Basketball

Notes from Ernie Kent’s Wednesday Press Conference

After not having a home game for almost an entire month, WSU Men’s Basketball returns to Beasley Coliseum tomorrow night for their conference home opener against California. WSU is coming off a tough road trip to the Mountain schools, a trip that Coach Kent called the toughest of any of their conference trips because of the travel, altitude and general toughness of both Colorado and Utah. He was pleased with the way they played in the second half of the Utah game, and cited Senior guard Viont’e Daniels as having a big voice in trying to rally the team.

On top of Daniels, Kent had especially high praise for Isaiah Wade, Marvin Cannon and C.J. Elleby. He couldn’t say enough about Cannon, stating multiple times how he’s really blossomed lately, a statement that could not be more true. After seeing only garbage time minutes early on, Cannon has worked his way into the lineup consistently due to his energy, athleticism and strong defensive game. As it pertained to Isaiah Wade, a lot was said about how he really found himself on this last trip after missing some time with injury. Wade got off to a hot start, but his progress was temporarily derailed by a nagging ankle injury forcing him to miss three games. With Elleby, Kent emphasized just how incredible the freshman has been. Averaging 16 points and over seven rebounds a game, the local product has been a pleasant surprise for the team this year.

Of course, the biggest news of the press conference was that star forward Robert Franks will be returning tomorrow barring any unforeseen setbacks. While Kent did admit Robo probably won’t start and that they will be careful with him, it’ll be a huge boost for the team to get the conference’s leading scorer back on the floor. Coach Kent though did emphasize that just getting Robert back isn’t going to the end all be all fix. The team needs to be more careful with the ball and take better shots altogether. He also made a point that he’s still looking for one of Ahmed Ali or Jervae Robinson to establish themselves as the true point guard of the team.

As for things pertaining towards the future of the team, Coach Kent noted that transfer Chance Moore has officially started practicing with the team and that he gave off a very good first impression. Moore, who announced he was transferring to WSU from Wichita State a few weeks ago is a former four star recruit who just couldn’t find his niche with Gregg Marshall’s Shockers. Moore will have to sit out for the first couple months of the season due to transfer rules, but will be eligible after the conclusion of Washington State’s first semester next season.

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