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Lincoln’s Cutts to play hoops at Stanislaus

Guard attended Rocklin schools because mom works for RUSD
By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
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Former Lincoln resident Casey Cutts has accepted a scholarship to play basketball for Cal State Stanislaus. Cutts lived in Lincoln from age 6 until last year but he attended school in Rocklin because his mom, Cindy Cutts, works for the Rocklin Unified School District. Cutts graduated from Rocklin High in 2007 and helped Yuba College go 33-2 last year. With Cutts at point guard or shooting guard, Yuba reached the JC State Elite Eight tournament last year. Stanislaus coach Keith Larson is excited about signing Cutts to a three-year scholarship. “We had seen Casey play in high school (in the playoffs at Arco Arena) and we recruit so many guys because you never know,” said Larson, a former assistant coach at Stanford University. “No one really wants to go to Stanislaus, they want to go to a Division I school or a JC because a JC coach is promising them that they can get a DI scholarship. You don’t want to take away anybody’s dream but if the D1s don’t come knocking you have formed a relationship and they feel comfortable.” Larson has a good relationship with Yuba coach Doug Cornelius because two of Cornelius’ players have earned scholarships to Stanislaus during Larson’s tenure in Turlock. “Casey was a freshman and we figured he would come back for a second year,” Larson said. “But Doug called us and said ‘this is a four-year guy, has tremendous grades, he wants to be in a system like yours and he can run the offense. And I don’t think with the type of guards we have right now that it’s going to fit.’ “And I’d already seen him play so I called (Cutts) and I asked if he was interested. And he said Chico, Monterey Bay, San Francisco and Sonoma, a lot of the teams in our conference, were interested in him.” However Cutts figured out that Stanislaus would be a good fit for him. “We had the major he was interested in and we (no longer have) both our point guards so he has an opportunity to play right away,” Larson said. “And we kind of hit it off. As a very old point guard myself (Larson played at the University of Oregon, Skyline College and San Francisco State), we speak the point-guard language. “We are struggling in our conference because we have so few scholarship dollars but I’ve graduated 100 percent of my kids that I’ve had in the last five years.” Cutts can’t wait to get started at Stanislaus. “I’m really excited to play for the Warriors,” Cutts said. “I met all the coaches and coach Larson and it just felt right. “Coach Larson sat down and talked to my family a little bit and he is a really good person. Everything just kind of clicked. “I’ll have a definite chance to compete for a starting spot and that was another big part of my plan. I was just curious (about leaving Yuba College after one year) and it turned out Stanislaus had an interest and a need.” Cornelius enjoyed coaching Cutts for the one season. “We had a great year and he is just a great kid,” Cornelius said. “We are probably one of the only junior colleges around that really doesn’t mind getting the kids for just a year. If he can qualify and get out in one year and then be successful for three years at the DII level on a full scholarship – why would we hold a kid back from that?” Cutts will never forget his season at Yuba. “Coach Cornelius and I talked about me gray shirting (sitting out last year) and he wanted me to get another year to develop and be more prepared for this year and it turned out that I developed more than he thought,” Cutts said. “And then we got on an unbelievable roll. We won 22 in a row at one point and I had never been a part of anything like that.” Cornelius relied heavily on Cutts. “Casey did everything,” he said. “He did everything he was asked and he was a ‘yes sir, no sir’ kid. He was the perfect teammate and played some (point and shooting guard). He won two big games for us on last second shots . . . and he was a key part for us.” Cutts is the fifth Rocklin High player to play basketball for Cornelius and then earn a scholarship. Brett Ost (UC Riverside), Mark Schmidt (Sacramento State) and Sean Harris (will join Bradley University after completing two-year mission) each earned DI scholarships while Adam Snyder (Hawaii Pacific University) earned a DII scholarship.