Cougfan is reporting that DeAngelo Casto performed well on a recent ACT, and is officially off to WSU assuming he finishes up his high school course work.
This is encouraging news – I tried to touch on this a little in my APR piece, but this shows why Tony Bennett and the Cougar coaching staff were so high on DeAngelo Casto, despite some of the academic concerns many fans have brought up. The goal for WSU sports teams should be either to bring in players who are already academically talented, or players who are ready and willing to work in that department. With his performance on the ACT it appears the coaches have found a kid who is motivated to perform off the court so that he can play at the Pac-10 level. That’s wonderful news both for Casto and WSU.
Casto is one 2008 recruit that I’ve had a good look at, in part because he kept getting Ferris into the state championship game and therefore onto FSN. The Washington State 4A level is no cakewalk; it has numerous players that are athletic and bound for college ball at all levels. The Greater Spokane league, a mixed 3A/4A venture, has produced all sorts of talented collegiate prospects including Adam Morrison, Sean Mallon, and Josh Heytvelt. Casto was a star in that league, but unlike the others I mentioned, is going somewhere other than Gonzaga. The quality of play in Spokane is such that we can tell Casto is a player that is easily skilled enough to make a college roster. Don’t listen to the recruiting rankings, this is a three or four-star player being listed on many sources as a two.
That’s good news for the Cougs, because Casto has the look of a sure-fire Pac-10 player, with huge athleticism, the ability to block shots, and a huge defensive presence. At 6’8″, 240, Casto will have the ability to body up against some of the most skilled big men in the conference. Under the development of Tony Bennett one can only expect his defense to get stronger. On offense he could develop into a powerful player by his ability to get to the basket and score from multiple angles. He was a man among boys in high school, and what will define his transition to college will be whether or not he can match up with players his own size.
Still, Casto is more refined already than Ivory Clark was when he joined the Cougs. Clark excelled under Tony’s system, and was missed this year when Cowgill was left as the only athletic shot-blocker the Cougs could utilize in the paint. Casto has the potential to be a star. However, it is only potential until he puts in the work necessary to win in the classroom and on Friel Court. For now, he’s put in the work off the court, and it could be the start of something great for WSU.