HOOPS: Cougs offer Colorado tree-topper

THE 2009 BASKETBALL recruiting class at Washington State is expected to focus more on the bigs given all the wings who signed in the class that arrives in August. One prospect catching the eye of Tony Bennett is a center who stands a hair's breadth under 7-feet and has a zest for cleaning the glass. He holds a Washington State offer.

Center Aron Baynes, along with forwards Daven Harmeling and Caleb Forrest plus point guard Taylor Rochestie, all graduate after next season.

That gives the Cougs four slots for its 2009 class of recruits.

Spokane shooting guard Anthony Brown of Shadle Park will take one of those spots, having verbally committed a year ago.

That puts the focus now squarely on the post.

Will there be another tree-topper joining Fabian Boeke and Charlie Enquist in the race to fill Baynes' minutes?

Trevor Williams, a 6-11 1/2, 254-pound center out of Denver is someone Bennett would like to add to the mix.

"I want to go to a school that uses their big guys...I'm just looking at the opportunity to be able to play a little bit my freshman year," said Williams.

WILLIAMS HAS BEEN OFFERED by Washington State, Purdue and Colorado State, and has been in close contact with all three.

Additionally, UCLA, Kansas, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Marquette and Oklahoma are showing varying shades of recruiting love.

He's been to nearby Colorado State for an unofficial visit and the hope is to get out to both WSU and Purdue in the near future.

"I want to go in the spring so I can be there before the players get out -- I want to get a feel for what it's like to be around the players when the school is in session," said Williams.

WILLIAMS SAID he does not yet have a leader between the offering schools though he might have a better idea depending on when he's able to get out to WSU and Purdue.

"They're kind of all tied right now..Location doesn't really matter to me. I've really made a connection with Colorado State and I know that's easier because they're so close," said Williams.

In addition to playing time and chemistry with the players, coaches' character is high up on his list.

"Honesty with the coaches is really important. I've seen that a lot with Purdue and Washington State, and also Colorado State. They've been very honest with me," said Williams.

Take for example, said Williams, how Purdue said they were also looking at other centers and if he waited too long, the opportunity might not always be there. With Washington State, Williams talked about how Bennett was also up front.

"Coach Bennett was honest, saying I'd be coming in right away and I'd have the opportunity to play because Aron Baynes is going to be gone and they could be a little bit short on big guys," said Williams. "With Colorado State, they've liked me from the start and had obviously done a really good job at looking at my personality and everything."

THIS SUMMER, Williams said he'll be working on his footwork in the paint. Wazzu has been to the Big Dance each of the last two seasons but if there's been an area the Cougars were lacking in, it's been rebounding. Of his 209 boards last season, 73 of them were on the offensive end.

"I'm not exactly playing on the highest level in Colorado and so we have a lot of teams play zone against us. I've shot the jumper a little bit more, (Purdue) coach (Matt) Painter) and coach Bennett were a little impressed that I already have that nice touch outside. And that I rebound well. Rebounds are what's important," said Williams.

Last season, Williams logged 47 blocks and 23 steals on the season, while averaging 12.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.

"I'm getting in the weight room more. I haven't really been in the weight room a lot since my freshman year...now I'm starting to get back in there."

Trevor Williams profile

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