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WSU Men's Basketball

Washington State secures commitment from high-potential French guard Kymany Houinsou

By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

Washington State’s basketball program rounded out its class of 2022, adding another international recruit with intriguing potential.

Kymany Houinsou, a 6-foot-6 guard from France who boasts significant playing experience against high-level European competition, has committed to WSU, according to a report Sunday from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

“Houinsou can play anywhere from 1-3 (both guard positions and wing) and even slide up and guard power forwards in a pinch thanks to his tremendous frame and length,” Givony tweeted. “He’s an excellent defender who should be able to play a significant role for Washington State despite only being 18.”

Houinsou shot 52% from the field and averaged 10 points, 5.6 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal across seven games for Team France earlier this month at the FIBA U18 European Championship in Turkey.

He recorded averages of 3.9 points, 2.2 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game on 36.2% shooting in 22 appearances last season with Saint-Quentin, a second-tier professional club in France. Houinsou began the 2021-22 season with LDLC Asvel – a top-level pro team in France – and played in 10 games with Asvel across the past two seasons in the LNB Pro A league, logging averages of 2.3 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.8 assists.

He played for Asvel’s U18 squad at the Adidas Next Generation Tournament this spring, posting per-game averages of 12.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.9 steals while shooting 50.8% in seven games.

The Cougars had trouble defending taller guards last season, so they made it a point to fix that problem during this recruiting cycle. Houinsou is capable of defending multiple positions in the backcourt. WSU signed two other similarly sizable guards this offseason – 6-6 Tennessee transfer Justin Powell and 6-6 Saint Mary’s transfer Jabe Mullins. Along with 6-5 returner TJ Bamba, who emerged last year as the Cougs’ best perimeter defender, those three newcomers should shore up WSU’s backcourt defense.

Offensively, Houinsou adds a versatile skill set. He handled the ball regularly, scored from every level and doled out assists at a steady rate throughout his European career. Statistically, his 3-point shooting has been inconsistent. Houinsou seems to be most effective on penetration plays and midrange shots. On film, he exhibits a smooth pull-up jumper and a quick initial step when he drives toward the basket. Houinsou doesn’t shy from contact in the lane and goes up for strong finishes. He often draws attention inside and dishes the ball out to an open teammate.

WSU will presumably use its final scholarship spot on Houinsou, who is the Cougars’ third international recruit of the offseason. He joins Adrame Diongue, a four-star 7-footer from Senegal, and fellow France native Mael Hamon-Crespin, a 6-9 forward out of the prestigious INSEP academy in Paris. All three have the potential to contribute as true freshmen this season – off the bench, most likely.