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WSU Basketball to play Hawaii and San Diego in non-conference schedule

The news keeps rolling in for Cougar basketball.

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a big week of news for Cougar basketball.

On Thursday, 4-star forward Carlos Rosario committed to come to Pullman. That pledge took the Washington State Cougars into the top 50 of the 247 Sports recruiting rankings, but Kyle Smith wasn’t done yet.

On Monday, Smith closed out his class with another major recruit in Andrej Jakimovski, one of the top international prospects available. On Monday, Jakimovski was given a 4-star rating by 247 Sports, bringing WSU’s recruiting class to 29th nationally and 3rd in the Pac-12 according to 247 Sports, which would be their best recruiting class ever.

Tuesday’s news isn’t quite as impactful, but it may give us an idea of when we’ll be able to see these exciting new prospects in action.

While WSU has yet to announce their schedule, Hawaii has announced their non-conference schedule for the 2020-21 season, and it includes a November 11th matchup against the Cougars in Honolulu as part of the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic. Hawaii’s schedule page also lists a neutral site game between WSU and San Diego in Honolulu on November 13th, also as part of the Rainbow Classic.

The WSU vs. Hawaii game will be the season opener for the Rainbow Warriors, but it is not yet known if it will also be Washington State’s first game.

As Theo Lawson points out in the Spokesman Review, that November 11th game will see Kyle Smith take on Hawaii head coach Eran Ganot. The two spent five seasons coaching together as assistants at Saint Mary’s and will be meeting as opposing head coaches for the first time.

Ganot has also developed a close friendship with former Hawaii football coach Nick Rolovich who, of course, is now the head coach at Washington State.

Outside of these two games, we don’t know much more about WSU’s non-conference schedule. Eastern Washington head coach Shantay Legans has talked about a December matchup between WSU and EWU in the Spokane Arena. The D1 Docket Twitter account also mentioned back in March the WSU would host a November Tournament featuring Idaho State and CSUN, but not much more is known about what that event will look like. (Note: Kyle Smith’s former team San Francisco was also a part of the field in that Tweet, but they have since been added to a different tournament.)

Washington State's Kyle Smith, Hawaii's Eran Ganot to reunite when Cougars visit Rainbow Warriors | The Spokesman-Review
Kyle Smith and Eran Ganot have five years of experience sitting on the same bench, but for the first time the former Saint Mary's assistants will sit opposite one another, when Washington State and Hawaii meet in an early nonconference game this fall.

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