Washington State Basketball Preview: DaVonte & Ernie

I was trying to lede this with an analogy about Ichabod Crane and Ken Bone, noting something about the former’s role in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. But I can’t really find anything besides a beheading. Turns out, Ichabod was kind of a prick and Ken Bone’s a good dude. Best of luck on what seems to be a new power staff at Montana (of note, I’ve met two of these staffers in social settings). Enter the retread, Ernie Kent. No, no, no…too  negative. Is this like dating your buddy’s ex? Anyhow, Ernie’s going to pick up the pace for the handful of talent he’s got. I’m still kinda left looking for the big picture, however.

Why I Love Them:

DaVonte Lacy because he’s pretty damn good at basketball and:


I suppose we could go into the fact that Ernie has traditionally played a quality brand of offense. Before things went south in Eugene, Kent coached just one team with an ORtg below 108. For context, that would’ve ranked third best in the Pac last year. His teams also – per KenPom perusing – weren’t dishing much (more-ish later which is to say keep these assist numbers in mind). They averaged about 168th in assist rate. This suggests a little bit of hero ball and – if nothing else – Lacy, Que Johnson, and Dexter Kernich-Drew would seem capable of fulfilling that model. Plus DaVonte and DKD are senior guards and who loves senior guards? I do! I do!

Why I Hate Them:

Brock Motum ain’t coming through that door and, last season, with better players (DJ Shelton, Royce Woolridge) than they’ve got this year, WSU won just 10 games. They added four unheralded kids and a transfer from Houston who scored zero points last season in 25 minutes. Aaron Cheathum – an East LA College transfer – provides perhaps some muscular optimism, but this team is short bigs (pun fully intended) and skill. Jordan Railey is an Iowa State transfer who sat last season on Ken Bone’s bench. He put up lesser numbers as a sophomore than as a pup for the ‘Clones. Generally not a great sign. Nevertheless, here’s Ernie’s empty cupboard season, let’s judge later.

The Stat You Must Know:

17% 20% 70%

Percentage of shots that are assisted at the rim, jumper range, and from three for DaVonte Lacy. The NCAA averages at these spots are 41%, 34%, and 86%. This data suggests, to me, that Mr. Lacy is used to getting his own shots up. He’ll have plenty of opportunities to do such this season.

Top-5 Romantic Comedies of All-Time

  1. When Harry Met Sally
  2. Love Actually
  3. Jerry Maguire
  4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall/Annie Hall/Serendipity
  5. [Julia Roberts]

Mountain High (best possible season):

They beat UCLA by 22 again.

Rock Bottom (worst possible season):

Similar to Oregon State, they’re flirting with it as is. I think the ultimate rock bottom comes off the court in the form of recruiting misses. Kent was brought on to do what Bone couldn’t – pull talent to Pullman. His 2014 group – granted on short notice – was less than impressive. But he hasn’t exactly been making splashes in 2015. Those woes roll on and the actual games don’t look much better. Then, a team that barely cracks double digit wins for the second straight season loses one of the conferences best players (Lacy) only to replace him with even less talent. Brock on.

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