With the announcement of Ken Bone's latest verbal commitment, the question about available scholarships has to be raised.
For a little background, you can read Cougfan.com's take here.
The situation is this: Ken Bone has three incoming players slated to join the team, but only one available scholarship.
Guard DaVonte Lacy (a recent selection to the Seattle Times All-State team), Forward Greg Sequele and the most recent addition, 6-9 JC-transfer DJ Shelton are all expected to enroll next year, but there are no senior scholarship players on this team. On top of that, Fresno State transfer Mike Ladd, who is sitting out this season due to transfer rules, will certainly take up yet another scholarship.
Does that mean Ken Bone really does expect Klay Thompson, DeAngelo Casto, and perhaps another player, to leave this off-season?
If that happens, then Bone will have to find one scholarship. If it doesn't, he'll have to find three.
Bone is in a tough position. He certainly can't wait around for Thompson and Casto to decide - the recruiting cycle doesn't work like that. But if they stay, several players are going to have to go or play as a non-scholarship player (remember Taylor Rochestie?) and that's a tough position to be in.
Bone has pulled in another solid class of recruits, highlighted by Lacy who may be talented enough to get serious play time come this fall, especially if Thompson goes.
DJ Shelton, a 6-9, 220 pound forward with a year of Junior College ball under his belt, is another guy who has the potential to come in and play right away. His recruiting stock has risen quite a bit as of late and was also being recruited by the UW.
Sequele checks in at 6-8, 225 and may be a bit more raw, but will still bolster what is a pretty thin group of big men. If Casto does go, he'll be needed.
These are all guys that Bone simply had to go after. If he didn't and Thompson and Casto did in fact leave, he'd be in real trouble.
What it leads to is an interesting off-season where there will undoubtedly be some turnover. The most pressing question, fortunately, will be answered by May 8th. If Thompson declares for the draft, he'll have until that day to withdraw his name.
But this is not just any off-season, as the NBA may be facing a lockout next season, and the underclassmen are certainly aware of that. Here's a good article from the New York Times that explains the situation more fully.
The interesting part is that a guy like Thompson could actually benefit from the strike. He's currently listed as going in the late first round or early second, but if a large number of underclassmen withdraw from the draft, he could see his stock soar.
Either way, I wouldn't want to be Ken Bone right now. He's going to have some uncomfortable conversations in the near future. As much as I want Klay and Casto to stick around, the thought of having to "make room" feels a bit slimy. It's the cost of being competitive in the current world of college basketball, I guess.
That was one of those games where you could predict the results mere minutes in to it. From the start, the Cougs couldn't score, couldn't defend and couldn't keep themselves from fouling. They couldn't run a play, set a decent screen, or find an open man. They couldn't block out or rebound.
Massive failures like this one start from the top, and when Klay Thompson turned the ball over seconds in to the game, it should've rang an alarm. The team then followed that up with six-straight missed shots and four fouls in the first five-and-a-half minutes before Reggie Moore hit a jumper.
After that, the Cougs continued their miserable play, chalking up the following results on the offensive end over the next five-plus minutes:
What an impressive way to start. 10 minutes and 47 seconds in to the game and the Cougs had four points. Not surprisingly, the Cougs didn't mount a comeback. It's hard to do so when you don't show up.
It sure is fun going to New York. Too bad it's so fun you forget to play the game.
No Coug scored in double-digits. DeAngelo Casto and Reggie Moore both had nine points. Faisal Aden had eight.
Where was Klay Thompson? After falling in to early foul trouble, Klay spent extended time on the bench. In what was possibly his last game as a Coug, Klay went 1-10 from the field and 0-5 from the 3-point arc on his way to six points.
Depressed yet? If not, read these:
• The Cougars 44 points their second lowest of the season...low was 43 at Oregon (Feb. 3)....the 31-point loss is the worst all season...the Cougs lost by 26 in that game at Oregon.
• The Cougars scored a season first-half low 19 points...previous low was 22 done twice, last at USC (Dec. 31).
• WSU did not make a 3-pointer in the game for the first time since March 12, 2009 at the Pac-10 Tournament against Oregon.
• Klay Thompson tied his season-low with six points in a season-low 25 minutes...he scored in single digits for just the third time this season.
