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Posts Tagged ‘DeAngelo Casto’

Good weekend for Cougar basketball

Posted by Jeff Nusser on June 10, 2008

A few notes to pass along on this Tuesday, as my busy life is finally permitting me a few minutes to write. (And let me tell you, it feels goooooood to finally write again.)

CASTO APPEARS GOOD TO GO: First, as has been reported elsewhere, recruit DeAngelo Casto apparently has graduated from Ferris H.S. — the final reported hurdle in his odyssey to WSU. As a high school teacher, I can tell you that walking down the aisle doesn’t always necessarily mean everything is kosher, but the S-R’s Vince Grippi says a source tells him it looks like Casto is going to make it.

That’s great news for the Cougs. As we’ve discussed before, Casto brings an element of athleticism to this team that was sorely lacking after the departure of Ivory Clark.

If you’re curious what you’re getting, check out the video (hat tip to Stadium Way). What I want you to notice is that this guy is a work in progress, especially offensively — most of those moves (other than the dunks, which are impressive) aren’t going to have a snowball’s chance in the Pac-10. I wouldn’t expect much more than 10-15 energy, defense and rebounding minutes from him, as his offensive game is far from polished. But he’s a guy with a nose for the ball, and that’s great.

And if he develops as he looks like he could — both physically and skill-wise — the Cougs could have a massive gem on their hands.

TOP-FLIGHT PG ON THE RADAR: Xavier Thames, a 2009 three-star PG recruit (Scout.com) has narrowed his list down to WSU and Iowa State. I’m not surprised the Cougs are drawing interest from a very good point guard, since they’ll have pretty much an immediate opening at the point in 2009-10 with the graduation of Taylor Rochestie.

I’d be pretty shocked if they didn’t go after another ball-handler, as well, given how the most pressing needs for this class are simply point guard and big man thanks to the plethora of 2s and 3s secured in this current recruiting class.

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Posted in Around the 'Net, News, Recruiting, Video | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Good weekend for Cougar basketball

Casto it is

Posted by Jeff Nusser on April 23, 2008

Obviously, I’m a bit late to the DeAngelo-Casto-signed-a-letter-of-intent party — thanks in no small part to spending five days in Anaheim, Calif., with 23 of my students at a national student journalism convention with 4,300 teenagers, then spending the past two days getting caught back up at work — but I still have some quick thoughts for you all. Better late than never, right?

First of all, now that Casto has signed that LOI, here’s to hoping he clears the necessary academic hurdles. Our frontcourt has just one good rebounder coming back (Aron Baynes), and while Casto is far from a finished offensive product, he’s long, athletic and clearly has a nose for the basketball — both in terms of rebounding a blocking shots.

If Casto can qualify, there’s little doubt in my mind that he’ll be called upon to contribute right away. The only true frontcourt players returning who figure to be fixtures in the Cougs’ regular rotation next season will be Baynes and Caleb Forrest. Baynes is a great rebounder; Forrest is not. The rest of the frontcourt prospects include 6-7 Daven Harmeling (perimeter player), 6-7 Abe Lodwick (lightweight), 6-8 James Watson (freshman) and 6-10 Fabian Boeke (injured and ineligible all last year).

He won’t start, and he might not play more than 15-20 minutes a game. But clearly, Casto brings an element to the table that none of these other guys do, and that will be worth something — especially once the team gets into Pac-10 play and size becomes more of a premium.

But that’s not what has me most excited about this signing. What’s got me fired up is the talent in this six-man class. This certainly is the most talented class inked by the school in some time, if not ever. It’s a well-rounded class that features a solid mix of frontcourt and backcourt players, each of whom brings something a little bit different to the table, and there is not one — not even one — throw away prospect in the class.

Not one guy was signed just to fill out a roster spot. Not one guy was signed with the hope that someday he develops and pans out. No projects to be found.

Beyond that, four of these six guys are from the west, and Casto is the Washington 4A player of the year. We’re no longer having to scour the globe for guys other schools have never seen; we’re beating schools in our own conference to guys.

Those two things, my friends, say as much about where this program is going as anything else. Exciting times.

Posted in News, Recruiting | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Spring signing period starts tomorrow

Posted by Jeff Nusser on April 15, 2008

It’s been eerily quiet since the end of the season, and that should change tomorrow. Although, there’s a chance it might not.

The spring signing period begins tomorrow, meaning we might finally have an answer as to who’s going to use that scholarship vacated by Stephen Sauls. There’s no news around as to which way Paul McCoy is leaning, and there is no more news of substance related to DeAngelo Casto. As far as the recruiting services are concerned, there aren’t any other players on the Cougs’ radar, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

If a letter of intent comes into the basketball offices, then we’ll know something right away. But if it doesn’t, there’s a chance this could drag on for some time — especially if they’re truly waiting on Casto to qualify — as the open signing period lasts for a month. And until something happens, the coaching staff can’t really comment, unless they want to come out and say they’re giving that scholarship to a current player such as Enquist or Rochestie. But they haven’t done that yet, so it would seem rather obvious that they are trying to use that scholarship to strengthen the team.

So, tomorrow could be fun, but it could also be real boring. If something happens, we’ll have some thoughts for you.

Posted in Recruiting | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Your Casto update

Posted by Jeff Nusser on April 10, 2008

You can find a link to the DeAngelo Casto “story” in today’s Spokesman-Review, which we referenced in yesterday’s post, here.

Casto is enthusiastic about coming to WSU, but his coach is much more measured in his comments. Honestly, the more I read about him and about the situation, the more I wouldn’t get my hopes up that he ever ends up in Pullman. Just a gut feeling.

Somebody commenting at SportsLink compared him to J.T. Diedrichs, the talented running back from Ballard who committed to WSU but never made it to school. Seems like an apt comparison, at least initially.

Posted in News, Recruiting | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

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:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Around the 'Net, News, Recruiting | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »