The Washington State Cougars are in a bit of a transitional period. On March 18, they fired coach Ken Bone after five lackluster seasons in which he compiled an 80-86 record and zero NCAA Tournament appearances. On March 31, they hired longtime former Oregon head coach Ernie Kent. When Kent was hired, the Cougars had zero commits for the Class of 2015. By signing day, they had four. Even though Washington State is technically the lowest-ranked school on this list, keep in mind that Colorado and Cal have yet to sign anyone. Also keep in mind that the Pac-12, as a whole, absolutely has destroyed the 2015 recruiting process so far. Washington State is 79th in the country, yet still 10th in the Pac-12. The four Washington State signees are: three-star small forward Derrien King, three-star power forward Robert Franks, two-star shooting guard Renard Suggs, and two-star power forward Jeff Hillard.
King, a three-star small forward, will already have some college experience under his belt before coming to the Cougars, as he currently plays at Los Angeles' Santa Monica College. According to 247Sports, King was the 21st best Junior College player in the Class of 2015, and the second best in the state of California. King was also being recruited by Nevada and UTEP before deciding to commit to the Cougars. There isn't much video on King at the moment, but as the season progresses I expect we'll see some from his games at Santa Monica, which will be posted here on Pacific Takes.
Franks, a three-star power forward, hails from Vancouver, Washington. Per 247Sports he's the fifth best player in Washington in the Class of 2015. Ernie Kent will find that the hardest part of his job will be recruiting in the state of Washington against recruiting wizard Lorenzo Romar, but this is a very good start. Franks was also recruited by Portland before committing to the Cougars. Similar to King, there's not much film on Franks, but here's an awesome buzzer beater he had in high school last season.
Suggs, a two-star shooting guard is the other Junior College player in the Cougars' Class of 2015. Suggs is originally from Woodbury, Minnesota, but is playing this year, his second, at Wyoming's Gillette College. Before committing to Washington State, Suggs was fairly sought after, having offers from Bradley, Portland State, Long Beach State, and North Texas. Asked why he picked Wazzu, Suggs told 247Sports the following, "The whole coaching staff made me feel welcome [on his visit], and talked about the blueprint they had. Without a blueprint nothing in life would go as planned." In his first season at Gillette, Suggs averaged 14.2 points per game. Below is a highlight video of Suggs in high school. He is #2 in the white jersey.
Pollard, a two-star power forward, was actually the first player to commit under Ernie Kent. There isn't too much information about him, but CougCenter, SB Nation's Washington State blog had a nice write-up on him after he committed. There are a couple nice videos on there too showing parts of Pollard's game.
All in all, this isn't a bad class. As stated, Ernie Kent was a bit disadvantaged with the time he had, but he made a lot of good moves. It will be very interesting to see what he can do with a full offseason to recruit. He was a very good recruiter in his time at Oregon, bringing in players such as Luke Ridnour and Aaron Brooks.