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Ernie Kent says he’s not anticipating staff changes, Josh Hawkinson says he won't transfer

ERNIE KENT following WSU’s 80-56 season-ending loss to Colorado told assembled media in Las Vegas including the Spokesman-Review he's "not anticipating making any coaching changes" this offseason. Cougar forward and leading scorer Josh Hawkinson ruled out the possibility of transferring, saying he will return to Washington State for his senior season.

Hawkinson, expected to graduate in the spring, was asked, "Is there a chance you will transfer to another school for your senior season?" He said no. "For me, I'm personally going to stick it out and turn things around," Hawkinson said.

WSU currently has all its scholies spoken for but when asked after Wednesday's loss if there could be player attrition beyond the two seniors on the roster, Kent said, "I don't have all those answers for you yet."  As CF.C first reported HERE  Kent offered Tacoma point guard Malachi Flynn out of Bellarmine Prep three weeks ago, with sources saying WSU is looking to bolster its ranks if it can land the right point guard and/or wing.

Kent didn’t appear on the postgame radio show after WSU’s 80-56 season-ending loss to Colorado in the Pac-12 tournament - instead  addressing media from the podium. Assistant Silvey Dominguez took Kent’s place one the airwaves with radio man Matt Chazanow, saying an offseason evaluation from A to Z awaits.

“You’ve got to really go back and evaluate everything about your players, your system, everything that you do,” said Dominguez. “…We’ve just got to get these guys feeling good about themselves and improve everything, from A to Z.”

That figures to take some time after the Cougs lost their 17th game in a row Wednesday to finish out the season. It’s the longest losing streak for WSU in more than 25 years, going back to when the Cougs lost 18 straight in 1989-90.

WSU shot 25.9 percent in the first half against Colorado, and 35.2 percent for the game. The Cougs actually started out decently enough, focused on interior defense and trailing 23-16 with 7:47 left in the opening half.  But the wheels fell off from that point on.

Indeed, trailing 61-35 midway through the second half, the only intrigue remaining was if the Cougs would score 50 points. True freshman guard Viont'e Daniels settled that issue on a 3-pointer with 2:59 left but the Cougs struggled from long range, hitting just 3 of 13 from downtown. They were 0 of 6 shooting 3-pointers in the first half.

With plenty of time still remaining in the second half, Pac-12 analyst Don McLean pretty much nailed it when he called it a "stress-free game" for Colorado.

WSU played mostly flat footed on defense against the Buffaloes, and struggled mightily when Colorado applied basic traps after its own makes -- four of the Cougs’ 10 first half turnovers were the result. WSU finished with 14 turnovers.

NOTABLE NOTES:
- Hawkinson finished with 8 points and 14 rebounds. He ended the season with 321 rebounds, third-most in a single season at Washington State (Hawkinson holds the school record of 334 as a sophomore in 2014-15).  He is now eighth on WSU’s career rebounds list with 700 boards.  His 20 double-doubles on the season tied his own WSU single-season record set last year.

Junior guard Ike Iroegbu led WSU with 13 points against Colorado, with 9 coming in the second half.  Fourth-year junior Que Johnson finished with 11 points, was in double figure points for the seventh time in the last eight games.

Fourth-year junior center Valentine Izundu had 5 blocked shots. Despite missing several games to injury, he finished with 50 blocked shots this season - seventh all-time on WSU’s single-season list.

Washington State has not won a Pac-10/12 tournament game since 2009.




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