Pasha Bains, a former Clemson player who coaches Etienne's DRIVE club team, said WSU had being looking at the 215-pound honor student with increasing interest and then went full in after a stellar camp performance.
"He went up there (to WSU) so he could see them in person and from everything I heard, he played amazing and all the coaches really liked him. They called us on Tuesday and Coach Bone said the offer was on the table," Bains told Cougfan.com.
"… He got to know Coach Bone, Coach Curtis Allen and Coach Ben Johnson and those coaches like what he does. He enjoyed his time out in Pullman and really liked the campus."
The Cougs are the first major-conference school to offer Etienne. But they may not be the last, said Bains.
Etienne was in Seattle a week ago for the UW Legends/Alumni game and Bains thinks the Huskies could be close to extending an offer. Utah is also showing interest, as is Creighton. Etienne already holds offers from Hawaii, Portland, Portland State, Cal Poly and UC-Irvine.
Etienne averaged about 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks per game as a junior last season at W.J. Mouat High School. Bains said those stats were produced in the face of consistent double- and even triple-teams.
"He's the kind of guy who I don't think will need to redshirt," Bains said. "He has great timing on his shot blocks, a good post game and he can shoot the ball. I've coached him for over five years and I haven't seen any players like him."
He characterized Etienne as quiet and extremely bright. From a physical standpoint, he said, watch out over the next few months.
"He's coming off a shoulder injury and he's never really even lifted properly," Bains said. "He has the frame to put on 15-20 pounds before he gets to college. We want him to decide on a school early, so that way they can send us over an exercise program and we can get to work. I'll monitor and work with him and make sure he's good to go. Once he starts lifting hard and puts on those 20 pounds, he'll be even more of a handful.
"He's a guy who will decide soon," Bains said. "He wants to pick his college and immediately get to work. He'll be a fantastic pick up for whichever college he decides to go to."