DeAngelo Casto is coming off a breakout sophomore season for the Washington State Cougars where he nearly doubled his minutes and led the team in blocks and rebounds. The undersized but highly agile big man also expanded his scoring game last year, though still has much work to do.
Offensively, Casto is a fairly limited player from a skills standpoint, though he has a developing game in a few areas. Seeing most of his possessions with his back to the basket at this level, Casto shows flashes of good footwork and instincts in the post, being capable of turning off either shoulder and having a good looking right-handed hook shot in his arsenal. Although he looks fairly comfortable operating in the post, Casto unfortunately is not a very effective or efficient player in this regard, and his issues would likely become much more apparent projecting to the next level as well.
While Casto is a very good athlete overall, possessing very high levels of mobility and coordination, he isn't outstanding with lower body explosiveness or reactiveness operating around the rim, and when combined with his height, he struggles to power up and finish through contact in traffic. Even when open, he often has to bend down to gather his strength in order to dunk the ball, something he rarely does except when wide open, while his lack of height certainly doesn't help matters.
In regards to his finesse post game, despite showing good touch and a decent array of moves, his accuracy as he gets outside five feet of the basket is not very good, and he lacks a high degree of polish in this area. Despite seeing the majority of his possessions in this vein at Washington State, it'd be tough to see him playing a similar role in the NBA without substantial improvement.
Off the ball, Casto is good at getting open on cuts to the basket and crashing the offensive glass, but his lack of ability to power up in the lane leads to him being an underwhelming finisher, especially when contested. He also is rarely utilized on pick-and-rolls or pick-and-pops, not showing much of anything in terms of a mid-range jumper, something he will surely need to develop projecting to the next level.
Defensively, Casto blocked shots at a decent rate this past season while staying out of foul trouble, showing great timing in the lane combined with excellent length and the ability to cover a lot of ground on rotations due to his mobility. Casto is perhaps most impressive in this regard when operating against perimeter players on switches, doing a great job of staying with them down the lane only to swat the ball away when the shot goes up. Not tested frequently in pick-and-roll and isolation situations on the perimeter, Casto regardless shows very good potential in this regard, which is a good sign since it will be crucial for him to play power forward in the pros.
Defending the post, Casto is more of a mixed bag, on one hand showing a nice fundamental base and the ability to use his length to alter shots, but on the other lacking a bit in consistent physicality, showing a tendency to give up on plays, and being prone to being shot over by larger opponents at just 6'8. More consistently using his fundamental base and developing a stronger base to hold better position and body up the opposition better should help him noticeably in this area. On the defensive glass, Casto does a good but not great job, and will probably need to be more aggressive in this area down the road, as undersized bigs who don't excel on the glass aren't in abundance in the NBA.
Looking forward, the 20-year-old junior is an intriguing prospect with room for growth in multiple areas, but his height and underwhelming offensive skill set will certainly make things difficult for him down the road. Developing a mid-range jumper, maximizing his lower body strength, and continuing to expand on his defensive and rebounding abilities should be among his priorities, while his young age and two years remaining in college should give him plenty of time to do so.