The WSU hoops recruiting outlook; Signing period begins today with the guess here new faces not announced until later in the process

THE REGULAR signing period in college basketball begins today and Washington State has three openings available in its 2017 class. But the guess here is that new faces won't be announced by coach Ernie Kent until later in the process, which extends to May 17. Why? Two reasons.

First, Kent just filled one of his two open assistant coaching positions with Ed Haskins and said the second opening probably won't be filled until the end of the month.

Haskins will be given time to see what he can do on the trail over the next couple of weeks. And so will the as-yet-named new assistant -- and there are probably a host of potential hires out there who are aiming to secure the job by bringing a talented prospect with them.

Second, while basketball recruiting tends to be more under the radar than football, it's not so far below view that the grapevine doesn't crackle. And right now, the crackling at WSU is low key.

There were rumblings -- without names attached -- that Kent & Co. were entertaining a couple of prospects in Pullman last weekend. One of them may have been 6-8 forward Darien Williams, a graduate transfer from St. John's whom Jon Rothstein tweeted last week had a WSU offer.

But it’s been mostly quiet, which suggests announcements are coming later than sooner.

The Cougars appear to have cooled on another forward named Williams -- 6-7 JC transfer Kwintin Williams -- based on brief messages we have exchanged with him.

WSU landed two players in the early signing period back in November: Tyler JC teammates Kwintin Hinson (a 6-4 shooting guard) and Davante Cooper (a 6-11 center). Hinson averaged 14.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game this season while Cooper averaged 4.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

With them already in the fold, that leaves three openings in this cycle.

The projection here is that two of those will go to power forward/center types and the other to a shooting wing.

And there's also a possibility that Kent will only fill two of those slots and push that third one into the 2018 recruiting cycle because the Cougars currently have just one opening for the '18 cycle.

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