Hoops signing period: Cougs will be busy

THE REGULAR SIGNING period in basketball begins in less than 24 hours and for Ernie Kent, it will come with the opportunity to remake the Washington State roster. There looks to be just one more piece of business to settle.

The Cougs have three already inked from the early signing period November, and three more are expected to sign beginning as soon as tomorrow, giving Kent a whopping six-member class.

The three who have already signed are forward Derrien King (6-7, 175); forward Robert Franks (6-7, 215) and guard Renard Suggs (6-3, 200). In addition, WSU signed high school forward Jeff Pollard (6-9, 220) in November, but he is expected to spend a year at Las Vegas prep school Impact Academy before joining the Cougs in 2016.

Kent picked up two verbal commitments -- from wing Vionte Daniels (6-3, 175) and guard Charles Callison (6-0, 180) -- earlier this month in advance of the signing period that runs from April 15 to May 20. They are expected to sign Wednesday .

The sixth and final spot in the 2015 recruiting class is expected to go to a big. As multiple media outlets have reported over the past few weeks, the Cougs and South Carolina are battling for junior college center Conor Clifford. The 7-0, 250-pounder out of Saddleback JC is fresh off a visit to the Gamecocks and told The Slate newspaper on Sunday he will huddle with his family and make his decision shortly. He officially visited WSU a few weeks earlier.

Clifford was the CCCAA Southern California junior college player of the year this season after averaging 14.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

A quick check of his twitter page shows Clifford following the South Carolina athletics and basketball accounts, but not the WSU twitter accounts.

If Clifford doesn't come the Cougs' way, keep an eye on Andy Van Vliet, a 6-10 lefty center out of Europe. The Belgian Youth Basketball account on twitter said Van Vliet is officially visiting Washington State as soon as this week, and also has planned trips to Utah, St. Mary's and Miami.

Kent has these three spots to fill in the regular signing period thanks to the recently announced transfers of F Aaron Cheatum, G Trevor Dunbar and G Jackie Davis.

In filling six spots in his first full year to recruit, Kent is following a similar path as did Dick Bennett and Tony Bennett, who each brought in six commitments after their first season.

Federal Way's Daniels was named the state of Washington's Class 4A Player of the Year by the Associated Press. He averaged 24.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game this past season, leading the Eagles to their second 4A state title in school history.

Callison was the Foothill Conference Player of the Year, averaging 15.4 ppg, 4.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds this past season. He shot 37.4 percent from beyond the arc and 42.4 percent overall.

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