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WSU hoops: As expected, Ernie Kent signs two

AS EXPECTED, Washington State basketball coach Ernie Kent signed Jeff Pollard and Milan Acquaah to national letters of intent today. While the two were far from a secret to those who follow the hoops talent chase, Kent greeted their signings with Christmas morning enthusiasm in a brief conference call with reporters.

Kent called Acquaah, a 6-2, 195-pounder, a “throwback” point guard and compared him to Tim Hardaway - the five-time NBA all-star best known for his crossover dribble. Kent emphasized Acquaah can score going to either his right or left and finishes exceedingly well at the hoop.

With Pollard (6-8, 235) Kent said while he's not a prolific scorer on offense, he loves how smart and physical he is on the court. Kent said spending a year at prep school will be beneficial for Pollard and pointed out he still has the flexibility to redshirt Pollard if needed once he arrives to WSU, though Kent said he wasn't planning on it.

"We’re getting two outstanding players," said Kent on more than one occasion during the brief call (WSU's Wednesday practice was set to begin 10 minutes after the conference call began).

According to Scout.com, neither Cougar signee held another Pac-12 offer. Acquaah, although he was rated three stars by Scout,com, is believed to have signed with Washington State over one other known full ride, from UC Santa Barbara. Pollard had an offer from Southern Utah coming out of high school.

Kent, though, made it a point to say both had been committed to WSU for a lengthy period of time and the fact they stayed with the Cougars says 1) a lot about the WSU program and 2) even more about their character as they continued to be recruited by other schools before signing with WSU on Wednesday.

Kent said the parents of both new Cougars, when they came up to visit Washington State, instantly knew WSU was the best place for their sons.

Pollard enters his first season at Impact Academy at Las Vegas after graduating from Bountiful High in 2015. Pollard led his Bountiful teams to back-to-back state championships as a junior  and senior. He averaged 16.0 points and 9.0 rebounds a game during the season. He’s a two-time Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune 4A All-State honoree, earning first team accolades as a senior. He was also named to the 4A State All-Tournament team as a senior and to the Coaches’ 4A All-State First Team.

Acquaah is beginning his second season at Cathedral High, previously attending Pasadena’s La Salle High and also spending a semester at Chino Hills High. As a junior this past season, Acquaah averaged 19.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists, earning open division first team all-CIF honors as Cathedral finished 22-8. He also was selected to the 2015 Jordan Brand Kings of SoCal roster (Los Angeles), the 2015 California All-Star Classic, the 2015 Nike Global Challenge (Team Pan-Africa), and the 2015 Pangos All-American Camp.


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