(3) Larry Scott vs. (14) DeAngelo Casto: Coug of the Year First Round

COTY rolls on. Our next matchup features the man bringing bushels of money to WSU, and a young man who had to leave the school to make some of his own.

(3) Larry Scott

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Larry is our first non-Coug candidate for Coug of the Year. Nevertheless, when a conference commissioner spearheads a media rights contract that is going to pay little Washington State somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million a year, you can buy your way into the competition.

Larry Scott is everything Tom Hansen wasn't. Innovative. Relentless. The SEC and Big Ten no longer show us how to do business... the Pac-12 operates on its own playing field and if you don't like it we'll come and take one of your schools away. Like you, Colorado. Utah? Why not. We almost got Texas, too, had Texas been a University with any real guts and not just an institution leveraging a bigger piece of the pie from the rest of its suddenly smaller (and easier to win) conference.

Never mind all that. When the dust settled from realignment, Scott still pulled in a record-breaking deal for the conference even before working out the details of a Pac-12 television network. Would Tom Hansen be courting Google and Apple as possible operators for a conference-network-of-the-future? I think we all know the answer.

(14) DeAngelo Casto

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I feel I've reached closure with determining Klay Thompson's legacy. I felt his jump to the NBA was the right one to make, and his career at WSU was as remarkable individually as you'll find -- albeit a bit underwhelming for the team as a whole.

With Casto, I'm not sure how I feel. He was faced with a tough decision to make, and made it. But there's always going to be that what if. Not just for fans; I'm sure DeAngelo will be wondering the same as he watches the NCAA season from afar next year. What if his NBA stock doesn't rise while he's in Europe? Would he have been better off playing on home soil to a larger audience of scouts? We'll never know. Could he have been the one to lead the Cougs back to the promised land of the NCAA tournament? Not anymore.

Still, this nomination is about what he accomplished while at WSU. And for three years, DeAngelo Casto was a beast. The motor behind our team's defense - and often the offense - Casto never lacked intensity and never made a game dull. His numbers speak for themselves, but his energy went beyond that. My favorite thing about Casto was how he was the first player under either Bennett that actively wanted to get the crowd fired up. Ivory Clark and Jeff Varem were big men who often fed off the crowd, but they rarely tried to interact with it the way Casto did.

"He's screaming his own name!", someone near me in the ZZU CRU randomly yelled during his freshman year. Sure enough, when I looked down at the court, he was. I'm thinking that's how I'll remember DeAngelo.

The polls are open below.

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