New Cougars coach Kyle Smith has winning pedigree
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Kyle Smith has gotten right to work as the new head coach at Washington State. He's already held a couple of practices with his Cougars since being hired last week and is...
Kyle Smith hired as Washington State coach
Washington State hired Kyle Smith as its basketball coach Wednesday following the disappointing tenure of Ernie Kent.
Smith was given a six-year contract worth $1.4 million annually after a...
Washington State fires Ernie Kent after 5 seasons
Washington State fired basketball coach Ernie Kent on Thursday after five seasons where he was unable to turnaround the Cougars program and had a significant exodus of players under his...
Franks scores 31, Washington State beats Arizona 69-55
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Make it an unexpected desert sweep for Robert Franks and the Washington State Cougars.
Franks had 31 points after scoring 34 two nights earlier and Washington State ended a 13-game losing streak against Arizona by beating the Wildcats 69-55 on Saturday night.
"Once we get it figured out, which we did, we're a pretty good team," Franks said.
Franks scores 34, Washington State stuns Sun Devils 91-70
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Washington State has had little to celebrate this season, so a surprise victory in the desert felt awfully good.
Robert Franks Jr. matched his career high with 34 points and Washington State stunned Arizona State with a dominant 91-70 victory over the Sun Devils on Thursday night.
"This is a big, big win for our program," Washington State coach Ernie Kent said.
The Cougars (9-14, 2-8 Pac-12) snapped a five-game losing streak and won on the road for the first time this season.
Franks scores 24, leading a WSU rout of California 82-59
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Robert Franks, after missing four games with a hip contusion, returned to the court in a big way Thursday.
The 6-foot-9 senior scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Washington State beat California 82-59 on Thursday in a clash of the Pacific 12 Conference's winless teams.
Washington State hangs on late to beat Rider 94-80.
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Robert Franks had 25 points, 12 rebounds and five assists as Washington State beat Rider 94-80 on Monday night.
Marvin Cannon added 23 points, going 15 of 16 from the free-throw line, and CJ Elleby had 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Washington State (6-3).
Jordan Allen scored 24 points, making 7 of 14 from 3-point range, for Rider (4-4).
Frey, Hall help Montana St. beat Washington St. 95-90
KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — Washington State coach Ernie Kent had warned everyone to not be fooled by Montana State's 2-6 record.
"They're a good team," said Kent. "They've just had a tough schedule."
The Bobcats held off Washington State for a 95-90 win Sunday at the Toyota Center.
The game was in Kennewick to give Cougars fans and alumni in the Tri-Cities area a chance to see the men's basketball team in person as students in Pullman approach dead week and final exams.
Elleby’s career night leads WSU past CSUN 103-94
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Freshman CJ Elleby scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds with four assists as Washington State beat Cal State Northridge 103-94 on Tuesday night.
Robert Franks added 22 points and seven rebounds for Washington State (4-1). Viont'e Daniels had 14 points, going 4-8 from 3-point range.
Elleby was the spark WSU needed with Franks scoring a season-low 22 points. He energized the Cougars with two blocks and provided easy buckets in transition.
Franks leads Washington St. to 80-52 win over Delaware St.
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Robert Franks scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Washington State beat Delaware State 80-52 Saturday night.
Ahmed Ali added 17 points. Viont'e Daniels hit 3 of 6 from 3-point range and finished with 11 points for WSU (3-1).
"I felt like in the beginning we wasn't together, we wasn't focused," said Ali. "We got our rhythm together, got everyone comfortable and moving the ball, playing as a team in the second half."
Franks’ 30 points leads Washington State past Cal Poly 84-70
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Robert Franks scored 30 points, grabbed six rebounds and distributed five assists as Washington State beat Cal Poly 84-70 at Beasley Coliseum on Monday.
Ahmed Ali added 15 points for Washington State (2-1), making five 3-point baskets and was crucial to several Cougar runs.
Seattle U beats Washington State for first time in 40 years
KENT, Wash. (AP) — Terrell Brown scored a game-high 20 points, with eight coming in the final 86 seconds, and Seattle University held off Washington State 78-69 on Wednesday night.