• Washington State's 17-point half-time deficit ties for the team's largest halftime deficit of the season...also trailed Stanford by 17 at halftime Feb. 10, 2011.
So that's that. The 2010-2011 season is over. Unfortunately, it will always be remembered as the season where arrests made more headlines than any performance on the court. Now, the team will find out if Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto will stick around another year and give it another shot. I'm hoping that as competitors, they won't allow this horrid performance be the last of their college careers.
The Cougs left for New York on Saturday, gearing up for their semi-final match-up with Wichita State and fortunately separating themselves from their pot dealer at least for a couple of days.
I know, the jokes are getting old. But that's never stopped me before. The argument, of course, still rages as the suddenly "holier-than-thou" husky fans have come out of the woodwork to express their "outrage" about Bill Moos' reinstatement of DeAngelo Casto, conveniently forgetting their own Scoreboard, Baby past and their own Venoy Overton present. Of course, while the argument is a good one, the outrage is laughable.
Either way, the squad is at full strength and save for any misgivings in the Big Apple, they will take on a tough Wichita State team at 4 p.m. PDT on ESPN2.
If you're like me, the only thing you know about Wichita State is that they are also a WSU. For the record, we were first, becoming WSU in 1959 whereas they did not change their name from the Municipal University of Wichita to WSU until 1964. Now isn't that the single most interesting tidbit you've heard all day? Feel free to throw that around to your buddies while watching the game and watch their heads explode in excitement.
Other than the above, there is some information regarding the "the other WSU" that you may actually be interested in, including the fact that they are 27-8 on the season and went 14-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference. That record was good enough for second place behind Missouri State.
The Shockers have been a pretty impressive team all year long, losing by just four points against UConn, beating Tony Bennett's UVA squad by 12, and beating LSU by one. They also lost by one point to Final Four crasher Virginia Commonwealth back in February.
In the NIT, the fourth-seeded Shockers crushed Nebraska 76-49, beat Virginia Tech in OT 79-76 and then out-lasted College of Charleston in the quarterfinals 82-75.
They employ a very even offensive attack and utilize their entire bench. And when I say "utilize" I really do mean it. There are a whopping 10 players who have played in over 30 games and average over 13 minutes per game. By comparison, the Cougs have only six players who've played in 30 games and seven who average more than 13 minutes. So, the Shockers have a deep bench and substitute a lot.
Leading the Shockers is 6-8 forward J.T. Durley, a 236-pound senior who averages 11.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. At 9.6 points per game, junior guard David Kyles leads the backcourt coming off the bench. 6-5 junior guard Toure Murry leads the starting guards with 9.3 points per game.
The Cougs and the Shockers have only met once, with the Shockers winning 83-64 way back in December of 1960.
The Other WSU:
G - Joe Ragland 6-0 193, Jr. 7.1ppg
G - Toure' Murry 6-5 197, Jr. 9.3ppg
G-F - Graham Hatch 6-4 206, 5.9ppg
F - Gabe Blair 6-8 235, 6.5ppg
F-C - J.T. Durley 6-8 235, 11.4ppg
G - Reggie Moore 6-1 180, So. 9.1ppg
G - Marcus Capers 6-4 185, Jr. 5.9ppg
G - Klay Thompson 6-6 202, Jr. 22.1ppg
F - Brock Motum 6-10 230, So. 7.7pg
F - DeAngelo Casto 6-8 255, Jr. 12.1ppg
The team was able to take in some sights and meet the media and you can check out some pics here . Ken Bone spoke at the NIT luncheon yesterday and here are his comments:
Washington State head coach Ken Bone and athletic director Bill Moos vowed changes will be made following the latest marijuana-related incident with a member of the men's basketball team.
"This is not going to fly," Bone told the Calabro show on Thursday, two days after forward DeAngelo Casto became the third Cougar this season to be cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession. "I'm very embarrassed and disappointed, and things are going to change."
According to the Associated Press, Pullman police said "Casto acknowledged using the drug and handed over a small amount" when an officer knocked on the door of Casto's apartment after seeing through a window what appeared to be man rolling a marijuana cigarette.
Casto was cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. He pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.
