Where Cougar hoops recruiting is headed

AHMAAD RORIE is headed to Oregon. So as the clock winds down in hoops recruiting for the 2014 class, where does Washington State stand with the final two scholarship slots it has available? Foremost, the Cougs will await word from Brandon Chauca, a dynamic East Coast guard deciding imminently between WSU and Cal. But beyond that, the options are many.

Here are the possibilities as I see it …

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If Chauca goes with the Cougs, it will give Ernie Kent one more of the multi-dimensional guards he so loves, and it will fill the fourth of five scholarship slots. If Chauca goes with Cal, the Cougs have two scholarship spots open as it doesn't appear there are any other red-hot prospects on the Cougs' list at the moment.

Chauca would be a very nice, almost seamless, fit with the Kent style, and losing him would be a bummer. But if he doesn't sign a financial aid agreement with the Cougars in the coming hours or days, it's not a monster blow in terms of the upcoming season.

That's because WSU is essentially two-deep at all five positions on the court as it now stands.

Moreover, the Cougars have flexibility. In the Kent system, the 1, 2 and 3 spots are mostly interchangeable and the Cougs have athletes who can fill the bill.

But the flexibility of the team goes beyond that.

DaVonte Lacy could very easily play the 1, 2, 3 or 4, depending on the situation in Kent's system, while sophomore Que Johnson and incoming JC transfer Aaron Cheatum could play the 2, 3, 4 or 5.

Yes, you read that correctly: if the Cougs want to deploy a unit focused on speed and scoring ability, I could see Johnson sliding into the 5, with Lacy at the 4 and guys like Chauca, Ny Redding and Ike Iroegbu at the 1, 2 and 3.

About the only guys on the roster who figure to be one-position-only types are senior Jordan Railey at the 5 and junior Brett Boese at the 4. Elsewhere in the post, Junior Longrus will play at both the 4 and the 5, and sophomore Josh Hawkinson could get some minutes at both spots as well.

As for the open scholarship slots, whether it's one or two depending on Chauca, here's how I see Kent using them:

1. Keep a look out for transfers, JC and otherwise, who could sign financial-aid agreements this summer. Maybe an enforcer-type who could help fill the paint immediately, or a major scorer type who could redshirt a year and then help fill the void when Lacy graduates. OR ...

2. Holding the two open spots until the 2015 class, which would give Kent five to fill in that recruiting cycle – a cycle in which he and his staff have a full year to work the recruiting trail, unlike the month-and-a-half they had this year.

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