Mark McLaughlin, a 6-foot-5 wing from Inglemoor High in Kenmore, Wash., has given an oral commitment to play basketball at Washington State University.
“I went down there with my mom (Maureen) and I really liked it,” said McLaughlin, in Cincinnati this weekend with his AAU club, Rotary Select of Seattle. “We were really impressed with (WSU head basketball coach) Tony (Bennett). I felt I would be very comfortable playing for him and playing the style of play they like.
“The players who play for him all get better, and that was important to me.”
McLaughlin is ranked as the No. 2 shooting guard on the West Coast by scout.com, a recruiting Web site, and 17th in the nation. He is also rated the No. 1 senior wing in the state of Washington by northwesthoops.com.
As a sophomore, McLaughlin helped Inglemoor to a 23-4 record and an eighth-place finish in the State 4A basketball tournament, averaging 17.9 points per game. Last season the Vikings finished 12-11, but McLaughlin raised his scoring average to 22.9 and was the second-leading scorer in the KingCo 4A.
McLaughlin said he received scholarship offers from Oregon State and Nevada and talked with Washington, Oregon, USC and Gonzaga.
He called Bennett about 11 p.m. Tuesday to tell him the news.
“He was pretty excited,” McLaughlin said. “I thought about this a long time and this seemed like the right time (to commit). This is the right choice for me.”
The commitment is the third for the Cougs from the class of 2008, with McLaughlin joining Michael Harthun, a 6-2 point guard from South Medford High in Medford, Ore., who committed in the spring, and Nick Witherill, a 6-2 shooting guard from Scottsdale, Ariz., who committed last August.
The Cougars have also received oral commitments recently from Shadle Park High’s Anthony Brown, a 6-5 wing who will graduate in 2009, and Ephrata High forward Patrick Simon, a 6-7 14-year-old who graduates in 2010.
In other WSU basketball news, 6-10 center Charlie Enquist, a recent graduate of King’s High in Seattle, has told the coaching staff he will enroll in the fall.
“We look forward to Charlie being a part of our program,” Bennett said, “and seeing how he will develop. Charlie’s father went to WSU and Charlie is excited about becoming a Cougar.”
Bennett said he expects Enquist, who broke his wrist in the State 1A playoffs last season, to redshirt as a freshman, concentrating on gaining strength and weight. The forward, who reportedly has grown about 8 inches in a little more than a year, is listed at 190 pounds.