Simon opens it back up

THE OUTCOME OF the first conversation between Ken Bone and class of 2010 Cougar hoops commit Patrick Simon wasn't the best of news for Wazzu fans who want to see Simon in the crimson and gray. The conversation, however, won't be the last one between the two, says the 6-foot-7 forward from Ephrata, and Washington State remains at the top of his list.

Simon, who was the earliest verbal commitment in WSU program history when he pledged crimson in 2007 as a 14-year old, called Bone last night to tell him he wanted to de-commit and re-open his recruitment.

"That was the first time I've ever spoken to him...There was such a big change in the program with Bennett leaving, assistants leaving, the program has kind of changed. I just wanted to see what my options are and see what else is out there," said Simon.

Simon, however, said he might well still end up in Pullman.

"What I told him was I wanted to de-commit with the intent that I'm still very interested in WSU at the top of my list," said Simon. "I just wanted to see what other options I would have.

"I just want to make it clear that I de-committed while wanting to let coach Bone still understand that I'm still very interested in going to WSU."

Simon said Bone respected his decision.

"He said he understood...and he said he'd love to sit and talk with me and meet me," said Simon, who may visit Bone at Washington State in the coming weeks.

SIMON HAS TALKED to two other schools in recent days -- Gonzaga and Portland. He said the discussions were at the introductory stage.

Other schools of interest, said Simon, are "Arizona, Cal, Oregon, just Pac-10 schools, pretty much any of them."

Simon missed this past season with a stress fracture in his right foot. His sophomore campaign, he was an All-State selection for Class 2A state champion Ephrata. The injury still has him sidelined, with the projection that he'll miss this summer's AAU slate but be ready to go in August.

"It's getting better. It's a slow process, but it's getting better," said Simon.

Although he missed his junior season, he is ranked the No. 12 small forward in the nation by, holding a 4-star rating.

A QUICK LOOK at the scholarship math shows WSU has one spot in the current class (with David Chadwick having been released from his Letter of Intent) and one spot for the 2010 class with Simon now back on the market. Additionally, Cougar center Fabian Boeke's future had yet to be solidly determined as he continues to battle a back injury that has plagued him for two seasons, the whole of his WSU career. If Boeke hangs up his high tops, another scholarship would open up for Bone and Washington State.

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