Another $*&^! pot problem for WSU hoops!

DEANGELO CASTO's foul trouble thrust Brock Motum and Charlie Enquist into prime time Monday against Oklahoma State. Turns out that was just a preview of Wednesday's game with Northwestern. Casto won't be playing in the NIT quarterfinal following misdemeanor pot possession charges leveled at him by Pullman Police after an early morning search of Casto's apartment.

Casto is the third WSU hoops player to run into trouble with the law over marijuana this season.

Cougar coach Ken Bone issued a curt statement late Tuesday afternoon saying Casto had been suspended indefinitely and would not play in Wednesday's game due to a violation of team rules and that there would be no further comment.

The winner of the WSU-Northwestern game (8 pm tip, ESPN2 TV) will advance to the final four at Madison Square Garden and take on the winner of the Wichita State-College of Charleston contest.

The Spokesman-Review reported that a source with knowledge of the situation said Casto's off-campus apartment was searched by police at about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday morning and that a small amount of marijuana was allegedly found.

Police spokesman Chris Tennant told the newspaper he could not speak to an on-going police investigation and would also not say whether Casto was the subject of an investigation. CF.C efforts to reach Tennant late Tuesday were unsuccessful.

There are a number of questions left unresolved, chief among them if the Cougar hoops team has a big, big problem -- why have three Cougar basketball players, Casto, Klay Thompson and Reggie Moore, run afoul of the law for marijuana this season?

Beyond what, why was Casto's apartment being searched in the middle of the night?

Tennant has freely commented in the past on Cougar student-athletes running into trouble with the law. What makes this situation different?

Earlier this season, Moore was cited for possession of marijuana, less than 40 grams, and possession of drug paraphernalia after a search of his dorm room. About two weeks ago, Thompson was cited for possession of marijuana, less than 40 grams, after being pulled over for a broken headlight shortly after the win over USC. Both players ultimately received one game suspensions by Bone.

WSU's statement on Casto reads as follows:

"Washington State University Head Basketball Coach Ken Bone announced Tuesday that DeAngelo Casto has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules and will miss tomorrow night's National Invitational Tournament quarterfinal game.

"I am disappointed in DeAngelo as he let himself and his teammates down," said Bone. "Neither myself nor the team will have further comment as our sole focus is the game against Northwestern and the opportunity to reach the NIT semifinals in New York."

WSU Director of Athletics Bill Moos added, "It is important that our student-athletes realize that they are held to a high standard and that a lack of good judgment can be costly, especially in the post season when so much is at stake."

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