VERBAL: Cougs land PF with a Weaver assist

THE BENNETT STYLE of basketball is often misunderstood. It's actually designed and works best with a team that can run. Enter a power forward out of tiny Stringwater, Oklahoma who loves to run the floor, plays sound defense and has some hops and blocks to his game. The 6-foot-8 defense-minded athlete became Tony Bennett's newest verbal commitment and talks to CF.C.

Playing in a small town in Oklahoma, James Watson needed exposure. So he hit the AAU circuit this offseason.

Washington State was watching.

Bennett and assistant Ron Sanchez brought him out to Pullman for an official visit last weekend. Afterwards, Watson felt confident of where he wanted to go but held off on the decision until Sunday night to allow for a promised visit to Missouri State.

"What I liked about it, they're a good program," said Watson of WSU. "I like how they play in the Pac-10, they play against (future) NBA people. And I just like playing against good people."

It sounds like a good fit for Washington State as well -- a player who prides himself on his defense and can block, rebound and score. That combination calls to mind a Cougar senior-to-be who not coincidentally was someone Watson forged a connection with during his recent trip to the Palouse.

"Kyle Weaver," said Watson. "And they say I can be a three or four because they saw my rebounding and blocked shots. I can run the floor, and I can get up," said Watson. "I only knew coach Bennett and coach Sanchez. Then when I got out there I met them all, and I liked them all."

Bennett is expected to be a full qualifier come December, Watson's mother Annette told

"I'm just ready to be a Coug," said Watson. "I just thought it was a good fit for me."

James Watson profile

Cougfan Top Stories