COUGARS • UPDATED: 5 P.M.
As you know if you've been reading this site, Washington State forward James Watson was iffy for next year. Well, he's no longer in Pullman. Watson transferred last week to Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kansas, where he will play next year. We have more on the jump. UPDATE: We have added our story on the link, so read on.
• UPDATE: Here's the story ...
PULLMAN – James Watson, a 6-foot-7 forward who played in 29 games last season for Washington State University, has left the program and has transferred to Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kan.
Watson, who averaged 1.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in a reserve role as redshirt freshman last season, learned recently he would not be eligible in the fall semester.
"He needed 18 credits (to play) and he had 17, so he wasn't going to be eligible until January at least," said Annette Watson, James' mother, when reached at home in Atoka, Okla.
"To be honest, he always struggled academically there. The jump from a small school to Washington State was a big jump for him and I don't think we got his best effort (academically)."
Watson's departure brings to four the number of scholarship players who have transferred since the end of the coach Ken Bone's first season, joining Xavier Thames, Michael Harthun and Anthony Brown. Two other walk-ons have also left.
"We wish James nothing but the best," Bone said in a press release.
• We will have a story soon with comments from the interested parties, but for now we can confirm a couple things. Watson, a 6-foot-7 sophomore-to-be, would not have been eligible in the fall, at best coming up, according to his mother, a credit short. So just before Memorial Day he decided to transfer, and started classes in Kansas the day after the holiday, so he can get enough units in to be eligible for the fall. Watson's mother believes having James closer to home will help his academic focus. ... Watson appeared in 29 games last year, mostly as DeAngelo Casto's backup, averaging 7.1 minutes. He averaged 1.8 points and 1.8 rebounds. He redshirted his freshman year after suffering injuries and health problems, the latter almost costing him his career. ... Watson had an interesting journey to WSU, which you can read about here. ... The loss of Watson thins an already thin inside corps for the Cougars, with Casto, lightly used sophomore Steven Bjornstad, Charlie Enquist, Brock Motum and incoming freshman Patrick Simon the only players at 6-8 or taller.
• We'll be back after the baseball game. Until then ...