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Sauls out, Casto in?

Posted by Jeff Nusser on April 9, 2008

Little-used guard Stephen Sauls, still suffering from the aftereffects of a concussion, has been granted a release from his scholarship so he can pursue opportunities closer to his home in Texas.

This is a move that has been speculated for some time, and most people are hoping the scholarship goes to DeAngelo Casto, an athletic big man from Ferris HS in Spokane who was the state player of the year.

He would certainly seem to be the best fit for the team, considering WSU’s already guard-heavy 2008 class. But with all the hype surrounding him, the Spokesman’s Vince Grippi has been strangely silent most of the year about Casto’s chances of playing for WSU next season, which I think should tell us something, since Casto played in the paper’s town.

Grippi says there are a number of options available for the scholarship, none of which, in his estimation, point to Casto:

“If point guard Paul McCoy of Grant High in Portland decides to attend WSU – he signed with Pepperdine early, but was let out of his LOI when Vance Walberg quit earlier this year – then he’ll get the scholarship. If he decides to go elsewhere, the Cougars have other options, including giving the ride to returner Charlie Enquist, who was a one-year commitment, or to Taylor Rochestie, who has given his up, or another yet-to-be-determined recruit.”

He then mentions in passing that there will be a story in the Spokesman about Casto tomorrow. A little odd. I often say not to read into things more than what’s there; we probably should read something into that.

Cougfan, in the meantime, is playing up the Casto angle to the hilt. Of course, the difference between the Spokesman and Cougfan is that Grippi talks to coaches, while Scout.com’s recruiting “experts” beat the trail talking to the players and their high school and AAU coaches, a land where opinions and commitments sometimes change as often as underpants, and speculation runs rampant.

Casto has made no secret of the fact that he wants to go to WSU — saying during the state tournament that WSU was recruiting him hard, and then saying at an all-star game a couple of days ago that he would sign a letter with WSU, which hardly is a slam dunk — so it’s no surprise that this is the direction Cougfan is going with the Sauls news. But take the report with a bit of a grain of salt.

And while I, like most fans, am enamored with Casto’s athletic ability, Cougfan mentions oh-so-casually that he still needs a qualifying SAT score and GPA. That, ultimately, could be why we’re not hearing much out of those close to the program about his chances of Casto coming to the school — those scores might be ending this thing before it begins. If the Cougs were on his trail as strongly as he wants us to believe, it just seems like we would be hearing more buzz from reporters close to the program, as we did last year from then-beat writer Glenn Kasses when Sauls joined the team.

I also can’t help but wonder just a little bit if Casto’s a good fit for the program. I don’t know the kid, but it sure seems like he’s told anyone that will listen that the Cougs have been recruiting him hard and that he wants to go to WSU next year. The begging of the spotlight just seems a little bit not Bennett’s style.

But that said, the kid is a winner, and supremely gifted, if still pretty raw. And I’d be very surprised if the Cougs didn’t add another player with that scholarship, whether it’s McCoy or Casto or some other out-of-the-blue player (which is what happened last year), so the speculation is expected.

My guess? The Cougs are reticent to waste that scholarship on a kid who might not qualify, so they’re holding out hope for McCoy or someone else, and will take on Casto only if the risk on him is the best option left. Then, if he doesn’t qualify, they’ll go ahead and give that scholarship to Enquist or back to Rochestie. That would make the most sense.

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7 Responses to “Sauls out, Casto in?”

  1. ferris fan said

    They will take him if he can get the gpa & sat scores. Just like any other college, don’t let the “fit” cloud your judgement. This kid has baggage, but on the court he will dominate.

  2. Ptowncoug said

    I amazed by the schools still after McCoy. WSU had a scholarship open up a result of an injury, but you have major schools like Kentucky still opening their arms for a Pepperdine commit? I know some schools, will jump in the mix with guys leaving to the NBA, but just amazed by some of these schools after McCoy.
    Tough to pass on Casto if eligible with our size issues inside. Baynes, Boehke (oft inj), and walk-on/scholly Enquist. Watson should help though if he doesn’t RS. We’ll miss Cowgill as he did a lot for us and late in the season really stepped up defensively and filled the Clark void. Casto would absolutely be huge. He wouldn’t be required to be a scorer his 1st year, just block shots and board.

  3. johnnycougar said

    I don’t know much about the kid, but I will say this: Tony Bennett will not take on a talented player with baggage. He is about character and integrity, and IMO the only way the scholly goes to Casto is if TB and Casto have a good man-to-man talk about life and TB comes away impressed. I don’t know if TB will welcome Casto to play w/o a scholly, but regardless I am confident that TB will make the right decision about this kid. From the look of it we definitely could use him next year. I’m not sure we really need another guard (McCoy) but perhaps TB feels that none of our incoming guards are true points. Also, if McCoy is as good as advertised maybe you just take him regardless of player depth at that position.

  4. Sedihawk said

    Hey Nuss, off-topic but I’m glad you responded to Seth Koellen and how Tony is special. I read that and felt like he was more or less calling you and Grippi out and/or being full of it. But Koellen just falls in line with the rest of the Seattle and national media that just can’t wrap their minds around why Tony would stay in Pullman! You and Grippi are about as close as it gets to Tony and know what makes him tick, so, good job. Keep up the great work around here.

  5. Nuss said

    I don’t think he was trying to take a shot; I just think he — like most other journalists — is having a tough time suspending his disbelief, which has been formed by MOUNTAINS of evidence over many years.

    The cynicism preprogrammed into most journalists (which I know well and have to fight all the time, because I am one) tells them that nobody’s really different, that when it all comes down, they’re all really the same and will screw up or live down to expectations eventually. It’s pretty much only when someone dies and has no further opportunity to screw up that they’ll look back and say, “Wow, they really were different! Huh — go figure!” There probably were people waiting for Mother Theresa to become embroiled in some sort of tawdry scandal up until the day she died.

    Honestly, I don’t really blame Kolloen for thinking the way he does — truly, he’s about as even-handed a blogger as there is out there and he does a great job over at his site, which I love, even if he has a Husky lean. And we also have to be careful not to put anyone on too big of a pedestal; I think Tony Bennett himself would say that he’s probably a little bit uncomfortable with the elevated status he get from some fans. (Which is why I understood the “Saint” reference in the headline — that’s probably how it looks from the outside.)

    But I do try to take any opportunity I can to say that it is possible to believe in the best in people and not always assume the worst.

  6. [...] Posts Your Casto updateSauls out, Casto in?One shining momentAbout WSU HOOPSBummer yes; disappointment, [...]

  7. 7ICoug said

    Vince now is announcing Casto has signed NLI.

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