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Fan reaction: WSU players Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto win Pac-10 awards
Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto were honored with Pac-10 Conference Awards this week. Thompson made the All Pac-10 First Team, while Casto made the All Pac-10 Second Team. In addition to that accolade, Casto was also named to the Pac-10 All-Defensive team for the year. The personal awards were a great way for the Washington State juniors to end their 2010-11 regular seasons.
Thompson had been in the running for Pac-10 Player of the Year, but that honor ended up going to Arizona's Derrick Williams. Williams has been improving with nearly every game, and has been moving of draft boards across the NBA. ESPN recently even noted that he could possibly become the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft. This season Williams averaged 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game for the Wildcats.
This year for the Cougars, Thompson averages 21.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. Thompson also led the Pac-10 Conference in scoring, proving that he could be deadly accurate with the game on the line. He is projected to be taken in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft, but there has been no confirmation yet as to whether Thompson will even declare for the draft this year or go back to WSU for his senior season.
Casto had another nice year for the Cougars, averaging 12 points and 6.8 rebounds in just 28.2 minutes per game. He shot 60% from the field this year, and recently he has really started to come into his own in the low post. In his last four games, he has posted three double-doubles, including two games against the UCLA Bruins and Washington Huskies where he scored 20 or more points and grabbed 10 or more rebounds.
Both Casto and Thompson will be integral parts of this Cougars team as they try to succeed in the 2011 Pac-10 Conference Tournament. Everything is on the line for Washington State University right now, and they fully realize that they have got to put a nice streak of wins together in the tournament if they want to receive an invitation to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The first game will be on Thursday, March 10 against the Washington Huskies, and it will take place during the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament.
It will be interesting to see what Thompson and Casto decide for themselves at the end of the year, and whether they will be dedicated to returning to WSU for one more season or turning pro.
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*Ryan is a former Washington State University student that bleeds crimson and gray. He has continued to be a die-hard Cougars supporter through the ups and downs of Cougar sports. Once a Coug; Always a Coug.
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