recently appeared in some parts of his website. That covers Graham’s second team, which was 12-16 overall and 5-13 in the Pac-10.
The Cougs ranked 124th(!) that year.
So, let’s take a look at Ernie. He hasn’t coached a team that finished 124th since ... [checks notes] ... [gets out abacus] ... [clicks through page after page of results] ... 2008.
Ernie would probably tell you that Graham had more to work with in Kevin Eastman’s wake than he did in Ken Bone’s; however, the inability to even come close to reaching a plateau Graham reached — in his second season, no less — is damning.
In light of this new evidence, we must render a new verdict: Ernie Kent is officially worse than Paul Graham.
Congratulations, Paul. Your “Not The Worst Coach In Recent WSU History” certificate is in the mail.
The 2018-2019 season came to an end for the Cougs. Nowhere to go but up!
Cougs' Season Ends in Vegas - Washington State University Athletics
WSU women's basketball fell to Cal in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Cal Women's Basketball: Anigwe Sets Another School Record in Win; Stanford Next - Cal Bears Maven
Bears star breaks Cal career blocks record in victory over Washington State in Pac-12 tournament opener
2019 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament: Kristine Anigwe's 31st straight double-double leads Cal to win, matchup with Stanford | Pac-12
Kristine Anigwe came up big for Cal with a 27-point, 16-rebound performance to power the Golden Bears past the Cougars and into the second round of the 2019 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament. The seventh-seeded Bears move on to face No. 2 seed Stanford Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Cal, Kristine Anigwe win Pac-12 opener — will play Stanford next - SFChronicle.com
Kristine Anigwe had 27 points and 16 rebounds to lead Cal past Washington State on Thursday in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament at the MGM Grand Garden. The seventh-seeded Bears (19-11) will meet No. 2-seed Stanford (25-4) on Friday night.
Cougars get thumped by California at tournament | Sports | dnews.com
LAS VEGAS — Washington State came up short for the second-straight game against Cal, doing so Thursday in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament.
Anigwe’s 27 pace Cal past WSU women | Washington State University | union-bulletin.com
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kristine Anigwe had 27 points and 16 rebounds to lead seventh-seeded Cal to a 77-58 win over 10th-seeded Washington State in the opening round of the
Two Cougars Headed to NCAA Indoor Championships - Washington State University Athletics
Emmanuel Wells Jr., and Paul Ryan set out to Birmingham to compete on national stage.
Cougars Host CSUN In Home-Opening Series - Washington State University Athletics
WSU's home-opener is set for Friday at 1:05 p.m.
Cougars Head to the Coast for Bandon Dunes - Washington State University Athletics
The Cougars head south once more to participate in the 10th annual Bandon Dunes Championship.
Cougars Begin Pac-12 Play at Utah - Washington State University Athletics
WSU tennis looks to extend 13-2 start to season.
WSU to Host Oregon State in Regular Season Finale - Washington State University Athletics
Davante Cooper, Viont'e Daniels and Robert Franks will be honored for 'Senior Day'.
OU football: New defensive coordinator Alex Grinch hits ground running as he introduces 'Speed D' | OU Sports Extra | tulsaworld.com
The Sooners held their first spring practice on Thursday afternoon.
OU football notebook: Alex Grinch not looking to complicate things early by having players switch positions | OU Sports Extra | tulsaworld.com
Position switches can make past practices a waste of time for players on the move.
Cougs battle Beavs in Beasley – The Daily Evergreen
WSU men’s basketball is set to finish its last game of the regular season against Oregon State on Saturday in Beasley Coliseum. The Cougars (11-19, 4-13) come into this matchup against the Beavers (17-12, 9-8) after they suffered a 72-61 loss against Oregon on Wednesday night. Currently on a four-game losing streak, the Cougars will...