Bone and Moos suspended Casto on Tuesday for the Cougars' NIT match-up against Northwestern on Wednesday, only to reinstate him hours before the game citing new information in the case.
Casto had 11 points and eight rebounds in WSU's 69-66 overtime win, which puts the Cougars into the Final Four of the NIT. They play Wichita State at Madison Square Garden in New York on Tuesday.
"With the information that we heard, it warranted a suspension. And whether we jumped the gun on that, we and I went off of the information that we had," Bone said, adding that he and Moos came to the decision to suspend Casto. "The next day there was new information gathered and it did not make sense to have him suspended at that time, so the suspension was lifted by Bill Moos."
Bone said the marijuana could have belonged to one of Casto's roommates.
"As time goes on and the system takes its course, the legal system, we'll find out more and deal with it as it goes along," Bone said.
Klay Thompson, the team's leading score, and fellow guard Reggie Moore were each suspended for one game this season following separate citations for marijuana possession.
WSU freshmen Jamal Atofau and Andre Barrington were arrested in October -- and later dismissed from the football team -- when police found 38 marijuana plants in their rental home.
Moos, who was also a guest Thursday on the Calabro show, said the school has been planning to implement a new code of conduct for its student-athletes that involves discipline as well as education and counseling.
"We don't want to just punish the student athletes," Moos said. "We want to help them to get past this and to get focused on what they should be focused on -- and that's their academics and being able to compete at the very highest level they can."
Moos offered no exact timetable for when the code of conduct will go into effect.
"I'm going to crack down on this," he said. "We need to do a much better job of changing the culture of our student-athletes."
You can listen to Bill Moos here and Ken Bonehere.
With all the story lines in tonight's big 69-66 quarterfinal win over Northwestern, I don't even know where to begin.
Well, I guess it's only appropriate to start with DeAngelo Casto. Casto was reinstated by Athletic Director Bill Moos just a few hours before the game, after Casto plead not guilty to a marijuana citation. Moos felt that they needed to wait until the legal system did its work before punishing Casto.
Casto answered with 11 points and eight rebounds and looked like a man possessed for much of the game. His intensity seemed to rub off on the rest of the team and I'm not sure that a win would've been possible without him.
I'm also not sure I'm thrilled that Moos reinstated Casto based on the reports that we've seen (isn't smoking weed, despite whether or not the police followed correct procedure, a violation of team rules?), but he says that there are other details that have yet to come to light. As usual, In Moos We Trust. In the video below, Klay Thompson states that "some people put him in a bad position." Perhaps that's a hint.
How about with Abe Lodwick? Abe had two free throws with .2 seconds left after being hammered in the lane moments earlier and unfortunately, he couldn't hit either shot. The look on poor Abe's face afterward said it all, the guy was miserable. But what did he do afterward? He got right back on the court and played as hard as he always does, battling for rebounds against a very scrappy Northwestern team. Head up, Abe. Things could've been much, much worse.
Klay Thompson started a near riot after the game when he walked back on to the court on his way to an interview with ESPN when he raised an index finger to the crowd in an answer to their cheers of "One More Year!" The announcer speculated that this must have been an announcement of his return, and then the other announcer who did the interview somehow went through his whole set of questions and never asked if that was true. Smart.
So, it's still not clear whether or not he'll return, but what is certain is that it'll be a while before we know for sure as he is surely going to test the draft waters.
Oh, and what about the game itself? The Cougs did exactly what they've done three straight times in this tournament, which is jump out to a big lead, lose that lead and then hold on for the win.
This time, though, the Cougs had one of their most well-balanced scoring nights of the season, with five players in double-digits. Klay led the way with 17, Brock Motum had 13 and DeAngelo Casto, Reggie Moore and Faisal Aden all chipped in 11.
Defensively, the Cougs played like they've been planning for Northwestern for weeks rather than for 48 hours. Northwestern's "Princeton Offense" takes a lot of composure, focus and even more hustle to stop and the Cougs did just that. Northwestern shot 37.5% from the field and only 26.3% from the three-point arc.
Now, the Cougs head to Madison Square Garden where they'll take on 4th-seeded Wichita State on Tuesday at 4pm. This is the first trip to the NIT semifinals in program history. Wichita State, of the Missouri Valley Conference, is 27-8 (14-4) and beat Nebraska, Virginia Tech and College of Charleston to get to the semi-final. The other semi-final will be Alabama vs Colorado.
