UPDATED: Cougs land long, 6-9 post

KEN BONE HAS landed a verbal commitment from a 6-9 post player -- a big, long body down low who cleans the glass with authority and can create. D.J. Shelton led his team in rebounding in 18 games this past season, in blocked shots, and in points six times. He also has some pretty sweet bloodlines.

D.J. Shelton (6-9, 220), nephew of former Oregon State and 10-year NBA vet Lonnie Shelton, will sign with the Cougs next month during the spring signing period for the 2011 recruiting cycle, he told Cougfan.com.

He will be the third member of WSU's incoming class, joining forward Greg Sequele of Los Angeles and guard DaVonté Lacy of Tacoma.

"I'm headed to Washington State. It first started with the coaching staff, and then it was the environment. It's a great opportunity for me basketball-wise and academically," said Shelton.

Shelton, out of Citrus CC, said Washington State was very clear in why they offered him, and in what they want him to do on the hardcourt at Wazzu beginning next year.

"They like that I'm a big, wide, long body down low, mostly play the 4, maybe touch out on the three. They really liked that I can get boards and create," said Shelton.

Shelton led Citrus in rebounding (213, 6.7 rpg) this past season, and logged a team-high 51 blocks. He was second on the team in scoring, at 12.0 ppg and shot 65 percent from the field, 62 percent from the line. He also gad 33 steals.

Shelton said he got a good feel on how the Cougs' program operates under Bone on his visit to Pullman -- and he also received insight on Bone from his cousin Marlon, who played at UW when Bone was an assistant with the Huskies.

"I watched two of their practices and a game and they really impressed me – it's what I've been looking for. Coach Bone is a coach who lets you play your game. I've got to give it to Ken Bone, he's just a great, poised, calm coach, really respectful. He just seemed like someone I wanted to play for," said Shelton.

Shelton has 3-to-play-3 at Washington State.

APART FROM WAZZU, Shelton was being recruited most by West Virginia, Washington, Iowa State, Miss State, UNLV and UTEP. Shelton said most all the schools were asking him to come on a visit, strongly hinting an offer would be made while he was on campus.

Shelton said he plans on an early summer arrival at Washington State for summer classes, and has strong designs on the weight room.

"I'm 6-9, almost 6-10, and about 220 pounds right now," said Shelton. "I really want to get in there and start getting ready, get stronger.

SHELTON INITIALLY SIGNED with Cal Fullerton out of East Bakersfield High, and spent a redshirt year there before transferring to Citrus. He averaged 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds his senior year in high school.

"It's a great opportunity for me at Washington State because they're an up-and-coming team, maybe a preseason Top 25 team next year," said Shelton. "...I want to major in sports management and they have a really good program there. And with me coming in from junior college, I'm in really good shape to graduate on time.

"I want to thank everyone, first I have to thank God and I want to thank my parents for supporting me so much in everything. And then a special thanks to (former Citrus assistant coach) Rick Croy and to the entire Citrus basketball program, they really helped me to improve."

NOTABLE NOTE:
D.J. and Lonnie aren't the only athletes of note in the family. Cousin L.J. played for the Cleveland Browns, cousin Marlon played at Washington and cousin Timothy played at San Diego State.

WITH SHELTON JOINING 2011 WSU class members Sequele (6-8) and Lacy (6-3), and with current redshirt transfer Mike Ladd (6-5) expected to go on scholarship next season, Washington State will be three over the scholarship limit if everyone on the roster now were to come back next season. Washington State is currently carrying 12 players on scholarship this season, one below the limit.

Both Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto are weighing whether to return or to embark on pro careers. Additionally, Bone has made it a point of emphasis in the past with regard to Charlie Enquist to note scholarships are renewed on a year-to-year basis. And Steven Bjornstad has not played all year with patellar tendinosis ("jumper's knee"), giving rise to the thought he won't return.

Further scholarship roster changes could also be possible – freshman G Andre Winston saw his minutes dwindle to zero over the course of the season, with walk-on Will DiIorio coming in off the bench ahead of him. F Patrick Simon also saw his minutes decrease substantially in the second half of the season.

The recruiting bottom line? While WSU might be over the scholarship limit now, it would seem likely they'll continue to be busy in advance of the upcoming signing period -- even after landing Shelton -- with more future Cougars potentially joining the fold in the coming days and weeks. The regular Signing Period for basketball gets underway on April 13.

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