JC coach sees 'huge' year for WSU's Callison

THERE’S BEING LIGHTLY recruited, and there’s what Charles Callison experienced coming out of high school. He had zero offers from Division I schools. He wasn’t a high priority for many junior colleges, either. So he took a year off to work on his game according to San Bernardino Valley College coach Quincy Brewer -- who also predicts a huge year for the 6-0 guard at Washington State in 2015-16.

Callison, in Brewer’s words, is a “diamond in the rough” that emerged over the past two seasons under his guidance because of his work ethic. It helped Callison earn a scholarship offer from Washington State, where he’ll have three years to play two, starting this season after seeing precious little interest coming out of Canyon Springs High in southern California.

“Charles plays with an edge but I would say he plays with a supernatural love and passion for basketball,” Brewer said. “Most the time he will be the first guy in the gym and, also more importantly, he's typically going to be the last guy to leave."

Brewer wasn’t done, offering up the ultimate endorsement:

"He’s probably the only player that I've ever coached that was our best offensive player in addition to being our point guard, and our defensive stopper,” he said.

Before coaching, Brewer was a swingman for Arizona State from 1993-97. A member of the Sun Devils’ last team to make the Sweet 16, he has an idea of what it takes to compete at the next level. San Bernardino runs an up-tempo style similar to Washington State, which should help ease Callison’s transition.

“I see him making a huge, immediate impact next year,” Brewer said.

Callison chose WSU over interest from Cal, UC Irvine, Portland State and Texas Tech, Brewer said. Georgia Tech and Purdue also inquired about him late in the recruiting process.

“I'm just very, very happy to see him move on,” Brewer said. “Just very satisfying for him. He actually kind of epitomizes what a national JC is all about. When you come in, nobody knows about you but then you just go through the process.”

Callison was named the Riverside Press-Enterprise Area College men’s athlete of the year earlier this week. In 34 games, the 180-pounder averaged 15.4 points, four assists and earned Foothill Conference Player of the Year and All-State first team honors.

San Bernardino finished the season 31-3, losing to Saddleback College and WSU center signee Conor Clifford in the Regional Finals.

As with Clifford, he will immediately come in and compete for a starting role for the Cougars. Point guard Ny Redding showed flashes last season as a freshman (4.1 points, 3.3 assists per game) but also struggled with his shot and defending other guards. His playing team decreased rapidly toward the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Callison connected on more than 40 percent of his 3-point attempts the last two seasons. He is probably too undersized to play the off-guard in the Pac-12, but his athleticism and high release point help him create his own shot.

"He's a great shooter. He gets great spin on the ball. He has great touch,” Brewer said. “Again, he's a very, very rare player. His shooting release is also quick so it's actually very, very hard to block. . . he's actually going to surprise a whole lot of people.”

As a freshman, Callison’s San Bernardino team played Mt. San Jacinto, where future Oregon forward Dwayne Benjamin starred. According to Brewer, Callison matched up with Benjamin, 6-foot-7, and shut him down in a 91-80 win.

“He was really, really able to cause him some problems because he has that strength combined with intelligence,” Brewer said. “He's a really, really lethal force.”

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