Men's basketball team inks three in early signing period.
November 17, 1998
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University men's basketball coach Kevin Eastman announced that three high school players have signed national letters of intent to play for the Cougars next year. The three are guard David Adams from Tacoma's Lincoln High School, center/forward Bryan Whitehead from Mount Vernon and point guard Marquis Poole from Centennial High School in Compton, Calif.
"Our goal was to try to sign three players during the early period and hold the remaining spots," said Eastman. "We're very pleased in that we got some good quickness, more athletic ability and very skilled shooters in this year's class. We're also happy that two of our guys are from the state of Washington. Overall, we're pleased with what we were able to get in the early signing period."
Whitehead comes to WSU from the same Mount Vernon High program that produced former Cougar and current NBA player Mark Hendrickson. At 6-9, 220-lbs., the Associated Press AAA All-State pick as a junior will help fill the void that will be left by the graduation of three frontcourt players from the 1998-99 team -- center Leif Nelson and forwards Steve Slotemaker and Kojo Mensah-Bonsu. Whitehead, who wears a size-17 shoe, averaged 11.3 points and 7.2 rebounds for last year's 25-2 Mount Vernon squad.
"Bryan is a player who we feel has the all-around skills to be a multi-purpose position player," Eastman said. "We place a high value on players who can play inside and outside and we see Bryan in this role. He's a proven winner from a winning program at Mount Vernon High School."
Narrows League MVP Adams (6-2, 185-lbs.), who was offered Ivy League scholarships for both his athletic and academic prowess, averaged 19.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in leading Lincoln High to a 19-6 record last season. The first team all-Pierce County selection can play either backcourt position and shot better that 40 percent from three-point range in 1997-98.
"David is an athletic shooter and they're hard to find," said Eastman. "We saw David as a junior in high school and liked him a lot then. He fits into our faster-paced style that we love to play."
The third signee is point guard Marquis Poole, who helped guide Centennial High to a 20-8 season in 1997-98. The 6-2 Poole averaged 20 points, eight assists and five rebounds per game for coach Dominique Street. Eastman expects Poole to push Blake Pengelly for playing time next season. Poole and Adams will also help offset the losses of senior reserve guards Kab Kazadi and Will Hutchens.
"Marquis is very, very quick and gives us needed size at the point position," Eastman said. "He has a very good ability to penetrate to the basket and score. Athletically, he provides us with another player who can really press."
WSU has five seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen on the 1998-99 roster.