HOOPS: Bone showing interest in 7-footer?

IS KEN BONE EYEING a tree-topping paint presence with the late signing period tipping off on Wednesday? Alec Brown, a 7-foot center from Winona, Minn., told his hometown newspaper that Washington State is one of the three schools he is most interested in attending.

Alec Brown, who set school records with single-game highs of 44 points and 13 blocked shots at Winona High this season, told the Winona Daily Record that Wazzu, and Chicago-area schools Northwestern and Loyola, are the schools he is presently considering. He did not rule out listening to others.

Brown has a number of offers from smaller schools but it is unclear if WSU has offered.

Brown this season made first-team all-state (all classifications) after averaging 22.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.9 blocked shots. Winona finished 29-2 and placed third at the State AAA tournament.

In the state tourney, he netted 35 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots in the first round win over Orono. Brown shot 16-of-23 in that game. But he made just 5-of-21 shots in an 80-55 second round loss to eventual state champion St. Paul Johnson, finishing with 15 points, 10 boards and nine blocks. Brown then bounced back in a 48-32 win over DeLaSalle in the third place game, hitting 9-of-10 shots from the field and logging 20 points, four rebounds and four blocked shots.

THE COUGARS HAVE two available scholarships for next season after reserve underclassmen guards Xavier Thames, Michael Harthun, Anthony Brown and walk-on John Allen announced they will transfer.

Thames said Sunday he has been invited to visit schools, including Miami (Fla.) and Saint Mary's (Calif.), but has yet to receive a scholarship offer and has not decided which schools he will visit.

Last November, WSU inked two recruits in the early signing period for basketball, both of whom were high-scoring "2" (shooting) guards this past season. Faisal Aden made the All-Suncoast Conference first team for Hillsborough (Fla.) Community College. Patrick Simon, who could move to forward in college and is listed at 6-9, was the Washington Class 2A Player of the Year for Ephrata High.

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