The WSU men's basketball team is back in Pullman after a 2-1 showing in the Great Alaskan Shootout over Thanksgiving Weekend. WSU now sits at 3-3 on the season and will play its second home game of the year on Wednesday when it hosts Idaho. Ernie Kent met with the media on Monday to discuss the tournament, the state of the team and more.
The Cougars were without three players for the first half against UC Santa Barbara as Que Johnson, Aaron Cheatum and Ny Redding were suspended for missing a team meeting. Kent talked about the suspension and said it was important to get the message sent early in the year that players need to know they are accountable for academics, being on time and other things.
"The message was sent, it was received and probably cost us a game one way or another and if we learn something from it, that's OK," Kent said, via the Spokesman Review. "But to come from a meeting where you had to suspend three guys the first half of a ballgame because they were late, to where you were dancing in your locker room after winning an overtime game, it shows you the miniature growth that took place on this road trip."
Kent remains the ultimate salesman, listening to him talk you'd never know he was discussing a 3-3 team coming off a blowout loss to UC Santa Barbara. He said the Cougars' worst games came when they were on TV and that they are a better team than what fans have seen.
He also talked about the importance of getting contributions from more than just DaVonte Lacy and Josh Hawkinson.
"Dex has to be on his A-game and Jordan Railey has to give us something, for us to have the success we want to have this year," Kent said. "We're getting enough out of DaVonte, we're going to get enough out of Josh, Ike's game is just blossoming right now, Ny Redding: blossoming in front of your eyes. Those other two guys have to be more consistent. If I can get them consistent, then we have a chance this year to have a good season."
Four names to watch in WSU's coaching search - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Dec. 1, 2014
Such swiftness in the hire could indicate that the top choices are not currently coaching in the college ranks, or at least not for a team that will be playing in one of the bowl games, which don’t start until Dec. 20.
Cougars expect to hire soon - Spokesman.com - Dec. 1, 2014
Washington State coach Mike Leach is in the market for a new defensive coordinator and finding one may not require a lengthy search, according to athletic director Bill Moos.
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One of the lowest points of Washington State's disappointing season also set the stage for one of the bright spots.
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Kent addresses first-half suspensions - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Dec. 1, 2014
Today Washington State men's basketball coach Ernie Kent answered questions from the media, including a few about his decision to suspend Aaron Cheatum, Ny Redding and Que Johnson for the first half of WSU's 71-43 loss to UC Santa Barbara in the opening round of the Great Alaskan Shootout.