Still growing, 6-10 center headed to WSU

TONY BENNETT HAS landed the second 6-foot-10 center of Washington State's 2007 recruiting class. The Cowgill-esque kid from Seattle said Wednesday he's thrilled to be heading to his dad's alma mater and will arrive in Pullman in August. Based on what his prep coach says, look for the big man to bee-line for the weight room and dining hall.

Charlie Enquist, a conference MVP from perennial Class 1A powerhouse King's High in the Shoreline area of Seattle, has soft hands and a big-time upside, says his prep coach, Marv Morris.

"They're going to be happy with him," Morris told CF.C Wednesday. "He's a team guy, he's a kid who will listen, he's coachable and he's a very good student."

Enquist will join three other incoming freshmen on the crimson hardcourt this fall: 6-10 Fabian Boeke of Germany; 6-7 Abe Lodwick of Bend, Oregon; and 6-3 Stephen Sauls of Houston. In addition, LSU transfer Ben Voogd, a one-time Oregon All-State guard, will be joining the team this fall and redshirting.

"My dad went there (WSU) and I've been over there quite a few times," Enquist told CF.C Wednesday. "I just really like it over there. I'm really excited about going to Washington State."

Like Robbie Cowgill, Enquist falls into the string-bean category, tipping the scales at 190.

"I think they have a guy that if they can put some weight on him, get him stronger, then they've got themselves a player," said Morris.

"He's a guy that runs the floor really well, has exceptionally good hands, and great touch on his shot from 17-feet in," said Morris. "Put that together with a guy that's 6-10 and that's a guy who probably has a pretty good future. He's got excellent timing on blocks -- he has long, long arms. He has quick feet for a guy that's 6-10. I think the style of basketball they play really fits him well."

Sounds a little bit like Cowgill, who arrived at Washington State as a 6-9, 190-pounder from Austin, Texas. Enquist, on the other hand, almost ended up in the Lone Star State, courtesy of a scholarship offer from Rice.

In February, Enquist -- who averaged a team-leading 13.5 points per game -- broke a bone in his hand and with it went most of the recruiting attention he was receiving.

The hand mended after six weeks and Enquist joined a group of prep standouts for a series of games in Australia. He played well and recruiting attention picked up, with Rice putting an offer on the table.

"I think the bottom line was that he was really, really desirous of going to Washington State. That's been his No. 1 choice all along. His dad went there and that's a big part of it," said Morris.

A DOCTOR TOLD MORRIS recently that Enquist still has room left on his growth plate. "I won't be surprised if he's a 7-footer by next year," said Morris. "He's grown about 8 inches in the last year-and-a-half.

Along with some weight gains, Morris said Enquist may also need to be more selfish. In a midseason clash, Class 1A King's took on Class 4A powerhouse Kentridge (the eventual 4A runner-up to Ferris). Morris laughs about it now but at the time, with King's trailing by six at halftime and Enquist looking to get others involved in the scoring, Morris lit into his team and issued a challenge to Enquist.

"I told him, 'You're the guy. This is when we need you to play. You have to go out and do it,' and the second half he had about seven blocks and 16 second-half points. He just dominated the game," said Morris.

Enquist held Kentridge's leading scorer, Renado Parker, (14.6 ppg) to a season-low six points.

As a junior, Enquist led King's to a runner-up finish in the Class 2A playoffs. This past season, playing at the 1A level, a title looked to be in the offing until Enquist broke a hand in the playoffs. Over his junior and senior seasons, King's went a collective 46-9.

Morris, a 30-year Seattle coaching fixture with five state titles to his credit, said he doesn't expect Enquist to make an immediate splash in Pullman. But with Bennett's guidance, the future is bright.

"I don't think he's ready to play at that level right now, but I think that's something they recognize. They saw the good hands, they saw the good feet...I think they said, 'This guy has a lot of upside.' And he really does. I think he's going to be a heck of a player."

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