Casto, Bone teamed up to lure starting PG

PULLMAN -- Washington State fans already knew DeAngelo Casto was a fine basketball player. What they didn't know is that he's also an excellent recruiter. "He played a huge role in getting me to recognize Washington State, because I really wasn't planning on going here at all," said freshman Reggie Moore, the human blur who appears set to be the Cougars' starting point guard this season.

The campaign tips off tonight in an exhibition against Lewis-Clark State and then starts in earnest on Nov. 13 when Mississippi Valley State comes to Pullman.

Casto, who shared MVP honors with Moore at the Washington vs. Oregon all-star game for high school seniors in 2008, kept in close contact with Reggie Moore last season. Moore spent the year at a New Hampshire prep school after opting out of his letter of intent with Fresno State.

"I kept telling Coach Bone, ‘We've got to get this guy,'" Casto said.

Moore had drawn WSU's interest before Casto voiced his opinion. However, Moore said he was more interested in Oregon and California until Ken Bone was hired as Tony Bennett's replacement.

Moore said two of his best friends, former Washington Huskies Nate Robinson (now with the NBA's New York Knicks) and Tre Simmons, told him they loved working with Bone when he was an assistant at Washington.

"Coach Bone is about 90 percent of the reason I came here," Moore said.

Moore, the 2007-08 State 3A Player of the Year for state champion Rainier Beach, is the most high-profile WSU recruit out of the talent-laden Seattle area in eons. Moore said he chose Washington State after turning down scholarship offers from Memphis, Miami (Fla.), Washington, UCLA, Arizona, California and Oregon.

"He's probably one of the five quickest guards I've ever played against," Cougar co-captain Marcus Capers said. "That's up there with (Arizona's) Nic Wise, Isaiah (Washington's Isaiah Thomas), Dash Harris of Texas A&M and Collison (former UCLA star Darren Collison)."

Moore's statistics were not overwhelming as a senior at Rainier Beach (13 points and 10 assists per game) or last season at Brewster Academy (11 and five), but the Cougars expect big things from him. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Moore can nail jumpers from the perimeter or utilize his stunning quickness to get to the rim, and he's a clever playmaker.

"He can score when he needs to score," Capers said. "He sees the court real well, especially in traffic. He's pretty athletic."

"He's quick," Bone understated. "He has good basketball instincts. He's a definite scoring threat, which we definitely need."

And his defense, Coach?

"Sporadic," Bone said. "He has good potential. Staying focused would definitely help him."

Moore, the cousin of Houston Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks (a Cougar killer during his college days at Oregon), quickly formed a close friendship with Capers and Xavier Thames. The latter is also a freshman point guard, though Moore and Thames figure to play together at times.

"I just hang out with Xavier and Marcus pretty much all day, and one of my best friends on the girls (Cougar women's basketball) team, Jazmine Perkins," Moore said. "Just kinda crack jokes on each other. Go to volleyball games, go to the football games. We have a good time no matter what we do."

Moore is a personable sort with an electric smile -- "He fits in really well," Bone said -- but Capers said he initially thought Moore was the second coming of notoriously quiet Cougar star Klay Thompson.

"I didn't think he talked when he first got here," Capers recalled. "I thought he was going to be another Klay on the team! You can only have one of those in your SCHOOL!

"See, Klay is quiet. Once Klay gets to know you, he talks. What's what Reggie was (like).

"The first two or three days here, Reggie didn't say anything. The first two WEEKS here, Klay didn't say anything."

It's not the first time Moore was stunned to silence in a new environment. After growing up in south Seattle, an urban area with a large minorities population, Moore needed some time to adjust to rural, lily white New Hampshire.

"At first, I hated it," Moore said. "I wanted to go home. But man, it became really fun. I liked it a lot.

"Actually, when it was time to leave, I didn't want to leave at all. I grew really tight friendships there."

Moore plans to make a few thousand new friends tonight, when the Cougars play NAIA L-C State of Lewiston. Admission is free for the 7 p.m. contest at Friel Court. There is no television or radio coverage.

The young Cougars were picked to finish eighth in the Pac-10 in a media poll, but Moore said, "I think we'll do a lot better than that, to be honest.

"I mean, you can't really blame them. We have a lot of young players. Really, no one knows what to expect."

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