WSU hoops: Kent will begin Idaho game in enemy territory

PULLMAN -- Ernie Kent is 0-2 against Idaho since becoming the head man at Washington State -- so why not spend a few moments at the start of the game searching for state secrets on the Idaho bench? All in the name of charity, of course. Kent also said the Cougs will likely be down Viont'e Daniels (concussion) and Jeff Pollard (illness) for Wednesday's border war in Pullman (7 pm, Pac-12 Network).

Kent won a charity raffle in September to be ‘Coach for a Day’ at Idaho that includes the chance to sit on the Vandal bench for the start of a game.  So how long will Kent stay in enemy territory and "coach" against himself?

"People need to come to the game and find that one out," Kent said.

Kent later said he should end up spending no more than the initial possession with Idaho before returning to his customary place on the WSU bench. He will also forgo the Cougs' pre-game team meal and warm up to take part in the charity events.

Kent's winning $2,000 bid at the Coaches vs. Cancer event in September is personal for both he and UI coach Don Verlin (pictured above with Kent). Both coaches lost their fathers to cancer and hope to raise awareness and funds during Wednesday's game

THE COUGARS HAVE been out-rebounded 94-49 this season on the offensive glass. What adjustments need to be made to flip the script against Idaho?

"I think the biggest thing when you talk about rebounding is the ability to block people out, and that's a mental thing," said Kent. "Again, I talk about paying attention to detail, keeping people off the glass, we focus on that every day. We play a little bit smaller than other teams, we just have to do a better job of that."

Kent said Idaho is a well-coached team that has had its personnel in place for a time -- something Kent says allows for successful scoring plays even when going to the third option.

"(It) takes those 40 plays that they may have in their repertoire, those plays just get multiplied," he said.

The big question might be which WSU team shows up in the the 111th meeting between the teams since 1906. 

"When we're on our game with energy, passion, focus and all that, were pretty good. When we're off, we're pretty mediocre," said Kent.

• WSU vs. Idaho  is the oldest continuous rivalry west of the Mississippi River. It is the sixth-longest continuous rivalry nationally behind Columbia/Yale and Princeton/Yale (117 straight seasons).
• Washington State leads the all-time series 162-109 but Idaho has won the last two meetings.

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