Posted by Jeff Nusser on November 15, 2007
The Cougs have received letters of intent from five recruits today, filling up all available scholarships in anticipation of the departure of Derrick Low, Kyle Weaver, Robbie Cowgill and company:
- Marcus Capers (6-5, 175, PG, Montverde, Fla./Montverde Academy)
- Michael Harthun (6-3, 175, SG, Medford Ore./South Medford HS)
- Klay Thompson (6-6, 190, SG, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic HS)
- James Watson (6-8, 210, F, Stringtown, Okla./Stringtown HS)
- Nick Witherill (6-3, 165, SG, Scottsdale, Ariz./ Highland HS)
Together, Rivals has them ranked the No. 7 recruiting class in the Pac-10 — not exactly the kind of ranking that blows you out of the water, but also significantly higher than the recruiting classes of the recent past. Still not sold? Here’s how Scout.com’s Dave Telep characterized giving better athletes to Tony Bennett.
“This is like giving a master artisan finer materials to work with. It’s a scary thought for the rest of the Pac-10, and a fun one for Washington State fans.”
Rivals.com put it this way.
Keep an eye on Tony Bennett’s recruiting class at Washington State. No incoming freshman is nationally ranked, but the class is similar to those on the current WSU roster. The players will quickly warm up to Bennett’s “us against the world” mentality.
Harthun is the most highly regarded of the group, generally ranked as one of the top shooting guard prospects on the West Coast and one of the top 30 nationally. Scout.com ranks him No. 20 nationally and a four-star recruit.
I don’t pretend to know anything about these guys, since I’ve never seen any of them play. And a lot of things can happen between now and when these guys actually step foot on campus. (Ask Fabian Boeke.) Still, it’s great to see that Bennett has been able to capitalize on the success of the past year. Let’s hope he can keep the program on its upswing rather than going through what the football program went through post-’97.
Read on for the release from the WSU sports information office.
Marcus Capers (6-5, 175, PG, Montverde, Fla./Montverde Academy) enrolled at Montverde Academy prior to his senior year. As a junior at Lake Region High School, the point guard led his squad to the district championship game, finishing the season averaging 17 points, six rebounds and four assists per game. He earned the 2007 News Chief All-Area Player of the Year. As a sophomore, Capers was a contributor on Lake Region’s district championship and regional runner-up team. Capers plays for the Team STAT AAU squad.
Michael Harthun (Har-toon) (6-3, 175, SG, Medford Ore./South Medford HS) helped lead South Medford to the 4A State Championship game as a sophomore where the Panthers lost to Lake Oswego. The team reached the 6A state title game in the shooting guard’s junior season in a rematch, this time defeating the Lakers behind his team-high 24 points. He averaged 20.0 ppg and 4.7 apg and was named first-team All-State as a junior. He participated in the Nike Global Challenge, leading his USA4 team to a third place finish with 8.4 ppg and 6.2 apg. Harthun plays for the Oregon Rebels AAU team.
Klay Thompson (6-6, 190, SG, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic HS) earned all-area second team honors as a junior after leading Santa Margarita Catholic HS to a second-place finish in its division and a second round appearance in the CIF Southern Section Tournament. His father Mychal Thompson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft. Thompson plays for the Pump-and-Run AAU team.
James Watson (6-8, 210, F, Stringtown, Okla./Stringtown HS) led his high school to the Class `B’ State Championship behind his 8.6 points and 11 rebounds per game as the team went 27-4. The small forward upped his offensive numbers in the State playoffs, averaging 18 points per game. Used to small town settings, Watson will become the first Division I athlete to come out of his hometown of Stringtown, Okla., which has a population of fewer than 400 people. Watson plays for the Oklahoma Magic AAU squad.
Nick Witherill (6-3, 165, SG, Scottsdale, Ariz./ Highland HS) transferred to Gilbert Highland from Saguaro HS prior to the 2007-08 school year. As a junior, Witherill led Saguaro HS to a 24-6 record and a berth in the State semifinals, averaging 21 points per game, while earning first-team All-State honors. As a sophomore, the shooting guard averaged 17.5 points per game. Witherill plays for the Arizona Premiere AAU team.
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