11. Washington State Cougars (7-9, 0-3 Pac-12) LW: 11
It’s more than fair to say that coach Ernie Kent is on borrowed time in Pullman.
Losers of six straight, Washington State is a shell of the team that started 7-3, unable to win outside of Beasley Coliseum and is in disarray without senior forward Robert Franks on the floor.
WSU is 0-3 in conference play, dropping its games by an average margin of 22.6 points. It showed resilience by sticking with Washington for 30 minutes before fading down the stretch, but the Cougars did not fare as well during their road trip to Colorado and Utah.
Kent’s team surrendered at least 90 points for the third time this season in a 32-point blowout loss to Colorado.
For reference, the Buffaloes average a tick above 77 points per game and shoot 46 percent from the floor, including 34 percent from deep. Against WSU, they finished above 54 percent overall while connecting on 40.7 percent beyond the 3-point line.
While an 18-point loss to Utah was less lopsided, the Cougars pieced together another anemic shooting performance, failing to exceed 36 percent from the field. Freshman forward CJ Elleby recorded 21 points, though he was 6-of-16 shooting and earned a third of his points at the free-throw line.
With the 2018-19 season in a nosedive, WSU’s best bet might be to build chemistry and establish players roles for the future, with or without Kent.
As for Franks, it’d be wise for him to take all the necessary precautions in getting healthy ahead of the NBA’s pre-draft process.
Up next, the Cougars host California on Thursday. In other words, one team has to win.