Ken Bone and staff went out and bulked up this offseason along their frontcourt. They’ve found another Australian player to boost what was in jeopardy of becoming a very small backup group for the Cougs. The addition of James Hunter from Wyoming sort of fills a gaping hole in the depth of the Wazzu bench going into 2012, and really fills a hole in the big man rotation after highly touted Richard Peters fell through. At 6’10, 240 he is a viable body and if he is in any sort of shape he could potentially become a key component by his junior season. By the way he is going to be a redshirt sophomore so he’ll be able to play a whole 3 seasons. I’m not sure what it is about the WSU-Australia connection but so far we’ve seemed to strike a bit of gold on the big-man train from there. Aron Baynes, Nikola Koprivica and Brock Motum have all been key contributors in their time here so I’m excited to see what Hunter can do.
What does it mean for the Cougs in 2012? It means they’ll have a true rotation at the center and power forward positions. It was looking like we’d have some small forwards playing out of position, because transfer Jordan Railey can’t play this season due to Ncaa transfer rules so Hunter will fill the spot that Enquist filled last season as a limited (and hopefully more productive) role player. From the reports that I’m hearing, Hunter is slightly bigger than Enquist and runs the floor better. Although I haven’t seen any video on him yet, it sounds like he’s not necessarily polished on the offensive end, which is to be expected after only 1 played season of JC ball. Still he will contribute some valuable size on the defensive end during the absences of Motum and/or D.J. Shelton on the floor.
Eventually we really need to snag a high school product so that we can have 4-5 years with him instead of 2-3 and restock. Peters was that guy until he fell through the cracks and there’s only 2 on the board for next season’s possible class. But for now this is a good get from the coaching staff because we really needed someone to step in and be able to contribute some minutes this upcoming season.