Cougar hoops recruiting outlook

THE BOOKS OFFICALLY close on the 2010 college basketball recruiting season in three weeks when the spring signing period runs out. Washington State has assembled a three-player class and there's a chance for one more if Ken Bone chooses to use his lone open scholarship slot now rather than in the 2011 class. If I were a betting man I'd wager that Bone will save the scholie for next year.

The Cougs will have no seniors on the team this upcoming season. Barring unforeseen attrition, that means Bone would have zero scholarships to play with in the next recruiting cycle if he filled his last opening now. By saving that last scholie for the next cycle, it would mean, four years hence, losing four seniors instead of five -- a notable difference in a sport where continuity and individual leadership is critical.

Moreover, of the talent that remains on the board in this current recruiting cycle, the best of the best -- especially in the post, where the Cougars need help -- aren't interested in WSU and WSU appears only lukewarm about the guys on the next tier.

In addition, the Cougar coaching staff has been hitting the 2011 recruiting trail with gusto, according to those in the know. WSU is believed to already have offered a scholarship to Seattle's Hikeem Stewart, a 6-2 combo guard and honor student from powerhouse Rainer Beach High. Older brothers are Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart

WSU also is thought to be giving interest to, and getting interest from, 6-5 small forward Kevin Bailey of Fresno; and 6-7 power forward Ryan Anderson of Long Beach, among others.


  • Looking farther out, to the 2012 recruiting class, WSU reportedly has offered Jordan Tebbutt, a 6-5 sophomore from Tulatin, Oregon.

  • When WSU landed Tacoma point guard Andre Winston last week for its 2010 class, it meant the end of the crimson road for Johnathon Loyd, a 5-9 PG out of Las Vegas that the Cougars also had offered. With the Cougs off the table, he's now choosing between Northwestern and George Washington. Another guard, a combo guard, who had drawn considerable WSU interest but not an offer was Emmerson Murray of Vancouver, BC. He just signed with Cal.

  • The Cougars will take on Kansas State in Pullman on Dec. 3 (the night before the Apple Cup) as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Harwood Series, the two conferences announced Wednesday. Last season the Wildcats, who went on to a deep Big Dance run that was stopped by Butler, defeated the Cougs in the series 86-69 in Manhattan.

  • Ken Bone, Paul Wulff and Bill Moos will be on hand May 13 for the annual King County Cougar Golf Classic at The Club at Newcastle near Bellevue. The aim of the tourney is to raise money for athletic scholarships. The day kicks off with a putting contest at 11 am, followed by lunch, a shot gun start at 12:45, then an auction and dinner. To register, CLICK HERE. To co-sponsor the event, call Todd Thrasher at 206-448-1335. .

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