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Sports >  WSU basketball

Report: Washington State’s Daron Henson enters NCAA transfer portal

April 10, 2020 Updated Fri., April 10, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

Washington State forward Daron Henson (3) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (David Zalubowski / AP)
Washington State forward Daron Henson (3) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (David Zalubowski / AP)

Daron Henson, a sharpshooter who played only spot minutes for Washington State in Kyle Smith’s first season, will apparently explore his options to play elsewhere next season.

According to the VerbalCommits website, Henson has entered the NCAA transfer portal, which would make him the first Cougar player to do so since WSU’s season ended in Las Vegas when the Pac-12 Tournament was canceled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Of the underclassmen on WSU’s roster, Henson seemed most likely to look elsewhere after playing in just 10 of 32 games and logging 72 minutes for the Cougars all season. Henson, who transferred to WSU from Salt Lake Community College after starting his career at Utah State, was the only player to sign with former coach Ernie Kent in the class of 2019 and stick with the Cougars when Kent was fired.

As a graduate transfer, the 6-foot-7, 210-pound Henson will be immediately eligible to play and have one year of eligibility remaining.

Henson’s best games off the WSU bench came at Stanford on Jan. 11, when he made 4 of 6 from the three-point line to score 12 points in 19 minutes, and Jan. 23 at Colorado, when he made 3 of 5 3-pointers to score 13 points in 17 minutes. Henson went 10 of 17 from beyond the arc in his first six games, but hit a shooting lull and went 0 of 8 in the next three.

While Henson’s outside shooting occasionally sparked the Cougars on offense, his shortcomings on the defensive end limited him from growing into a bigger role.

In a postseason interview with The Spokesman-Review, Smith talked about the use of plus/minus to determine a players’ value and mentioned Henson in the conversation.

“Really I only like plus/minus to kind of find your outliers,” Smith said. “Who’s really helping and who’s hurting you? And usually there’s some little surprises there and that’s what you’ve got to kind of – and honestly that was, I know I got this question a lot: why not more Daron? The score goes exactly the wrong way.”

Henson’s departure would level out WSU’s scholarship numbers, as the Cougars are expected to sign two more high school prospects at some point in the near future: Canadian combo guard Jefferson Koulibaly and California center Dishon Jackson, who recently became the first four-star center commit in program history.

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