Washington State basketball coach Ken Bone announced Monday evening that he has lifted the indefinite suspension of Pacific-10 Conference scoring leader Klay Thompson after one game.
The decision clears Thompson to play Thursday in WSU’s Pacific-10 Conference tournament opener against Washington in Los Angeles.
Thompson and starting point guard Reggie Moore practiced with the team Monday. Moore, who sat out Saturday’s loss to UCLA after suffering a sprained ankle Thursday against USC, was limited in practice.
Bone suspended Thompson last Friday after the junior wing was ticketed for misdemeanor marijuana possession after his truck was stopped for a broken headlight on Thursday night.
Earlier Monday, when Bone was asked about the one-game suspension Moore served in January for misdemeanor marijuana possession, Bone said, “I think I need to be consistent with what I’ve done.
“It’s a first-time offense. It’s a misdemeanor. It’s the same if they received a DUI.”
Bone said Thompson’s decision to apologize to WSU fans prior to Saturday’s home loss to UCLA was “a great step in the right direction. I can’t imagine that being an easy thing to do for a young man.
“We, as a (coaching) staff, really appreciated what he had to say.”
Also Monday, Thompson was named to the 10-member all-conference first team for the second successive year. Junior post DeAngelo Casto was named to the second team, and, for the second year in a row, he made the all-defensive first team. Pac-10 coaches make the selections.
Thompson leads the Pac-10 and was ranked 13th in NCAA Division I through Sunday with 21.4 points per game. Casto averages 12 points and leads the Cougars with 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots.
“I wouldn’t have been shocked if DeAngelo made the (all-conference) first team,” Bone said. “I think he’s had a great conference season.”
The sixth-seeded Cougars (19-11) are 2-0 against the third-seeded Huskies (20-10) this season. Bone said he believes the Cougars “have a good chance” of making the NCAA tournament if they win two games to reach the Pac-10 tournament title game for the first time in school history.
The National Invitation Tournament (NIT) is the most prominent of three other national postseason tournaments that could be a possible destination for WSU.
Asked if he thinks the Cougars will be invited to the NIT regardless of their performance this week, Bone said, “I don’t know. I really don’t have a good feel for that.”