It was the first time Seattle U. has beaten the Cougars since the 1978-79 season.
"You just want to try and move up the pecking order in the state," Redhawks second-year coach Jim Hayford said. "Tonight, we made the most of this opportunity."
Franks big game leads Washington State Past Nicholls 89-72
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Robert Franks scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Washington State beat Nicholls State 89-72 in the season opener for the Cougars on Sunday.
Franks scored 19 of his 31 points in the second half going 3 of 6 from 3-point range. He was a factor on both sides of the floor using his length and athleticism.
Cougars picked to finish last; Kent says no way
For the fourth consecutive year, Washington State is picked to finish last in the Pac-12. But don't tell that to coach Ernie Kent.
"This team is ready to be in postseason play," Kent said, when asked if WSU could finish above .500 this season. "We're marching toward a championship. We don't look at .500 or just barely being above .500."
Actually, .500 would be a big improvement for a team that went 12-19 last year, with half the wins coming in the first six games.
Washington State Preview-Capsule
Last season: 12-19
Coach: Ernie Kent
Who's gone: Point guard Malachi Flynn transferred to San Diego State. Also gone are Drick Bernstine, Milan Acquaah, Jamar Ergas, Kwinton Hinson, KJ Langston and Steven Shpreyregin.
Guard Milan Acquaah will transfer from Washington State
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — The exodus from the Washington State basketball program has continued, with guard Milan Acquaah announcing he will transfer.
Acquaah, a freshman guard, started nine times for Washington State and appeared in 30 of 31 games, averaging 4.9 points per game.
His decision Friday means the Cougars have lost four members of their backcourt this offseason, including point guard Malachi Flynn, reserve guard Jamar Ergas and walk-on guard TJ Mickelson.
Washington State’s Ernie Kent, NABC panel recommended change to Condoleezza Rice’s NCAA task force in December
PULLMAN – Not unlike many of his peers, Ernie Kent is eager to see college basketball change for the better. But the Washington State coach is also among a small percentile of college basketball coaches with a platform significant enough to affect such reform.
Third junior college transfer, Marvin Cannon, signs with Washington State basketball team
PULLMAN – Washington State’s crop of junior college transfers grew by one Sunday afternoon.
Marvin Cannon, a 6-5 small forward from Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, became the third JC player and fifth player overall to sign with coach Ernie Kent and the Cougars this offseason.
“Marvin has great energy and passion for the game and his teammates,” Kent said. “On top of that, he brings an extreme amount of athleticism and we’re excited to have him in the program for three years.”
Washington State receives letter of intent from Slovenian-born small forward Aljaz Kunc
PULLMAN – Ernie Kent took the first step toward rebuilding his Washington State basketball roster on Wednesday, signing small forward Aljaz ‘Jaz’ Kunc out of Impact Basketball Academy in Sarasota, Florida.
Washington State gets verbal commitment from Slovenian-born wing Aljaz Kunc
PULLMAN – Washington State has potentially taken a step to fill one of its four vacant scholarships, receiving a verbal commitment Thursday from 6-8 wing Aljaz Kunc, according to Verbal Commits.
Kunc is a native of Slovenia and would become the first player born outside of the United States and Canada to sign with the Cougars under fourth-year coach Ernie Kent. A long and versatile wing, Kunc most recently played at Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas.
Washington State reserve guard Jamar Ergas becomes second player in as many days to leave Cougars
PULLMAN – The mass exodus of Washington State men’s basketball players has spilled into Wednesday.
One day after sophomore point guard Malachi Flynn announced plans to transfer from WSU and two days after junior forward Robert Franks declared for the NBA Draft without an agent, little-used redshirt freshman guard Jamar Ergas is also on the way out.
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State guard Malachi Flynn says he will transfer to another program.
Flynn tweeted the announcement Tuesday, but did not say where he is going. Flynn wrote that the decision was in his best interests at this time.
Flynn, who will be a junior, has been a starter for both his seasons at Washington State. He was the second-leading scorer on the team with an average of 15.8 points per game this season.
