More touted hoopsters high on WSU

WASHINGTON STATE and coach Tony Bennett have been making a lot of noise close to home, gaining a number of verbal commitments for future Cougar classes in the state of Washington and the Northwest. Not to say, however, that they're not still recruiting far and wide, a formula that resulted in a No. 3 seeding at the Big Dance last year. Case in point, a pair of power forwards in the Cougar orbit.

Colton Iverson (6-9, 200) hails from Yankton, S.D., while Olek Czyz (6-8, 235) comes out of the bright lights of Reno. Both have been offered by Washington State. Each offered high praise on the Cougs.

"It's a great coaching staff," said Iverson. "It's a great basketball program and a pretty big school, and it's a good basketball school. I'm definitely interested in them and their offer."

"Coach Bennett is a great coach, their coaching staff is awesome. They're a great basketball program and I really like that, and I really like them," said Czyz.

IN ADDITION to Washington State, Iverson's offers include Nebraska, New Mexico, Iowa State, Richmond and others.

"Nebraska, New Mexico and Washington State, probably those three are recruiting the hardest," said Iverson.

Iverson's and Czyz's schedules both call for AAU games for the rest of the month, with Czyz saying he might try to squeeze in another unofficial visit sometime in August.

"I'm going to probably (commit) before basketball season and I'll try to take at least a couple official visits before that," said Iverson. "I can see myself playing just about anywhere in the country."

CZYZ SAYS his timetable will go through a paring down stage in August, followed by all five of his official visits.

"It's going to happen after I take my official visits and after the summer. Right now I'm going to try and play well for the rest of July and then make up my mind on the five schools in August (to visit) and then I'll take five officials. I'll just take my time on all that. I don't have any leaders, I'm wide open to any offers.

"I think playing time, no, the first thing will be the head coach, then the minutes on the court and then getting better and playing at the highest level possible. At first, I thought I'd stick on the West but then I went to the East Coast and I don't think distance will be a problem."

Iverson said he also is without a frontrunner, but that he too would have his leaders list by the end of next month.

"There's not one school that stands out any more than the other right now, I'm pretty much wide open right now. I'll probably narrow things down a little sometime in August," he said.

WASHINGTON STATE WAS the first to offer Czyz and has been in him the longest. But after his AAU performance this summer, lots of schools have come running. Among his offers in addition to the Cougs' are ones from Kentucky, Louisville and ASU while others like Duke have been in ever increasing contact.

"Kentucky is a great basketball program," said Czyz. "They have great facilities. I visited the camp at ASU and we went through some great drills, I really liked that. I really like coach (Herb) Sendek...coach (Billy) Gillespie at Kentucky is texting me almost all the time and coach (Herb) Sendek does too.

"Coach K (Krzyzewski) and coach Pitino I've been talking to a lot...My parents like all the coaches, they really like the coaches from Duke, coach K and coach Pitino from Louisville."

Iverson said two of his unofficial visits earlier this summer also made an impression.

"Nebraska is a pretty good program that's coming around. I went down and visited and I'm definitely interested in them," said Iverson. "I went down to New Mexico and did their camp and I really like their facilities and their coaching staff, too."

LAST SEASON, Iverson was named first team Class AA all-state, averaging 14.4 ppg and 10.0 rebounds. Complete stats this summer are unavailable but in the early going, he was leading his team, the South Dakota Heat, in rebounds and blocks. Through five games, the 6-9 power forward prospect had 45 boards and 18 swats.

As a junior, Czyz averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds but has opened the most eyes since his AAU team began play this summer.


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