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Expect to see Jeff Pollard on D, a lot, says Ernie Kent as WSU prepares to take on Central and later in the week, No. 22 Creighton

COUGAR TRUE FRESHMAN Jeff Pollard, with the game on the line in the Cougs' season opener, was right there in the thick of the action. That was no accident, Ernie Kent says. Indeed, Pollard is the Cougs' best defensive big man despite being a true freshman, said Kent. Pollard and the Cougs take on Central Washington Tuesday at 7 pm (Pac-12 Network).

Ernie Kent also had plenty of praise for his other true freshman who isn't redshirting: point guard Malachi Flynn

In case you missed it, Kent said last week three true freshmen would redshirt: guards Milan Acquaah and Jamar Ergas and forward Arinze Chidom.

Kent said he wants to see more productivity from guard Charles Callison.  He also said the Cougs need to get Josh Hawkinson and Conor Clifford more scoring looks in the post.  And oh by the way, one of those guys has the jujitsu going on and that has helped his inside game.

"Conor is almost automatic right now ... I think it's a combination of the coaching that took place with him ... the jujitsu stuff that he does (and the) great feel, great touch," said Kent.

Wazzu is still getting used to playing at the high tempo, Kent said. The Cougs will always have turnovers because of that.  But that number needs to stay around 10-12, Kent said.  If the turnover number climbs to 14-16 or more, that's not going to work.

Central runs like the wind, Kent said.  That will put a premium on WSU's transition game, both on offense and defense. After Tuesday's game vs. Central in Kennewick, the Cougs travel to the Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam tournament. Wazzu's first game is against another fast-paced team, No. 22 Creighton on Friday (broadcast info TBA).

"These next two games are going to tell us a lot," said Kent.



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