Kenny Wooten, Oregon eliminate Washington State from Pac-12 Tournament with 66-64 OT win
LAS VEGAS – Players like Kenny Wooten don’t just fall out of trees, but one look at the springy, 6-foot-9 forward and it’s easy to understand why Washington State coach Ernie Kent wouldn’t mind cloning the Oregon freshman and suiting him up in the crimson and gray.
Oregon outlasts Washington State in overtime for 64-62 win in first round of Pac-12 Tournament
LAS VEGAS – Payton Pritchard shot Oregon out of an early offensive slump, knocking down four 3-pointers while scoring 18 points to help the Ducks beat Washington State 64-62 in overtime at the Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena.
MiKyle McIntosh bulled his way to the rim, scoring another 18 points for Oregon. The Ducks got another 10 from Elijah Brown.
Washington State opens Pac-12 tournament vs. Oregon seeking first win since 2009
LAS VEGAS – Ernie Kent had a courtside view of Washington State’s last victory in the Pac-12 Tournament. He was on the sideline. Well, a sideline. Not the Cougars’ necessarily.
The conference was still three years from expansion, Kent’s tenure at Oregon was winding down, WSU had seen mixed results in Tony Bennett’s third season and the seventh-seeded Cougars drew the 10th-seeded Ducks in a Pac-10 Tournament opener at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Video: Washington State coach Ernie Kent news conference Feb. 27
Washington State coach Ernie Kent looks back at the Cougars’ split in the Bay Area, talks about the improved play of grad transfer Drick Bernstine and previews the upcoming home series against Oregon and Oregon State.
Bernstein’s layup lifts Washington State past Cal
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Washington State coach Ernie Kent had empathy for Cal on Thursday night, but he was thrilled it was the Cougars who won 78-76 in a duel to escape last place in the Pac-12 Conference.
Drick Bernstein scored a layup with 1.7 seconds left and the Cougars (11-16, 3-12) won for the first time in 10 road games to climb into 11th place.
Cougars coach Ernie Kent talks about the team’s miscues and mistakes in a 77-70 loss to Utah Saturday at Beasley Coliseum.
First-half drought costs Washington State down the stretch in 77-70 loss to Utah
PULLMAN – They enjoyed the splendors of winning basketball for a few days, but Saturday’s game against Utah brought the Washington State Cougars much of the same misfortune they’ve experienced in year No. 4 of Ernie Kent ball.
Slump-breaker: Washington State gets tough in 73-69 Pac-12 win over Colorado
PULLMAN – Throughout Washington State’s prolonged slump, Ernie Kent has begged and pleaded for a tougher, more resilient group of Cougars.
The Cougars finally delivered on their coach’s wish, fighting, scrapping and clawing their way to the finish line in a 73-69 win over the Colorado Buffaloes Thursday night at Beasley Coliseum.
And boy was it a sigh of relief…
“So that’s what that feels like,” Kent said afterward. “Sheesh.”
Cougars coach Ernie Kent talks about the play of sophomore point guard Malachi Flynn and the team’s toughness in a 73-69 victory over Colorado Thursday night at Beasley Coliseum.
Video: Washington State coach Ernie Kent news conference Feb. 13
Washington State coach Ernie Kent talks extensively about trying to rebuild the Cougar basketball program, the influence of first-year assistant coach Bennie Seltzer and this week’s home swing against Colorado and Utah.
Washington State heads to Oregon State hoping to snap out of five-game skid
PULLMAN – Washington State basketball players are cognizant of the fact that they sit in the Pac-12’s basement, and it’s not much use reminding them of all the ways they’ve regressed since their golden month of November.
Yes, the Cougars (9-13, 1-9) know where they stand. While brief film reviews of their five-game Pac-12 skid might help correct a few errors, simply dwelling on the past won’t help them heal.
Washington State basketball coach Ernie Kent spoke Tuesday about his team’s morale and the upcoming games against Oregon State and Oregon.
Washington State drops fifth consecutive Pac-12 game, 88-78 to Arizona State
PULLMAN – Many of the successful Oregon teams that Ernie Kent presided over in the early 2000’s were buoyed by veteran backcourts with skilled guards who often made the right play when the situation called for it.
