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:You 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?