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Two freshmen leaving WSU

PULLMAN – Two freshmen on Washington State University’s basketball team have decided to transfer, though neither has solidified plans.

Guards Xavier Thames and Anthony Brown plan on leaving the school at the end of the year.

Thames, from Sacramento, Calif., and Brown, who starred at Shadle Park High, committed to the Cougars and former coach Tony Bennett. Both decided to honor their commitments after Bennett left for Virginia a year ago and was replaced by Ken Bone.

Thames started four games at guard for the 16-15 Cougars and appeared in all 31, averaging 4.6 points and 1.2 assists as the team’s top substitute.

Thames said Sunday night his decision revolved around basketball and that he enjoyed his time in Pullman.

“It is basketball related but I really don’t want to get into it right now,” he said Sunday, adding his decision wasn’t based on playing time.

Thames said he hasn’t decided where he will end up and he’s just beginning to look into other schools.

Brown appeared in three games, playing a total of five minutes. He said his decision to transfer was based on a desire to play more.

“I talked to Coach Bone on Wednesday and he kind of told me he didn’t see me playing on the team, so I had to make a decision to leave, do what’s right for me,” said Brown, who said he planned to finish out the school year.

A report on Sunday night, citing sophomore Michael Harthun’s father, said the guard had also decided to transfer, though there were no other details. Attempts to reach Harthun were unsuccessful.

Under NCAA rules, players are free to contact schools if they wish to transfer, but must receive a release if they want to accept a scholarship. As of Sunday, none of the players had asked for his release, a school spokesman said.