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WSU basketball picked to finish last in Pac-12

It’s the fourth consecutive year, but have no fear, folks: The Cougars have exceeded their last-place prediction the last two years by finishing 11th.

Ron Chenoy - USA TODAY Sports

With no Cougar Football Saturday on tap, we turn our attention to the Washington State Cougars of the hardwood for a moment. Thursday was Pac-12 Media Day, and since WSU is still fielding a basketball team, Ernie Kent, Robert Franks and Viont’e Daniels all made the trip to California to talk about the 2018-19 season.

The day tipped off with some expected “news”: The Cougs were picked by the conference’s media to finish last in the league, just behind the California Golden Bears. It’s the fourth consecutive year WSU’s been picked to finish in the basement; however, they’ve exceeded expectations the last two years by finishing 11th. The Oregon Ducks were picked to win it.

The Cougs weren’t a unanimous pick to finish last — you can thank the one team in the Pac-12 that was worse than WSU last year for that. Luckily, WSU gets to play Cal twice!

Of course, WSU basketball coach disagrees with that. Via The Seattle Times:

“This team is ready to be in postseason play,” Kent said when asked if WSU could finish above .500. “We’re marching toward a championship. We don’t look at .500 or just barely being above .500.

“What do we need to do to beat Oregon and beat Arizona and beat UW? That’s how we practice, that’s how we think and that’s how we work. If you get them, you get them. And if you don’t, you’ll (be) right below them. But we never think about .500. We’re building for something much better than that.”


The day featured the requisite interviews with media; you can read all of Ernie Kent’s responses here or just watch it yourself:

The players also did their thing:

Of course, there also were the usual media day shenanigans. On Wednesday, WSU’s star women’s player Borislava Hristova lit up the pop-a-shot:

So, Franks had to respond:

The season officially starts on Nov. 11 when WSU hosts Nicholls State.

Hoops Links

WSU picked last in Pac-12 preseason basketball poll | The News Tribune
Washington State’s Ernie Kent optimistic about a 2018-19 Cougar squad even though his Cougars were picked to finish at the bottom of the Pac-12.

Pac-12 preseason power rankings
11. Washington State Cougars: To exceed expectations and do more than last season's squad, which finished 4-14 in league play, Ernie Kent will call for Robert Franks to steady the ship. Franks considered the NBA after making 40 percent of his 3-pointers and 85 percent of his free throw attempts last season. The senior wing will get the same opportunities to put up big numbers for the Cougars this season.

2018 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Media Day: Washington State could be even more dangerous from 3-point range this year | Pac-12


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