In year No. 4 at Washington State, Kent’s still trying to assemble something similar with the Cougars. Or rather, he’s waiting for it. Sometimes that wait can be an excruciating one.
Cougars coach Ernie Kent talks about the team’s turnover issues and what went wrong down the stretch of Sunday’s loss to Arizona State.
Washington State, Arizona State hoping to change season trajectory as second half of Pac-12 play begins
PULLMAN – Scorching starts followed by prolonged skids. The 2017-18 basketball season to some extent has followed the same pattern for Washington State and Arizona State. Both assembled some of the best starts in college basketball. Both have met a harsher reality in Pac-12 play and head into the second half of the conference season hoping to recapture the form that made them a few of the game’s surprise stories in the month of November.
PULLMAN – Ernie Kent made a major shakeup to his lineup before his Washington State Cougars lined up opposite of the country’s ninth-ranked basketball team Wednesday night. He yanked sophomore guard Malachi Flynn from the starting five, ending a 51-game run that dated back to Flynn’s debut in a crimson uniform.
Cougars coach Ernie Kent talks about his team’s 100-72 loss to No. 9 Arizona Wednesday at Beasley Coliseum.
Video: Washington State coach Ernie Kent press conference Jan. 30
Washington State coach Ernie Kent reflects on the loss at Washington and gives a scouting report on the Cougars’ next opponent, Arizona.
Perseverance pays for Washington State walk-on Steven Shpreyregin
PULLMAN – Steven Shpreyregin is a bit reluctant to admit it, but the Washington State guard hasn’t discarded every piece of purple fabric that hung in the closet of his childhood home.
The Husky pullovers and T-shirts are still there – “they’re hidden” Shpreyregin offers, and he promises, “I haven’t brought them out.”
Proximity to the University of Washington’s Seattle campus nurtured Shpreyregin’s early affection for the Huskies, but the WSU senior has worked exceptionally hard to be a Cougar.
Video: Washington State coach Ernie Kent news conference Jan. 16
Cougars coach Ernie Kent reflects on Saturday’s win over Cal and talks about the upcoming road swing at Colorado and Utah.
Cougars coach Ernie Kent talks about Robert Franks’ historic night and how WSU managed to beat Cal Saturday at Beasley Coliseum.
Analysis: Robert Franks pumps in school-record 10 3-pointers to lead Washington State past Cal
PULLMAN – If this is the result every time, Washington State coach Ernie Kent might make the phone calls to Robert Franks a permanent part of his pregame routine.
Franks shot the Cougars out of a four-game Pac-12 slump and shot them into the win column Saturday afternoon against Cal, burying a school-record 10 3-pointers while scoring a career-high 34 points in a 78-53 victory over the Golden Bears at Beasley Coliseum.
WSU coach Ernie Kent talks about the Cougars’ issues in Thursday’s 79-70 Pac-12 loss to Stanford.
Washington State coach Ernie Kent talks about the Cougars’ play in Saturday’s 70-65 loss to Washington at Beasley Coliseum.
USC disciplines Metu after his flagrant foul against WSU
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Forward Chimezie Metu will give up his role as team captain and issue a written apology as part of his discipline by Southern California after his flagrant foul in a win over Washington State.
Metu kicked Cougars guard Carter Skaggs in the groin and was ejected late in the first half on Sunday.
WSU men’s basketball coach Ernie Kent talks about the Cougars’ 72-59 victory over IUPUI Saturday at Beasley Coliseum.
Return of the Deadeye: Slimmed-down Robert Franks shapes up as key Washington State player
PULLMAN – If Robert Franks ever wishes to re-enact his freshman season at Washington State, the third-year forward might try practicing in a 25-pound weight vest.
Through a two-hour workout, Franks would probably see his stamina go first. Then his legs. And finally his confidence.
For old times’ sake, it could be a good reminder of what Franks has gained in his three years on the Palouse – and also everything he’s lost.
“I’ve seen a lot of things happen with my weight loss,” Franks said recently.