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Sports >  WSU basketball

Washington State guard Jefferson Koulibaly enters name into NCAA transfer portal

UPDATED: Mon., March 28, 2022

Washington State guard Jefferson Koulibaly controls the ball during a Pac-12 game against USC on Dec. 4 in Pullman. Koulibaly entered his name into the NCAA's transfer portal on Sunday.  (Associated Press)
Washington State guard Jefferson Koulibaly controls the ball during a Pac-12 game against USC on Dec. 4 in Pullman. Koulibaly entered his name into the NCAA's transfer portal on Sunday. (Associated Press)
By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

Jefferson Koulibaly disappeared from the Washington State sideline earlier this year. Now it seems he’ll never return.

The Cougars men’s basketball freshman guard, who hasn’t been with the team since early February, entered his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal Sunday evening, according to a Twitter report from Verbal Commits.

Koulibaly began the season playing a considerable role off the bench – he logged over 15 minutes in four of WSU’s first six games – but his time on the court decreased as the season progressed, and as sophomore TJ Bamba assumed increased responsibilities. Koulibaly last appeared in a game Jan. 30. He was declared out indefinitely Feb. 23 for an unspecified reason.

On the season, Koulibaly played in 16 games, recording averages of 2.6 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game. He shot 15 of 42 from the field and recorded seven steals against 14 turnovers.

Koulibaly’s best effort came in his career debut, a win over Alcorn State in WSU’s season opener Nov. 9. He registered 13 points (4 of 8), three assists and three rebounds.WSU coach Kyle Smith had spoken highly of the 6-foot-3 Montreal native since he signed with the Coug program ahead of the 2020-21 season. Koulibaly took a medical redshirt last year and didn’t appear in a game after undergoing surgery to repair a shoulder injury.

Smith figured Koulibaly might have contended for significant playing time early in his career, considering his defensive tenacity on the perimeter.

“He’s got quick feet, quick hands. He’s just relentless,” Smith said of Koulibaly after the season opener. “He’s just an energizer. We talk about his defense, but he can score. He’s a playmaker on both sides of the ball.”

The third-year coach declined to offer specifics earlier this season when asked about Koulibaly’s situation. He also missed a stretch of time in December due to a personal matter.A three-star recruit, Koulibaly committed to WSU in February 2020. He had drawn recruiting interest from such power-conference programs as Rutgers and Clemson, per 247Sports.com.

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