As expected, Washington State's 2015 basketball recruiting class grew by two today, as guards Viont'e Daniels and Charles Callison signed their letters of intent with the school today, the school announced.
Daniels (6-foot-3, 170 pounds) comes from Federal Way, Washington, where he's the reigning 4A player of the year, while Callison (6-foot, 180 pounds) is transferring from San Bernardino Valley College. Callison will have three years to play two seasons.
Congrats to Vionte and the Daniels family! WSU Cougs are getting a great student-athlete and an even better person! pic.twitter.com/I3FCRiNzUM— Team A.C.C.E.S.S. (@ACCESS253) April 15, 2015
"Viont'e and Callison are both speed guys with the ball," Kent said in his teleconference with the media, which Jacob Thorpe of the Spokesman-Review kindly transcribed. "They can get out and run, they can see plays, they can make plays. I feel like with Suggs and King, Callison and Daniels, we just got a lot faster and their skillset's better. Nothing against Trevor (Dunbar) or Jackie (Davis), but (them leaving) gave us a chance to get a little bit deeper, a little big bigger, a little bit stronger."
It's hard to imagine the player of the year in the state's biggest division could fly under the radar, but that's precisely what happened with Daniels, who was a bit of a minor player in his first years at his school. But he exploded as a senior, leading the Eagles to a state championship behind 24 points, six rebounds and four assists per game.
"He is somebody that's on the rise and I think he has a bright future ahead of him," Kent said, "and to be able to get a player of that kind of character and that type of talent out of one of the most respected programs over in that area, that's a feather in our cap, I believe. I think when it's all said and done he has a chance to be a really special leader for us over here."
Kent noted he needs to develop a bit, especially in terms of strength, and so it's unlikely Daniels is a significant contributor out of the gate. Callison, on the other hand, likely will see immediate minutes.
"He can play a couple different positions ... he can move around from off-guard to point guard, back and forth," Kent said. "Charles is a stronger, developed player coming into your program. He's a had a lot of success and I feel like he's a player that will step in right away and be a major factor."
The Cougars still have a scholarship available, and it's well-known they're trying to lure junior college big man Conor Clifford - a legit 7-footer who also is being wooed by South Carolina. He's visited both schools, and has yet to make a final decision. If WSU misses on Clifford, expect them to move quickly on a backup plan, as Kent made it clear he intends to use the scholarship on a big man.
Another piece of news to come out of today is that we finally got some definitive word on Jeff Pollard, the forward from Utah who signed with WSU in the early period. It had initially been said that he'd be attending a prep school next year before arriving in Pullman, but Kent left the door open for that to change. It won't change - Pollard's for sure not coming to WSU next season, and is scheduled to head to Impact Academy in Las Vegas instead.
You can read all of Kent's comments, as transcribed by Thorpe, here.
Once again, here's a look the potential depth chart for the Cougs heading into next season, as well as how the scholarships currently shake out.
|Perimeter Players||Interior Players|
|Charles Callison - Jr./ Ny Redding - So.||Ike Iroegbu - Jr.||Que Johnson - RJr.||Josh Hawkinson - Jr.||Valentine Izundu - RJr.|
|Ike Iroegbu - Jr.||Renard Suggs - Jr.||Brett Boese - Sr.||Junior Longrus - Sr.||Josh Hawkinson - Jr.|
|Ny Redding - So./ Charles Callison - Jr.||Que Johnson - RJr.||Derrien King - So.||Brett Boese - Sr.|
|Viont'e Daniels - Fr,||Ny Redding - So.||Robert Franks - Fr.||Que Johnson - RJr.|
|Viont'e Daniels - Fr.||Derrien King - So.|
|Robert Franks - Fr.|