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Australian point guard Ryan Rapp flips from San Francisco to Washington State

UPDATED: Fri., May 3, 2019, 6:08 p.m.

Kyle Smith speaks at a press conference in Washington State University’s Rankich Club Room on Monday, April 1, 2019 in Pullman. Smith has taken over head coaching duties for the men’s basketball team. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Kyle Smith speaks at a press conference in Washington State University’s Rankich Club Room on Monday, April 1, 2019 in Pullman. Smith has taken over head coaching duties for the men’s basketball team. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Washington State is returning to a familiar source for basketball talent.

The Cougars and Kyle Smith have flipped Australian point guard Ryan Rapp, two weeks after he signed a letter of intent with the University of San Francisco. Rapp announced that he would follow Smith, the former USF coach, to Pullman on his Instagram page, and the San Francisco Examiner reported that the Dons plan to grant him his release.

Rapp posted this message from his page: “A lot of things have changed these past few weeks, and I’m glad to say that I will be signing with Washington State University! I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to play at San Francisco but decided to follow my head coach to the Cougars to play in the Pac-12!”

WSU abandoned the Australian pipeline during Ernie Kent’s five years at the helm, but it was a popular pit stop on the recruiting trail for former Cougars coaches Ken Bone and Tony Bennett, who brought in Aussies Brock Motum, Aron Baynes, Dexter Kernich-Drew and James Hunter.

Rapp is a 6-foot-5 combo guard who played for Mazenod College in Melbourne and was named to the All-Associated Catholic College team in 2017 and ’18.

He also played club hoops for the Dandenong Rangers of Victoria’s Junior Basketball League.

In a USF press release from April 18, Smith’s replacement, Todd Golden, said this of Rapp:

“Ryan is a big combo guard, and his best basketball is ahead of him. He already has a great understanding of how to play the lead guard position. He has great feel, and is very comfortable operating out of the pick-and-roll. He’s made big strides in his all-around game over the past year.”

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