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Woolridge transfers to Washington State

Basketball: Royce Woolridge, a 6-foot-3 combo guard who played last season as a freshman at Kansas, announced Friday he was transferring to Washington State University.

Woolridge, the son of former NBA and Notre Dame star Orlando Woolridge, was Arizona’s big-school player of the year at Phoenix’s Sunnyslope High as a senior, when he averaged 30.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

But he played sparingly for the Jayhawks and said in April he was going to leave Lawrence.

In 16 contests for the Jayhawks, Woolridge averaged 0.6 points in just 2.8 minutes a game.

After visiting a handful of schools, Woolridge chose WSU over Pepperdine.

“I chose Washington State because I loved the staff and the players there,” Woolridge told the Arizona Republic. “It was like a family atmosphere and I really liked Pullman. The coaching staff has done a good job, and I think they’re getting better as a program.”

“We’re excited about the signing of Royce,” WSU coach Ken Bone said in a media release. “He transfers in with a grade point average above a 3.5 from Kansas and is just an outstanding young man with high character values.

“He didn’t play a lot of minutes last season but showed his ability to play at a very high level in high school. Royce will be a great fit to our backcourt and now has a year to prepare himself for competition.”

Woolridge, who signed a financial aid agreement, will have to sit out the 2011-12 season.

Freshman guard Dre Winston, Jr., left WSU last week. He will be enrolling at Portland State, PSU announced this week.

Vince Grippi