Tag Archives: Ernie Kent

Pac-12 Basketball Media: Vini, Vidi, Vici

First off a big thanks to Rush The Court for the opportunity, again, to attend Pac-12 Media Day. Appreciate getting to go and their trust in me to cover the event.

MY RTC THOUGHTS ON LAST YEAR’S BOTTOM HALF OF THE CONFERENCE.

MY RTC THOUGHTS ON LAST YEAR’S TOP HALF OF THE CONFERENCE.

For me, Media Day is about the experience. Larry Scott noted as much in his opening remarks, that it’s an opportunity for the student-athletes to do something they don’t necessarily always get to do. For Brandon Ashley, it was the chance to come home and answer to his mom. She asked the last question of the Power Forward, confirming that he was taking his vitamins and that he was ready for the season. You should’ve seen how Brandon beamed, smiled, and got embarrassed all at the same time. I call it 2015’s first shining moment. Continue reading

Platitudes Revisited for Pac-12 Basketball Media Day

Tomorrow, for the third straight year, I will be attending the Pac-12’s Basketball Media Day. Can’t wait. In all honesty, it’s a little boring. I love the opportunity to go but there are platitudes abound. More gets said by the Guilty Remnant.

The fun part is reading between the lines. Like knowing Andy Enfield ripped UCLA and hearing him have to then praise UCLA. Or listening to Bob Dibler discuss Ed Rush and trips to Cancun. Basically, nothing will be said tomorrow that shocks us.

But what if it didn’t play out that way?

I’ve scripted the questions I’d like to ask and provided what I think coaches will respond with and what I wish they’d respond with. Continue reading

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:

Continue reading

Why I Like the Ernie Kent Hire

When a change is made it’s usually because a change is needed. I understand that’s simple logic but often if something isn’t working – and particularly if it’s trending downward – then a a new direction is needed. Not an adjustment.

What I’m getting at is I like the Ernie Kent hire. Maybe I don’t love it but that’s a strong word I save for only the prettiest girls on Tinder. Kent is not Ken Bone and the job is now Ernie’s. He’s a big personality – have you listened to him call a game – and is likely to bring excitement to a program seemingly devoid emotion.

If you’re curious his pedigree, how many games he’s won and the programs he’s led, I encourage you to read the WSU release. In short, he was pretty successful at Saint Mary’s (90-80) and cyclically good at Oregon (235-174). A graph:Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 11.08.10 PMYou can see the ebbs and flows of the regime where ultimately the lows outweighed the highs and he wound up at the Pac-12 Networks.

Alas, the point of this is to note that excitement is what Kent can bring. It’s perhaps his most marketable quality in taking over a program that never won a Pac-12 tournament game under Bone. The Cougars finished last in attendance this year with a putrid 2800 fans filling the Palouse.

And speaking of filling the Palouse, some talent wouldn’t hurt. Since 1986, the WSU program has recruited and developed six players into the NBA draft. In his thirteen seasons in Eugene, Kent recruited eventual NBA draft picks. Talent wins in March (see: Wildcats, Kentucky) and WSU is in dire need of it.

No one – except perhaps Kent – will be quick to call Pullman a recruiting hot bed or destination location. But that’s Kent’s challenge. One Tony and Dick overcame as well as Kelvin Sampson. It’s what Bone most struggled with.

And so it begins: The Ernie Kent era in Pullman. Change was needed and so a 180 was made. Tactical and quiet becomes gregarious and big. Welcome to the Coug show.

What shall it bring us?

Waxing Seniority: EJ Singler

With the regular season now wrapped and the Pac-12’s seniors having played their final home games, we’re taking a tour across the conference and bidding this group of seniors farewell.

David Piper is the editor and founder of Addicted to Quack. He knows Duck sports inside and out and created the web’s top blog for following all things Oregon.

In the spring of 2010, coming off their second straight bottom two finish in the Pac-12, the Oregon Ducks fired their all-time winningest head coach, Ernie Kent. Oregon would take well over a month to name a successor, and in that time, transfer after transfer decimated the Oregon program. In all, five players left Oregon, with no incoming recruits having been signed as Dana Altman took over as head coach in April. Only one of the holdovers was an underclassmen. That player was E. J. Singler.

Singler committed to Oregon even as they were coming off a 2-16 conference season in 2008-09. The Oregon 6A player of the year at South Medford, he was more known for being Kyle’s little brother, although he has been a good player in his own right. He imprinted himself on the team right away, becoming a starter his freshman year, and earning a reputation as a guy who does a little bit of everything—shooting 45% from the field while finishing third on the team in rebounds and assits.

But it was after Altman took over that Singler really began to assert himself. The 2010-11 Ducks may have been one of the least talented Pac-12 squads ever assembled. The roster looked straight out of the bottom half of the Big Sky. Only two players, Singler and Joevan Catron, would sniff the floor on a team that was even halfway decent. But the team ran everything through E.J., who was second on the team in scoring, rebounding, and blocks, and somehow led the team to a 20 win season. More transfers ensued, leaving only two players from the Ernie Kent era still on the team two seasons after his departure.

This season, Singler is the lone remaining player from the Kent era, the lone four-year senior on the roster. In the most tumultuous time in Oregon history, a four-year stretch in which the Ducks fired their all-time winningest coach, opened a new arena after over 80 seasons at Mac Court, and saw 12 players transfer out of the Oregon program, E.J. has been our rock. He has been the one consistent thing about this program, the one face that has seen through the entire time of transition.

E.J.’s numbers are down across the board this season, as he has been battling a pretty bad case of knee tendonitis all year. However, he is still the unquestionable leader of the squad. Despite missing out on the conference title, he still likely has led this team to the NCAA Tournaement for the first time since 2008, and the program back to being respectable. The most anybody can do is hope to leave a place better than how they found it. E.J. is the one player over the last handful of seasons who has really left a lasting mark on Oregon basketball, and the program is in a much better place for it.