After a few days of trying, I finally got a hold of Washington State junior center DeAngelo Casto. I reached him in Las Vegas, where he is training for the NBA draft. Yes, Casto is declaring for the draft and expects to be playing professionally next year. Read on.
• You can read our story here, but we have some more to add. ... After the team returned from New York, Casto said he decided to head to Vegas to begin training at the Impact Basketball facility. He doesn't have an agent, but he said he does have a mentor from his Freeman High days advising him (he wouldn't share the name) and does expect to sign with an agent at some point. So, no matter what, he's not coming back. ... The reason is financial. Casto needs the money to, as he says, support his son. That wasn't going to happen if he stayed at WSU. ... He's not going to school, so his leaving early will hurt the Cougars twice over in the APR stats. If he had stuck around and finished the semester, it would not have been a blow. ... He believes he's big enough to compete in the NBA, though he said he's been doing a lot of lower-body weight work. Some of the NBA scouts I talked with over the course of the season pointed out how skinny his legs were, though they also pointed out that was an area that he could improve on. But one scout also pointed out his hands, how small they are, saying they can't be fixed. ... Casto said he's been told he has a chance to make the NBA – when asked by whom he said scouts – but he has no problem going overseas to make money. Asked if he had a line on somewhere, he said a couple places had expressed interest but didn't want to give the names. ... One thing he said he'll always be proud of is how hard the Cougars played defense while he was there.
• That's all for now. We'll be back in the morning. Until then ...