Busting Brackets

Washington State Basketball: Washington State Cougars 2015-16 Season Preview


Washington State Cougars

2014-2015 Record: 13-18 (7-11, Pac-12)
Postseason: Lost to California in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament

The Washington State Cougars had a tough season last year. There is a lot of room for improvement. One statistic that jumps out immediately is WSU’s weak rebounding where they ranked 232nd in rebounds per game.

It will not be too hard to improve in that category this year. The Cougars have some experience on their team as they have nine players who are either juniors or seniors.

These are guys who are tired of losing and want to turn the culture around in Pullman and with head coach Ernie Kent entering his second season with the team, improvement is imminent.

The Cougars went 6-6 in non-conference play last season. If they can get a couple more non-conferene wins this season they could get a little momentum on their side as they head into PAC-12 conference play.

WSU had a quality 108-99 overtime win over Oregon last year. Aside from that, the Cougars didn’t have very many strong wins in conference play.

Washington State has some work to do but they are coming.


G – Jackie Davis
G – Trevor Dunbar
G – Dexter Kernich-Drew
G – DaVonte Lacy
F – Aaron Cheatum
C – Jordan Railey

Key Returners

G – Ike Iroegbu
F – Josh Hawkinson


G – Vionte Daniels
G – Charles Callison (Transfer from San Bernardino Valley College)
G – Renard Suggs (Transfer from Gillette College)
F – Robert Franks (#325 247Sports)
F – Derrien King (Transfer from Santa Monica College)
F – Jeff Pollard
C – Connor Clifford (Transfer from Saddleback College)

Projected Starters

G – Ike Iroegbu
G – Ny Redding
F – Brett Boese
F – Jeff Pollard
C – Josh Hawkinson

Key Reserves

G – Que Johnson
F – Junior Longrus

Key Non-Conference Games

Dec. 2 vs Gonzaga – This is a big rivalry in the state of Washington. Rivalry games like this can take the intensity of college basketball to the next level.

More from Pac-12

These two teams have played some close games. Getting a win in the game would be huge for WSU. Even if the Cougars lost every other game this season, they would probably be pretty happy with a win over Gonzaga.

Dec. 22 vs Oklahoma –  This is a quality opponent for Washington State. They have a relatively weak non-conference schedule. They need to take advantage of the situation when they play good teams, like Oklahoma.

Oklahoma was a decent team last season. This is also WSU’s last game before starting conference play. Getting a win in this big game would be a great way to carry momentum into Pac-12 games.

Key Players

Ike Iroegbu – Iroegbu had a solid season last year. He averaged 8.9 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game, and he led the team in assists per game with 3.4. WSU will need him to continue distributing the ball well if they hope to be successful. The lost of DeVonte Lacy gives Iroegbu the opportunity to take control of the team.

Josh Hawkinson – Hawkinson was a huge part of the Cougars’ offense last year. He averaged 14.7 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game. Averaging a double-double will never hurt a team. If he can build on the success he had last year, Hawkinson can help his team improve.

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  • Season Outlook

    It’s not looking great for the Washington State Cougars. I expect them to finish in around the same spot that they did last season.

    They don’t have many tough non-conference games, but playing the Pac-12 is difficult.

    Losing leading scorer DaVonte Lacy is a huge blow. Lots of people transferring and lots of new additions to the team makes chemistry difficult to obtain.

    I believe, to the relief of WSU fans, that the Cougars will finish above the University of Washington in the Pac-12. If this team can quickly come together and find their identity then maybe they can finish higher than last season.

    Next: Can The Virginia Cavaliers win a National Title in 2015-16?

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