March 9, 2010 in Sports

Pac-10 tabs three Cougs

Thompson first-team; Casto, Moore honored
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Casto
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

Pac-10 picks

Player of the year

Jerome Randle, Cal

Freshman of the year

Derrick Williams, Arizona

Top defensive player

Seth Tarver, Oregon State

Coach of the year

Herb Sendek, Arizona State

Most Improved

Nikola Vucevic, USC

See complete Pac-10 list, B6

PULLMAN – Klay Thompson was named to the All-Pac-10 Conference’s 10-member first team Monday, the first Washington State University sophomore to earn the honor since the conference expanded to its current configuration.

Fellow sophomore DeAngelo Casto was an honorable mention selection and also named to the conference’s five-man All-Defensive team. Guard Reggie Moore was named to the All-Freshman team.

“It’s nice the other coaches in the conference recognize what they’ve been able to do this year,” said WSU coach Ken Bone.

Conference coaches pick the Pac-10 awards, though they are not allowed to vote for their team members.

With his designation, Thompson, who averaged 16.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in conference games, opens the door to something no other WSU player has ever done: earn first-team honors three times.

“That would be cool,” Thompson said, smiling.

“It’s nice to see other coaches, again, see what he’s done, in the big picture,” Bone said of Thompson. “He’s accomplished a lot as far as him being able to score, rebound, his defense has really improved. I think it’s much deserved.”

“It’s a really nice honor,” Thompson said about this year’s selection. “It’s something you’ll look back on at the end of your career.

“It’s really cool, but we still got the third part of our season. You’ve still got to go out and prove to people you can play.”

The Cougars (16-14) open Pac-10 tournament play Wednesday night against Oregon (15-15), which defeated WSU 74-66 last Saturday.

Casto, who joined Thompson on the All-Freshman team last season and averaged 10.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in Pac-10 play this year, was happy with his selection, but wants more.

“I’m happy I made it for myself, because I pride myself on my defense,” he said. “The real honor is to be the defensive player of the year in the Pac-10. That’s definitely a goal (for next year). It’s a goal I had for this year.”

Oregon State senior guard Josh Tarver earned that award, joining Cal senior guard Jerome Randle (player of the year), Arizona forward Derrick Williams (freshman of the year), USC sophomore Nikola Vucevic (most improved) and Arizona State’s Herb Sendek (coach of the year) as individuals honored.

Moore, who led WSU with 62 assists in conference games while averaging 13.1 points a game, was pleased to be on the freshman team.

“It’s definitely an honor,” he said, “and something I’ll cherish the rest of my life.”

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