Bone's two newest verbals are fast friends

RICHARD LONGRUS, a versatile forward, thought he'd wait a while longer and take at least one more official visit before making his pledge. And then, like a lightbulb switching on, he knew he was crimson. Meanwhile, in Spokane, sharpshooting Shadle Park forward Brett Boese knew pretty much Sunday night that he was going to be a Coug.

Both players verbally committed to Ken Bone this week and are expected to ink letters of intent with WSU during the early signing period that opens in two weeks. They join a recruiting class that already included center Richard Peters.

"We had a great visit together at Washington State, we had a lot in common," said Boese of Longrus.

The two had official visits in Pullman this past weekend.

"I talked to him (Boese) every day after the visit, we texted each other back and forth.

"I knew before he did. He had texted me that Sunday night and said, ‘You're going to commit aren't you,' and I said, ‘Yeah I'm pretty sure.' And then after I had committed, I was texting him just saying, ‘Man what are you waiting for?!' And then when he texted me and told me he was committing to WSU, that was great."

Something obviously changed for Longrus, who shifted his decision timetable from weeks out to right now. What was it?

"I just talked it over with my parents and I knew I just liked Washington state a lot. I didn't want to see that opportunity go away," said Longrus.

BOESE MADE AN immediate impression on the Cougars, stopping Cougar assistant coach Ben Johnson in his tracks, literally.

"Coach Johnson told me he came to one of my (AAU) games but he didn't really know all that much about me – he was there just to recruit eastern Washington. He came in late but right when he came in, I came off a baseline screen, set my feet and hit a three. He said he really watched me the rest of the game and ever since then, he and Washington State really recruited me strongly," said Boese.

Longrus, meanwhile, doesn't recall exactly how things started with WSU and him. He's just glad about the way they finished.

"I really have no idea how it all started. I didn't start talking to them until the end of my junior year and then they saw me in summer games…From what I've heard they like that I can do it all, pass, screen, score, rebound, obviously defend. I'm just excited about representing Cougar Nation," he said.

THE TWO FORWARDS have different games, and both think they'll complement one another.

"I've seen a couple clips of him, he's a really good ‘pick and pop' guy so I like that a lot," said Longrus.

But while Boese's catch and shoot skills were primarily responsible for earning him a full ride in the Pac-12, he has arrows in his arsenal he hasn't shown yet. Boese missed his junior season at Shadle after breaking a bone in his foot. He spent the season on the bench, becoming a better student of the game. And once his foot got better, he turned those bench observations into action.

"I've worked really hard on my pull up game…people haven't seen that part of my game yet," said Boese. "I think I'm more than just a catch and shoot guy out on the wing. And there's so many things I love about coach (Ken) Bone's offense -- they loved the intangibles I bring, my basketball IQ and ability to shoot, put the ball on the floor. And again, I've been working very hard on my pull up game. I can't wait to get there."

WHEN BOESE DOES arrive on the Palouse, he'll have some lofty goals to try and reach. His uncles, Jim and Dave Meredith both played for the Cougs. Jim averaged 13 ppg over his Wazzu career (1969-71), the 19th best scoring average in program history. He was honorable mention all-conference twice and was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"He would never tell me his stats but I've heard he could really stroke, that he was getting double teamed and was still scoring," said Boese. "They were really excited I decided on Washington State but throughout the recruiting process, they were both really supportive of whatever decision I was going to make.

"But I think in the back of their minds they were thinking, ‘Wazzu, Wazzu, Wazzu!'"

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