Does Ernie Kent now bank the 2 open scholies?

BRANDON CHAUCA's decision to play his college basketball at Cal rather than Washington State leaves head coach Ernie Kent with two open scholarship slots. While there's a chance he'll save both spots for the next recruiting cycle, the nature of college hoops in this day and age suggests one or both of those scholies could be dispensed this summer.

How so, when it seems most of the names for the class of 2014 are off the board?

It's all about the mobility of the college game right now.

Players transfer all the time, sometimes of their own accord and sometimes with a push. There's a lot of time between now and the start of classes in the fall and players could become available.

In addition, anyone who has completed their college course work and still has a year of eligibility remaining could be looking around for more playing time or a different environment.

And then there are the handful of JC transfers who invariably rise to the occasion in the 11th hour and get themselves academically squared away - guys that right now don't appear as if, or at least appear doubtful, they'll be academically ready to go.

So all that is to say, the Cougars' 2014 recruiting class -- which already numbers three -- could remain a moving target.

If it is, as we noted a week ago, the guess here is that Kent would only fill those slots, rather than carry them to 2015, if he could fill very specific needs.

Namely, a post man who can intimidate in the paint and play this season and/or a major-league shooter who would need to sit a year under transfer rules and then could come in to help fill the void when DaVonte Lacy graduates.

If Kent hangs on to the two scholarships, he will have five to fill in the 2015 class -- those two plus the ones that will open with the departures of Lacy, Dexter Kernich-Drew and Jordan Railey.

Arguing for the prospect of holding onto those two rides is that the Cougs are essentially two-deep at each position right now.

And there's a lot to be said for a new coach snagging a large class early on.

Dick Bennett had a six-man class in his first full recruiting class -- a class that was the backbone of leading the Cougs to back-to-back NCAA tourney berths.

Kent has been on the recruiting trail for about six weeks. He'll have a full year to work the field when it comes to the '15 class.

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