Washington State basketball coach Ken Bone has plenty of concerns heading into Thursday's game at 12th-ranked Arizona, but DeAngelo Casto eased one of Bone's biggest concerns when he practiced well on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Bone had said Casto’s chances of playing Thursday were “probably close to 50-50.” After practice, however, Bone said he expects Casto to play.
Casto sat out practice Monday (the Cougars took Sunday off) after rolling his right ankle late in Saturday’s win over California.
The presence of a healthy Casto figures to be key to WSU’s chances Thursday night. Casto is easily WSU’s best inside player on offense and defense. He leads the Cougars with 6.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game, and he’s third on the team in scoring (11.2 ppg).
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Casto guarded star Arizona forward Derrick Williams during last month’s game at WSU, a 65-63 Arizona win. Both players scored 17 points, but Williams had a 19-6 advantage in rebounds.
A win over first-place Arizona (21-4, 10-2 Pac-10) might prove pivotal for fourth-place Washington State (17-8, 7-6) in its bid to play in the NCAA tournament. Arizona, riding a six-game winning streak, is 13-0 at home and draws a league-best 13,407 fans per game.