Ernie Kent secured his second commitment to the 2016 class when guard Milan Acquaah of Los Angeles chose WSU according to multiple outlets. The news was first reported by Evan Daniels of Scout.com.
Acquaah is rated three stars by Rivals.com, ESPN.com and 247sports.com. Listed at 6-2 and 185 pounds, he's got solid size for a point guard, although he appears to be more of a scorer at this point in his development, according to ESPN.com's scouting report ($), which says Acquaah "is virtually unguardable off the dribble."
The most interesting piece here is that Acquaah isn't the type of player you'd expect Ernie Kent to extend an early offer to. He's a solid three-star recruit, but according to Rivals' Alex Kline ($), he had yet to secure another offer from a Pac-12 school; at this point in the process, power conference schools are generally setting their sites a bit higher, and Acquaah's primary contact had come from midmajors such as Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara.
This appears to be a continuation of Kent's strategy started to some degree with his 2015 class of offering kids early before they blossom and other schools come calling. It's not an uncommon strategy for schools that don't believe they can recruit head to head with the other premier schools in their conferences, and it's a calculated risk that can pay off big time if the player blossoms as a senior. You might remember this happening with a kid named Klay Thompson.
That's not to say Acquaah is going to develop into a star, just that if WSU is going to secure stars, this might be the way the Cougars have to go, relying on their scouting and development acumen to close the gap with other schools. Kent just better be sure he's right. He'll also have to fend off other suitors if Acquaah develops as he thinks he will.
There's not a lot of video out there on Acquaah - at least, not as a basketball player. There's this highlight video, in which he's touted as "the next Eric Bledsoe" (perhaps a bit strong):
There's also this from the Los Angeles Times of him hitting a game-winner earlier this year:
The best representation of his athleticism might actually be here, from his sophomore year:
That strength leads me to hope that Acquaah will be mature enough to play from day one for WSU and handle the rigors of major college basketball.
If forward Jeff Pollard, who is scheduled to head to a prep school, ends up coming to campus with Acquaah -- and presuming no other defections, which is almost surely unrealistic -- WSU is on track to have just one more scholarship to offer in 2016.