College Basketball Nation: DeAngelo Casto

Washington State cleans up team culture

September, 27, 2011
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Washington State filled its news section this offseason with stories of community service. The Cougars helped one woman build a house with Habitat for Humanity, encouraged academics with kids at a basketball clinic, walked in the National Lentil Festival Parade in Pullman, and hung out with senior citizens at a community center.

The headlines came in stark contrast to the negative ones last season after three of the team's top four scorers last season were cited for separate marijuana infractions, with Klay Thompson and Reggie Moore serving suspensions.

According to The Spokesman-Review, coach Ken Bone made it an offseason priority to change the culture by dedicating them to work in the community.
The Cougars who spent the summer in Pullman not only did basketball workouts and weightlifting, they also volunteered for multiple community projects.

Though the coaching staff initiated the process, Bone said, the players ran with it.

"In probably any business you need good character to persevere," Bone said. "We had some issues last year that we think we've done a great job of cleaning up."

Issues needed to be addressed after athletic director Bill Moos in an interview with The Spokesman-Review was critical of the student-athlete culture on campus in wake of a third men's basketball marijuana incident involving DeAngelo Casto last March.
"I'm not sure we have a championship mentality here. We have to instill in our student-athletes a mentality that Saturday's game is more important than tonight's party. We're in a location that has a lot of positives, but Pullman is also extremely visible and our young people need to be aware of that."

...

"But we still need to address the drug issue in this department," Moos said. "In a perfect world, if the Pullman police or campus police wanted to target our athletes, there would be nothing to target."

Now that Pac-10 scoring champion Thompson and rugged big man Casto have turned pro following an unsatisfying 9-9 conference finish that resulted in a trip to the NIT, the rebuilding process begins.

At Washington State, the culture apparently needed to be rebuilt as well.

Ben Howland optimistic on UCLA's future

March, 28, 2011
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The NBA draft could end up stealing plenty of talent from the Pac-12. USC's Nikola Vucevic declared last week he was signing with an agent, as did UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt today. Several players must still make decisions, including Arizona's Derrick Williams, Washington State's Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto, and UCLA's Malcolm Lee and Reeves Nelson.

And when it all shakes out, UCLA could easily be the favorite going into next season. The Bruins lose their best athlete in Honeycutt, but won't miss his 100 turnovers and could return most of their roster to go along with transfers David and Travis Wear.

"Would we be a better team if (Honeycutt) came back? Absolutely," said coach Ben Howland, whose team was without a senior this season. "One hundred percent.

"I'm still very optimistic. I think we'll be a very, very good team."

Howland said the team could still play with three guards, using David Wear as a small forward. And the interior presence provided by the Wear twins along with freshman center Joshua Smith -- all standing 6-foot-10 -- is a nice advantage to have.

Should Nelson and Lee stay in school, UCLA would return its top two scorers along with point guard Lazeric Jones, who now has a Division I season under his belt.

UCLA will have plenty of challengers in the Pac-12. Arizona will really miss Williams should he leave for the NBA, but would still return most of a team that includes point guard Lamont Jones and bring in a top recruiting class coming off an Elite Eight appearance. Washington should still have Isaiah Thomas and an emerging star in Terrence Ross. Cal brings back freshman of the year Allen Crabbe, and Washington State would be strong with Thompson returning to school.

Losing Honeycutt isn't ideal, but it appears the Bruins will manage. And after some more draft decisions get made, they could really find themselves in a good spot.

Wazzu looks to Diamond Head and beyond

December, 22, 2010
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Washington State begins play in the Diamond Head Classic today knowing that things are going swimmingly.

The one-loss Cougars are looking like contenders in the Pac-10 again and receiving votes in the polls. Klay Thompson is back to his old sharpshooting self, and there's plenty of talent surrounding him. The team even catches a break in the opening game of the tournament with Mississippi State big man Renardo Sidney out due to a suspension.

The Cougars could end up playing in some big showcase games this week against Baylor and perhaps Butler, but really, it's merely an opportunity to get good exposure, according to coach Ken Bone.

The Hawaiian business trip is nice to be sure. What the Cougars are looking forward to more, perhaps, are the Pac-10 battles that lie ahead. After all, they remember what happened last season when a 10-2 nonconference start went for naught following a subsequent last-place Pac-10 finish.

"We haven't forgotten last year, put it that way," said Bone, the team's second-year coach.

Bone feels it's clear that rival Washington is the favorite in the Pac-10 this season, with Arizona right behind the Huskies.

"After that, I feel like it's pretty much up for grabs," he said. "The team that can stay together and stay healthy has a chance to be in that top tier."

