Low high on Cougs

AFTER SEVEN STRAIGHT disappointing seasons, the action on Friel Court had become something of an afterthought to many of the Cougar faithful. That all changed this offseason with the surprise hiring of <b>Dick Bennett</b>. There's also a question we here at <I>Cougfan.com</I> would like to pose to all the hardwood fans out there: Can Bennett recruit or what?

Actually we're pretty sure you already knew the answer to that one.  We just wanted to say it out loud and thump our collective chests a bit.


Derrick Low (TheInsiders)

Derrick Low, the standout 6-foot-1 point guard at Iolani HS, (Honolulu, HI) has verbally committed to Washington State.  Low was a member of Hawaii's all-state team each of his first three years and helped the Raiders win the last two state championships.  Gonzaga, Utah, Hawaii, Kansas, Connecticut and Washington were among several schools Low received interest from before making the call.


Iolani coach Mark Mugiishi said Low's decision is solid.  The talented floor general said he was won over through phone conversations with coach Bennett and his son, Tony Bennett, an assistant for WSU.  "Coach Bennett is a really impressive man. He is honest, sincere and very easy to talk with. I can't think of anyone I would rather play for," Low said in a release. 


The coaching staff also impressed the Low family.  "It was easy to see that they are classy people who will take excellent care of my son, regardless of basketball. That is very important to a father," said Kenneth Low.


The verbal continues a strong showing for WSU hoops in recent months.  Bennett was named the head coach in March.  Junior college transfers Jeff Vareem and Anthony Grant inked their LOI's one week apart in May.


Vareem led his team in points, rebounds and blocks at Vincennes University this past season.  The native of Nigeria was a very hot commodity within the JUCO ranks before signing with Washington State.  Grant was First Team All-Region XIII while at College of Eastern Utah, averaging over 16 points and connecting on 81 treys.  During his prep career, Grant headlined at Franklin High in Seattle.


In June, star guard Marcus Moore announced he was withdrawing his name from the NBA draft to play his senior season under Bennett. 


And now in August, Washington State has garnered this impressive verbal commitment for the 2004 class.  This is simply a huge ‘get'.  The excitement over Cougar basketball has been building ever since coach Bennett came on board at Washington State.  He has been successful everywhere he has ever coached over a 25-year, 453-victory collegiate career. 


For a school that is hungry for hardwood success, it's a match made in heaven.  Well, with a stop or two along the way at places like Paradise.

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