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Previewing the Pac: Dónde Está Ernesto?

The Pound begins their breakdown series of every Pac-12 hoops team starting with the Washington State Cougars.

Otto Greule Jr

College basketball is less than a month away and UWDP has ranked the Pac-12 and will previewing each team starting with the cellar dwellers and working up to our preseason favorite.

And the Pound's rankings will start with everybody's favorite team in the conference...

Washington State Cougars

2013-14 overview

Record: 10-21 overall (3-15 Pac-12)

Pac-12 Finish: 11th

Recap: The Cougars season included a few highs, including a 72-67 win over UW in Pullman, and a lot of lows, most memorably a 60-25 loss to Arizona and eight game losing streak in the second half of Pac-12 play. WSU's poor performance ended Ken Bone's five year stint in Pullman, which came as no surprise since he was on the hot seat before the season started. Tacoma product DaVonte Lacy finished second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 19.4 ppg, but missed eight games due to injury.

Season Preview

Key Returners

DaVonte Lacy (Sr.)- 19.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg

Que Johnson (RSo.)- 9.5 ppg, 35% 3-pointers

Dexter Kernich-Drew (RSr.)- 6.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg


D.J. Shelton- 10.1 ppg, 9.6 rpg

Royce Woolridge- 7.3 ppg, 2.7 apg


Jackie Davies- Long Beach, Calif.

Trevor Dunbar- San Francisco, Calif.

Ny Redding- Solon, Ohio

Aaron Cheatum (Jr.)- Moreno Valley, Calif., East Los Angeles College

Marcus Graham (Jr.)- Boise, Idaho., Lincoln Land Community College

Valentine Izundu (Jr.)- Houston, Texas., Houston

Best Case Scenario

Without much scoring help, senior DeVonte Lacy puts WSU on his back and wins the Pac-12 scoring title and POY honors, making the Cougars a respectable opponent in Pac-12 play. But even if Lacy does take over the conference, I still don't see the Cougars finishing any higher than sixth, and even that might be stretching it. Que Johnson, a one time UW recruit, emerges as a double-digit scoring threat on a nightly basis as the second hand man to Lacy. Without much experience in the paint, Lacy and Johnson will have plenty of shots to share and opportunities to score.

Worst Case Scenario

WSU's pac-12 opponents focus on stopping Lacy and the Cougars lack a second and third scorer to boost them to any wins when Lacy goes cold. None of WSU's big men fill the role left by D.J. Shelton and Que Johnson lacks the consistency to score on a game-by-game basis. With the team struggling, Ernie Kent ends up giving minutes to all three freshman to help build the future for WSU basketball. This season could get really ugly for Kent in his first year, but with not much to work with, his seat will be far from hot come season's end.


Donde Esta Ernesto?- Ernie Kent leaves the broadcast booth of the Pac-12 Networks to coach another one of the UW's favorite rivals. Kent tallied a 325-254 during his 19 years as a head coach before joining the Cougars, with stints at St. Mary's and Oregon. During his 13 years at Oregon, Kent won the Pac-12 championship (2003), two conference tournament titles (2003.2007) and took the Ducks to five NCAA Tournaments, including two Elite Eight appearences. Will the Dawg Pack bring back Mexican Heritage Night when Ernesto returns to Alaska Airlines Arena on January 18?

Shift Team General- Trevor Dunbar was rated just a one-star recruit by ESPN but may have more fame than some McDonalds All-Americans. Dunbar has become quite the internet sensation from his crossover filled mixtapes during his time at St. Ignatius Prep (San Francisco), earning himself the nickname "Shift Team General.". The Cougars return minimal experience at the point guard position, so Dunbar may have more than a few chances to find his way onto Sportscenter highlights early on in his career.

Foreign Travelers- Lacy and UW guard Andrew Andrews were teammates this summer as part of the Pac-12 All-Star team that traveled to China for a 10-day trip. The team, made up of members from nine Pac-12 schools, played exhibition games against Chinese professional teams.

UWDP Staff Predictions

Erik Erickson- 12th

Tige Stromire- 11th

Chris Landon- 12th

Where do you think the Cougars will finish in the Pac-12? Will DaVonte Lacy win Pac-12 POY? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.