Washington State athletic director Bill Moos has lifted DeAngelo Casto's suspension, citing new information in Casto's citation for misdemeanor marijuana possession.
The junior forward is eligible to play in tonight's NIT game against Northwestern.
"There has been a great deal of discussion regarding DeAngelo and his situation over the past 24 hours," Moos said in a media release. "There are unique circumstances involving this matter and I feel the appropriate avenue to take is to allow the legal system to run its course before we consider further action."
Casto was suspended yesterday following a citation for misdemeanor marijuana possession. He pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.
Last week, WSU head coach Ken Bone told the Calabro show that Casto was considering leaving after the season to play professionally in Europe in order to support his young child.
Vince Grippi, who covers WSU basketball for the Spokesman-Review, joined the Calabro show to discuss Moos' decision. You can listen to that conversationhere.
The only thing I have to say about this is: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University Head Basketball Coach Ken Bone announced Tuesday that DeAngelo Casto has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules and will miss tomorrow night’s National Invitational Tournament quarterfinal game.
“I am disappointed in DeAngelo as he let himself and his teammates down,” said Bone. “Neither myself nor the team will have further comment as our sole focus is the game against Northwestern and the opportunity to reach the NIT semifinals in New York.”
WSU Director of Athletics Bill Moos added, “It is important that our student-athletes realize that they are held to a high standard and that a lack of good judgment can be costly, especially in the post season when so much is at stake.”
Okay, I lied, I have more to say. First and foremost, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU GUYS?!? What is with your fascination with torpedoing this season?!?
Secondly, Ken Bone, this is the third violation by a 3rd star player in three months. This is unacceptable. Right the ship, Bone. Get these guys in line. I don't care how good or bad of a coach you are - and right now the jury is still out - I'm much more concerned with the players' obvious lack of discipline and the lack of leadership that they are getting from the top. If these issues keep rising up off the court, then I guess it points pretty clearly to the reasons why this team is so erratic on the court. Where is the discipline in this program?
Fix the problem. Crack the whip. If you can't do it, hire someone who can. I'm sick of nonsense like this.
On top of possibly blowing a great chance in this tournament, this is an embarrassment. Yeah, kids are kids and they do dumb things (just what DeAngelo's dumb thing was, we don't know yet), but coaches need to be coaches and that means mentoring in addition to teaching the game of basketball.
**According to the Spokesman-Review, it appears that it was YET ANOTHER POT BUST. Congratulations to us, we have the dumbest team in the history of the world.
It's not that I'm not excited about these games, or that I'm not on my edge of my seat while watching them, but there's a strange sort of ambivalence that has accompanied me over the past two games. Sure, it's the NIT, and the disappointment of not making the NCAA Tournament certainly has something to do with this, but it's unfamiliar territory.
When the Cougs jumped out to a quick lead against Oklahoma State, I was impressed, but not jumping out of my seat. When that lead quickly dissolved, I wasn't happy, but I wasn't slamming my face on to the living room table like I normally would in that situation.
Maybe this is what casual fans feel? It's kind of nice. Seriously, I'd be disappointed if the Cougs folded down the stretch and lost, but it wouldn't bug me for days. It wouldn't keep me up at night. I'm simply having fun watching these guys just go for it out there.
On the floor, it appears the Cougs have the same attitude. For the first time this season, they are playing relaxed basketball. Not relaxed in a bad way, or a careless way, just a way in which they are having fun and playing hard without the burden of expectations weighing them down.
In Monday's very complete and very convincing 74-64 win over Oklahoma State, the Cougs just seemed to be having fun out there. WSU seemed to out-play Oklahoma State much like they did Long Beach State - as if they knew they were better and knew that they could win if they just played their game.
Oklahoma State has won some good games this year and play a tough brand of basketball. Still, it never really seemed that the game was in doubt. The Cougs jumped out early, gave up the lead, re-built it and then held the Cowboys at arm's length the rest of the game. When OSU would get going, the Cougs would respond.
