FAISAL ADEN's arrival out on the Palouse looks to be nearly at hand. The touted junior college transfer has just about completed his AA degree. Aden, a high-scoring shooting guard, is expected to play a significant role for Ken Bone this season. He put a mini-scare into the Cougar Nation in May when he didn't arrive early, for summer school. Instead, he's simply going to arrive "on-time."
Faisal Aden’s early arrival this summer was postponed because he had a couple classes to wrap up before earning his AA and a ticket to Division IA.
WSU this week published its official roster for the 2010-11 season and Aden is there, checking in at 6-4 and 185 pounds. But all that signifies, in this particular case, is that he's signed with the Cougs.
So where does Aden stand? He'll arrive at Wazzu in about two weeks or so, Aden tells CF.C.
“Things are good. I’m finishing up this Physical Geology class, my last Science class, and it will be over next Wednesday, actually, just a week from now. It’s a Monday-Wednesday class. After that, I’m pretty much done. I’m doing good in it, I have a B in the class. So I’ll be finished then and I’ll probably be at Washington State in about two weeks,” said Aden.
Aden, always unfailingly polite and engaging, did say he was a bit disappointed at hearing some chatter that’s been circulating over the past few months - unattributed, errant chatter that he was in academic trouble.
“I’ve been hearing some rumors that I wasn’t going to make it. That’s pretty… interesting, I guess…. But I’m doing good, and I guess that’s all that matters in the end,” said Aden.
Born in the impoverished African nation of Somalia, Aden moved to San Diego in grade school and graduated from high school in Dallas. He wound up at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla., when he was unable to meet NCAA Division I academic requirements after signing a letter of intent with New Mexico State.
Aden led Hillsborough with 23 points per game last season, shooting 43 percent from the field overall and 32 percent from beyond the arc. The Hawks won the Suncoast Conference, and Aden made first-team all-league. He averaged 3 steals a game. Note: That 23 ppg might even be a little low. The official NJCAA site looks to be missing some of his games, including an outing where he scored 31 points.
Aden headlines a promising new recruiting class for the Cougars that also includes 6-8, 214-pound shooter Patrick Simon of Ephrata; 6-1, 166-pound point guard Andre (Dre) Winston of Lakewood near Tacoma; and 6-6, 180-pound shooting guard Dexter Kernich-Drew of Australia. In addition, the Cougars have added a walk on -- Will DiIorio, a 6-5, 188 pound standout from Bainbridge Island -- and a walk-on transfer in the former Rainier Beach star Mike Ladd. Another walk on – 5-11 point guard Chris Morgan -- is expected to join the team this fall.
The 6-5, 190-pound Ladd is coming to WSU after two seasons at Fresno State, so he will have to sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules. He played right away at Fresno State and has a redshirt to use, which means he will have two full seasons on the court for WSU. Ladd, a shooting guard, is an intriguing pickup for the Cougs. He had two solid seasons at Fresno – averaging 10 points and nearly four assists per game while there – but reportedly wanted to play closer to family and friends.
NOTABLE: COUGS PACK ON SOME SERIOUS WEIGHT
Per the new roster WSU published this week, the Cougs have added some beef in the off-season. Down low, 6-8 DeAngelo Casto is at 255 pounds, up from 241 a year ago, while 6-11 Steven Bjornstad is checking in at 240 (up from 217) and 6-10 Charlie Enquist is at 235 (up from 222). That’s a collective 50 pounds. And they aren’t the only Cougs who have hit the weight room hard this off season. Guard Klay Thompson is at 202 (up from 200), guard Marcus Capers is tipping the scales at 185 (from 180) and forward-guard Abe Lodwick is at 208 (up from 200).