With a win, WSU (9-5, 1-1) has a chance to jump into a tie atop the Pac-12 standings, while UW (10-4, 2-0) looks to remain the only conference team unbeaten in Pac-12 play.
The Huskies opened Pac-12 play with two come-from-behind wins against USC and UCLA. Kent says a lot of that success is due to Lorenzo Romar’s coaching.
“I’ve seen some outstanding coaching as they’ve come back on two really good premier programs in this conference,” he said. “Lorenzo’s done a very, very good job with that team for having (to coach) that many young freshman.”
Kent also sees plenty from the Husky veterans, including senior guard Andrew Andrews.
“I’ve seen youth at times, I’ve seen great leadership in Andrews who leads that youth,” Kent said. “I’ve seen athleticism, I’ve seen guys with the ability to put it on the floor and get to the basket, guys that can shoot threes and guys that rebound the ball like crazy.”
The Huskies have made an impressive 110 3-pointers this season, but are only shooting 32.4 percent from behind the line (10th in Pac-12). WSU has made fewer treys (98) but are fourth in the conference at 3-point shooting percentage (38 percent).
Meanwhile on the boards, the Huskies lead the Pac-12 in both total rebounds (44.86) and offensive rebounds (17.14) per game. WSU is last in the conference in those two stats at 35.4 and 9.1, respectively.
Neither team could hold serve at home last season. The Cougars beat the Huskies in Seattle in January, but lost at in Pullman in February.
“The fact that this is a rivalry game is important, but what’s just as important to us (is to) protect the home court, play well, gain momentum before we go out on the road … get better, play smarter, be more assertive in what you want to do; those things continue to be important to me as well.”