An Early Look at the Basketball Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Exp. Hometown (Last School)
20 John Allen G 6-0 181 FR HS Brier, Wash. (Mountlake Terrace HS)
11 Aron Baynes C 6-10 270 SR 3V Cairns, Australia (Cairns State)
13 Fabian Boeke C 6-11 230 SO SQ Hamburg, Germany (Urspring Basketball Academy)
0 Marcus Capers G 6-4 172 FR HS Winter Haven, Fla. (Montverde Academy)
23 DeAngelo Casto PF 6-8 229 FR HS Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS)
40 Charlie Enquist F 6-10 220 RS FR SQ Edmonds, Wash. (Kings HS)
52 Caleb Forrest F 6-8 228 SR 3V Pagosa Springs, Colo. (Pagosa Springs)
32 Daven Harmeling F 6-7 225 RS SR 4V Grand Junction, Colo. (Fruita Monument)
3 Mike Harthun SG 6-3 170 FR HS Medford, Ore. (South Medford HS)
4 Nikola Koprivica G 6-6 211 JR 2V Belgrade, Serbia (Sport Grammer School)
5 Abe Lodwick G 6-7 196 RS FR SQ Bend, Ore. (Mountain View)
10 Taylor Rochestie G 6-1 186 RS SR 2V Santa Barbara, Calif. (Tulane)
1 Klay Thompson SG 6-6 187 FR HS Ladera Ranch, Calif. (Santa Margarita Catholic HS)
14 James Watson PF 6-7 210 FR HS Atoka, Okla. (Stringtown HS)
44 Nick Witherill G 6-1 176 FR HS Phoenix, Ariz. (Highland HS)

The first thing that jumps out at me – three, count ’em, three players from the state of Washington. OK, so maybe it should be expected that Washington State boasts a few players from the Evergreen State. But this is a big deal because it starts to show something that Dick Bennett predicted years ago. That is, as the Cougs improve, the circle from which they recruit will become smaller. Last year, coming off of a tournament appearance, the Cougs only had one player from in-state: Charlie Enquist. And he was on the bench getting a redshirt.

Now, the Cougs picked up a college-ready recruit from Spokane (DeAngelo Casto), and perhaps the steal of this past recruiting period in walk-on John Allen from Montlake Terrace. Don’t know Allen? Nuss at WSU Hoops has the inside information on the 6’1″ guard that could steal some minutes as early as this season.

The other thing you’ll notice is just how ridiculously young this team is. Nine freshmen on the fifteen man roster. If you count Fabian Boeke, there will be ten first-year players on this squad. Wow.

Enquist, Lodwick and Boeke do have a year of experience in practice, which is useful because they had to go head to head with Low, Weaver and Cowgill at the top of their games. However there is nothing in terms of actual game experience for these guys. The learning curve will be steep and it starts with the tough non-conference schedule.

Baynes, Forrest, Koprivica, Harmeling and Rochestie. Those are your five players with experience. Enough to make a good starting lineup, but not enough to make a whole rotation. So expect a lot of playing time for the Cougs’ freshmen.

Quickly, we’ll see if Tony’s philosophy is different from his father’s. Dick Bennett played anyone and everyone in his first two years in Pullman. Tony played essentially the same starting lineup every night in 2007-08. Will Tony stick with the rotation he sets at the beginning of the year? Will we see all fifteen players out on the court at some point this season? Will anyone redshirt? Can we afford to have anyone redshirt? Only time will tell.

Some questions for you: which frosh will have the biggest impact this year? Who will be the biggest surprise? Who would you redshirt? Don’t be afraid to leave your thoughts in the comments.


Offseason Video of the Week

Courtesy kapoleicoug on YouTube

How great is it that Hawaiian newscasters get to wear Hawaiian shirts?

This week’s video is Honolulu’s local television station profiling Derrick Low at the Pan Am Games last summer. Yes, it’s old, but if you’re like me (meaning you didn’t have a chance to see the Pan Am games on TV) you’re seeing these highlights for the first time.

Watching a tape like this makes you wonder why Low wasn’t drafted into the NBA last Month. Certainly he’s not a first rounder, but if you watched WSU closely you know how hard Derrick worked in his career to make himself into the team’s leading scorer. That’s why if I’m an NBA exec I take Low late in the second round, because there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain in terms of upside. He’s not flashy, but he can at the very least distribute the ball and catch-and-shoot with the best of them.

So a gold star goes to Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks, who got a good deal on an underrated player.