Washington State University Suspends DeAngelo Casto, Will Miss NIT Quarterfinal

Darin PikeContributor IMarch 22, 2011

March 10, 2011: DeAngelo Casto, Klay Thompson, and Brock Motum in the Pac 10 Tournament.
March 10, 2011: DeAngelo Casto, Klay Thompson, and Brock Motum in the Pac 10 Tournament.Jeff Gross/Getty Images

There have been two unfortunate constants for the Washington State Cougar basketball team this season.

First, the team is horribly inconsistent.

They can lose to the worst team in the Pac 10 one week, only to pull off a great road victory the next against the eventual Pac 10 Tournament champions.

Second, their players just can't seem to stay out of trouble.

Guards Reggie Moore and Klay Thompson were both hit with one game suspensions earlier in the season. Each of them, in separate incidents, were cited for marijuana possession.

Now, it appears as though DeAngelo Casto has joined them.  

According to the Spokesman-Review, Casto's apartment was searched by police Tuesday morning and a small amount of marijuana was found, allegedly.

Casto has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules and will miss at least the Cougar's next game in the NIT tournament.  

They are in the quarterfinals, preparing to play Northwestern.

His presence will be missed. The 6'8" Junior leads the team in rebounds with 6.8 per game and averages 12.1 points.

Northwestern is not a strong rebounding team; Casto would have given the Cougars a sharp advantage in the contest.  

Washington State does not often use a true center. Rather, they run a three guards and rely on Casto working with Abe Lodwick and Brock Motum to fill two forward positions. 

This should have played right into their hands vs. Northwestern. Lodwick and Motum will need to step up in performance and minutes played, while 6'8" Patrick Simon will likely be called upon to fill in.

"I am disappointed in DeAngelo as he let himself and his teammates down," coach Ken Bone said in a statement.

"Neither myself nor the team will have further comment as our sole focus is the game against Northwestern and the opportunity to reach the NIT semifinals in New York."

While the players didn't have any comments, athletic director Bill Moos did.  

"It is important that our student-athletes realize that they are held to a high standard and that a lack of good judgment can be costly, especially in the postseason when so much is at stake."

There will be speculation on how this will impact his decision to return for his senior season or make a run at the NBA. Leading his team to the NIT finals would have helped his case.

"It would be helpful if DeAngelo is back, and I'm not positive on that," Bone said, noting that Casto has a child to support.

"There's a chance he won't be around. We're hoping he is. We think he will be, but it's not a for sure thing."

What is for sure is that he won't be there for the Northwestern game.  

The Cougars should still be able to survive the matchup. If it happens, it will be interesting to see if Casto would be allowed to play in New York.