The big front line of the Cowboys was a concern going in, but DeAngelo Casto and Brock Motum stepped up and gave them fits, with Motum scoring 17 in 21 minutes. Casto overcame some early foul trouble to have a nice game, scoring 11 points and blocking four shots. The Cougs out-rebounded the Cowboys 37-33. They also held OSU's leading scorer Marshall Moses to a mere two points, keeping him off the floor for the majority of the game with foul trouble. Moses's frustrating night came to a head near the end of the game when, after having his shot blocked by DeAngelo Casto, he lowered a shoulder and dropped Casto to the floor, fouling him out and ending his college career.
Klay Thompson led all scorers with 21 points, Abe Lodwick chipped in nine and Marcus Capers had eight high-flying points of his own.
Next up for the Cougs is a Wednesday night quarterfinal match-up against Northwestern who beat top-seeded Boston College 85-67 on Saturday . Northwestern is a #4 seed, so the Cougs will once again host the 8pm game.
Northwestern is 20-13 (7-11 in the Big 10) and is playing some very good basketball, winning four of their past five. The only loss was an overtime loss to #1 Ohio State.
Now, the Cougs are one win from a trip to Madison Square Garden. The pressure goes up a bit as that trip becomes more and more of a reality, but hopefully the Cougs continue to ignore it and just play their game.
After what seems like forever, the Cougs finally host Oklahoma State at 8:30pm Monday night in the second round of the NIT. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
It'll be only the second time that the Cougs have faced the Cowboys, and the first meeting was a game that most Cougs would likely prefer to forget, as it was a blow-out of epic proportions. The 81-29 loss came in the first year of the Dick Bennett era (lets just say it was a tough transition from Graham to Bennett) and was largest in program history.
Well, that's a depressing way to start the blog this morning. The good news is, this Cougar team is much better than that 2004 version and this Cowboy team is quite a bit worse than their 2004 version. Yay for that.
The Cowboys beat Harvard 71-54 in the first round and moved to 20-13 on the season. Much like WSU, OSU started the season very well but struggled a bit in the conference. The Cowboys went 6-10 in the Big 12. The most outstanding statistic, though, is the fact that they are 1-9 in road games and the one win came in double overtime against LaSalle. And no, LaSalle is not a good team.
Oklahoma State is led by 6-8, 255-pound senior forward Marshall Moses who scores 14.5 points and pulls down 7.4 rebounds per game. He's joined up from by another big of identical size, 6-8, 255-pound Matt Pilgrim.
Obviously, it'll be a big night for DeAngelo Casto, Brock Motum and Abe Lodwick.
The guards, on the other hand, will enjoy the fact that unlike many oppponents who have shot over the Cougs from deep this season, the Cowboys rank 306th in the nation in 3-point attempts. When they do shoot from outside, they only make 29.8% of their shots, good for 328th in the nation.
So, it'll be a game won or lost down-low and hopefully the Cougar bigs are up to the challenge. While Oklahoma State hasn't played terribly well over the course of their conference season, they've played better as of late, including a 1-point loss to Kansas in the Big 12 tournament. Las Vegas sees the Cougs as 5.5-point favorites.
If the Cougs can pull this one off, they will host Northwestern, who upset #1 seed Boston College on Saturday. The Cougs are 4-0 in home games in the NIT. Win that, and they head to Madison Square Garden for the semi-finals.
Ken Griffey Jr. said his son Trey, a standout high school wide receiver in Florida, is considering attending Washington State.
"We visited Florida State, we're going to visit Oregon and there's Washington State that he wants to go look at," Griffey said during the broadcast of the Mariners-Diamondbacks game Friday on 710 ESPN Seattle. "So we're going to make that trip up during the summer, and (we) look forward to it."
Griffey said Trey, a junior at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, is about 6-2 and 185 pounds. He transferred from West Orange High School, where last season he had 22 catches for 362 yards and three touchdowns, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
According to Scout.com, Trey runs a 4.5 40-yard dash.
Bert graduated from WSU in 1999 with a Bachelor's degree from
the Murrow School of Communication. A die-hard Cougar fan
while in Pullman, Bert's infatuation for all things Crimson
and Gray turned in to an all-out obsession in the years since
he's left. Bert is an unapologetic Cougar fanatic, and
promises to provide crimson-skewed and completely subjective
commentary about WSU teams and the world of sports as it
relates to them.