WSU hoops: Highlights from Kent's presser

ERNIE KENT

HERE ARE SOME of the highlights of Wednesday's press conference that formally introduced Ernie Kent as the 18th men's basketball head coach at Washington State..

Bill Moos said Kent is the seventh head coach Moos has hired in last four years.

Moos: In 10 years together at Oregon, Ducks won first conference hoops title since WWII, plus 2 Pac-10 tourney wins, went to 5 Big Dances and 2 Elite Eights.

Kent said that for all the talk about his offense, he made it a point to tell his new players all his teams have also been good on defense.

Kent said his teams are known for offense but he has taken great pride in defense and that requires communication among teammates.

Moos said Kent was "pretty high on it," in talking about his short list.

Moos said he knows that Kent can coach, graduate his players, is loyal, great in the community and most of all, is a winner.

Kent said it's a great day for me, I hope it's a great day for you, especially the players.

Kent: "I am fully confident you have a winning basketball team sitting there."

Kent said he missed coaching the game tremendously the last 4 years.

Kent said the challenge to build another program was what most motivated him along with the chance to work for Moos.

Kent said the winning and losing will take care of itself, and he fully intends on having a relationship with his players 15 years down the road.

Kent said he's worked seven days a week the past four years with his job at the NABC and all the work that went into his broadcasting job. He said he's a workaholic.

Kent confirmed our earlier report that assistant Greg Graham is on board, see CF.C story on from page.

Kent also announced that Sylvie Dominguez is his second assistant coach hire.

For more on Dominguez, who coached with Kent at St. Mary's, CLICK HERE

Kent said Graham is an offensive guy, Dominguez is a defensive guy.

Kent said he will hire one more assistant over the coming weeks, and will interview some of them at the Final Four when many coaches gather together.

Kent said one of his biggest influences was Dick Harter, whom he played under at Oregon. He said he learned how to motivate without making it a my-way-or-the-high-way process.

Kent said his first priority is to put the staff together, and he's also started the process of meeting with the Coug players and let them know what's expected of them.

Kent said there will come a time when the Cougs will be an exciting basketball team playing in front of a packed, rabid crowd. It's a challenge he said he's looking forward to.

Kent said the game of basketball remains the same, it's about talent and getting people to buy in.

Kent stressed that the last four years have resulted in him coming back fresher, re-energized and when you step back from coaching you put a mask on, and now it's time for him to take the mask off and he's going to be who he is.

Kent stressed that he is a teacher.

On recruiting to WSU, he said at Oregon he was told he couldn't recruit great talent to Eugene. What there is to sell at WSU, Kent said, is an amazing product.

How to bring top recruits to WSU? Kent said the weather here is why you need to recruit players from Chicago & Detroit. This weather is warm to them.

Kent said he prides himself on building basketball teams, and that WSU has a terrific environment to build upon.

Kent said his 10-year plan at Oregon that he and Moos put together accomplished everything that was on it save for a final four (and we were knocking on the door with the Elite 8's, he said) and the new arena (and Kent joked that one was on Moos.)

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