Is Washington State a top-tier team? The Cougars will soon have a chance to prove it when they finish their two-week road trip by opening Pac-10 play against the Los Angeles schools, starting with UCLA a week from today.

Thompson is one of the conference's top players and a guard who in the past two months has turned himself back into a scoring machine, averaging 21 points per game. He's able to score in a variety of ways after adding muscle and is playing better defense as well, getting away from some of the bad body language that defined his sophomore struggles.

While backcourt mate Reggie Moore recovered from a wrist injury that cost him the first five games of the season, another scoring option emerged. Faisal Aden is averaging 16.9 points per game and can be relied upon to start as he did Sunday in place of Moore or come off the bench to provide instant offense.

Aden has been a pleasant surprise for Bone, who was at first unsure how to handle the junior college transfer's aggressiveness.

"We were on him about his shots even though they would go in, but they kept going in," Bone said. "We’re living with some of his shot selection because the ball goes in the basket."

With Moore back in the flow scoring a season-high 15 points in Sunday's overtime win against Santa Clara, DeAngelo Casto providing his usual physical presence and Marcus Capers a starting-lineup mainstay with 29 assists against only five turnovers, the Cougars have meshed well.

The Diamond Head Classic should give them some good competition to measure themselves against, and continued improvement would be the biggest takeaway from a solid showing. Soon enough, Pac-10 play will offer the opportunity to completely wash away last season's last-place memories.

"We reflect on it sometimes," Thompson said, "but it's a new year."

Charges dropped against WSU's Casto

May, 19, 2010
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Washington State got some good news, as the assault charges against all-conference forward DeAngelo Casto have been dropped, according to The Spokesman-Review.

The team's leading rebounder, Casto was arrested in March after a fight with another man, but the case has apparently been resolved.

The 6-foot-8 Casto hit some big shots this season on the court and is expected to be a major factor in what Ken Bone is hoping for out of next year's team.

Washington State finished last in the Pac-10 standings with a 6-12 conference record at a time when the hot team in the region is rival Washington.

Report: Washington State's Casto arrested

March, 26, 2010
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Washington State sophomore forward DeAngelo Casto was reportedly arrested for assault early this morning.

Casto, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors and was the Cougars' leading rebounder this season. He averaged 10.7 points and seven rebounds per game.

From KXLY.com:

Pullman police arrested, cited and released Casto for 4th Degree Misdemeanor Assault after responding to a fight in a home on B Street on College Hill just after midnight.

A 21-year-old man at the house said Casto threw him against a wall and punched him after he was denied entry to a party. The man had a cut on his face and didn’t require medical treatment.

Police confirm that alcohol was involved.

WSU Sports Information Director Bill Steven says the basketball coaching staff is aware of the situation and will take appropriate action if and when it’s warranted.

Casto beats buzzer again, Washington State contains itself

January, 9, 2010
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Washington State forward DeAngelo Casto once again beat the buzzer with a layup. This time, there was one-tenth of a second left on the clock. This time, Washington State won, beating Arizona 78-76 in Tucson last night.

The Cougar bench's reaction? The players and coaches formed a fence with their arms and made only a "quick roar," just to make sure no technical foul would be called like last time.

"Stay off the court," Washington State coach Ken Bone told the Arizona Daily Star of his thoughts. "Stay off the court."

Casto made sure the "bench was on the bench." Earlier in the game, he even got a call to go his way, taking a charge that fouled out Arizona's Derrick Williams.

New Year's Eve party fouls

January, 1, 2010
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Oregon beat Washington State 91-89 in double overtime, with the Ducks being aided by a technical foul called on the Cougars with .3 seconds left in the first overtime for celebrating what might have been a game-winning shot.

DeAngelo Casto had scored to give Washington State a two-point lead, but members of the bench came on the court to celebrate, and a technical foul was called with .3 seconds left. Tajuan Porter hit the two free throws for Oregon to tie it, and the Ducks would go on to win.

"We (called) a technical foul for bench personnel running onto the court during a live ball, without being beckoned onto the court,” lead official Mike Littlewood explained to Vince Grippi of The Spokesman-Review.

Later in the evening in the Pacific Northwest, Oklahoma forward Tiny Gallon committed his own party foul during Gonzaga's 83-69 win.

Going up for an unsuccessful attempt at an alley-oop, the 296-pound Gallon grabbed the rim instead and shattered the backboard at Spokane Arena.

The game was delayed for nearly an hour as a new backboard was brought in and the glass from the old one was cleared away by brooms and some vacuuming.

Because it wouldn't be a New Year's Eve bash without a mess being made.

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