Over the past month, the NCAA’s transfer portal has battered Washington State’s basketball roster, delivering a serious blow to the sense of optimism that surrounded the Cougars’ program after its breakthrough 2021-22 season.
The portal struck again Monday, when Verbal Commits reported that sophomore big man Mouhamed Gueye had hopped into the NCAA’s version of a free-agency market.
Gueye is the sixth Coug to enter the transfer portal since the season ended in late March, following post Efe Abogidi and guards Tyrell Roberts, Noah Williams, Ryan Rapp and Jefferson Koulibaly.
Sunday marked the deadline for college players to enter the portal and preserve their eligibility for the 2022-23 season. So, Gueye will probably be the last Cougar to explore his transfer options in this recruiting cycle.
Gueye declared for the NBA Draft last week, but that didn’t worry WSU fans, many of whom presumed he was only seeking feedback from pro personnel and would be back for a second season at WSU. Now that he’s in the portal, the odds of a return to Pullman are unfavorable.
The 6-foot-11 native of Senegal, a four-star recruit (247Sports.com), signed with WSU last year over offers from Kansas and UCLA – among others – and quickly became a key piece in a Cougar team that went on to record its best season in a decade, amassing 22 wins and advancing to the semifinal round of the NIT.
One of the top-rated recruits in WSU history, Gueye started 33 of 35 games played, averaging 7.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest and emerging as a pro prospect and an “elite defender” around the rim, said third-year coach Kyle Smith. Gueye’s range, athleticism and fast-improving jump shot impressed onlookers, and he landed on the Pac-12’s all-freshman team.
Rather than building upon momentum generated last season, Smith and his staff are preparing to spend the offseason rebuilding their lineup. Gueye, Abogidi, Roberts, Williams and graduated point guard Michael Flowers made up the Cougars’ starting five for most of last season.
Abogidi declared for the draft April 12, then put his name in the portal three days later. Roberts entered the transfer portal earlier this week and Williams committed to rival Washington last month after a down year at WSU.
As of now, WSU’s roster includes four players with game experience – guard TJ Bamba, center Dishon Jackson and forwards Andrej Jakimovski and DJ Rodman – all of whom have made starts for the Cougars and shined at times.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.