Team of the Week: Washington State Cougars

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There are three undefeated teams left in the Pac-12 at this point in the season.

One of them is Arizona State, who we will discuss in a minute. One of them is Colorado, who won their early season tournament but didn’t really beat anyone to get there.

The third?

Washington State, who was spared getting put in the cellar of the Pac-12 entering the season by the simple fact that Cal and Washington look like even bigger train wrecks. And yet, here we are after Thanksgiving and Ernie Kent’s club is sitting at 6-0 on the season with wins of Saint Joseph’s, Saint Mary’s and San Diego State and a Wooden Legacy trophy tucked in the coach’s office.

If you saw that coming, either your name appears on the Washington State or you’re kin to someone on the team.

It’s easy to make jokes about Wazzu’s basketball program, but don’t let that take away from what they’ve done through the first three weeks of the season. Sophomore point guard Malachi Flynn has been terrific, as has junior forward Robert Franks. Saint Mary’s is a good team, as is SDSU. Give them credit. They deserve it.

It’s too early to say whether or not Wazzu is actually a tournament team, but they are someone that we now need to pay attention to, and the last time that was the case, Klay Thompson was still in college.

THEY WERE GOOD, TOO

  • Texas A&M: The Aggies made their case to be dubbed the Best Team In The SEC by going into USC and pounding the Trojans by 16 points. That came the same week that Billy Kennedy’s club went to New York and took care of Oklahoma State and Penn State in the Legends Classic.
  • Florida: If the Aggies are not the Best Team In The SEC, then that title belongs to Florida, who proved a lot of their preseason doubters (that would be me) wrong this week. The Gators are a thrilling watch and arguably the most potent offensive team in the country.
  • Arizona State: Bobby Hurley’s team currently looks like the best team in the Pac-12, and that’s not just because Arizona, USC and UCLA and been struggling. Tra Holder and Shannon Evans are a nightmare, and the Trojans have gotten terrific early-season performances from Romello White and Kodi Justice. That 16-point win over Xavier wasn’t a fluke.
  • Baylor: The Bears picked off both Wisconsin and Creighton in the Hall Of Fame Classic in Kansas City this week. Scott Drew has done it again. Have we reached a point where the names on the backs of the jerseys don’t matter as long as Scott Drew is the man in charge of the program?
  • Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish went out to Maui and took care of business, steam-rolling LSU before erasing a 14-point halftime deficit to pick off Wichita State. We know how good Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell are, but Temple Gibbs has been terrific this year.