The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Myles Rice, two others headed to transfer portal

Pac-12 Freshman of the Year to end WSU career
Myles Rice stands on the baseline surveying the court before an inbounds play, Jan. 4, in Pullman, Wash.

The Cougar men’s basketball season ended last week, but the offseason has only just begun. The transfer portal has opened, and WSU players are just starting to enter it.

The most notable Coug to depart so far is Myles Rice. After two redshirt years followed by a Pac-12 Freshman of the Year campaign, Rice’s Cougar career is over.

Rice averaged 14.8 points, 3.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game as he led a Cougar team that made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008. He was second in scoring for the Cougs and led the team in both assists and steals.

For his efforts, Rice won a conference record seven Pac-12 Freshman of the Week awards and was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman and All-Pac-12 First Teams. He was also named to the Freshman All-American team, the first Cougar All-American since Klay Thomspon was an honorable mention. He finished the season as WSU’s all-time freshman leader in points, assists, steals and field goals.

Rice scored in double figures 27 times, including a WSU freshman record 35-point outing against Stanford in which he also had eight assists and four steals. 

Rice’s story at WSU was never just about basketball, though. In 2022, just before the start of what was supposed to be his first collegiate season, Rice was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

He stayed with the team the whole time, doing what he could as he went through rounds of chemotherapy. He rang the bell just after the end of the Cougs season, and his story of beating cancer was the talk of every broadcast as he lit up the Pac-12 this season.

Rice released a statement on social media Thursday morning.

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“After reflecting on the recent changes in the Washington State Mens Basketball Program, I have made the difficult decision to enter my name in the transfer portal,” Rice wrote. “I would like to thank the entire coaching staff and the administration of WSU for supporting me for the past 3 years.”

Rice is no doubt referencing the recent departure of WSU head coach Kyle Smith to Stanford, a move that was announced to the team Monday morning by Smith shortly before the news broke.

He also thanked the medical staff that supported him on his journey.

“A special and heartfelt acknowledgment has to be expressed to the Cancer Care Northwest in Moscow, Pullman Regional Hospital nurses, and doctors. Head sports trainer Learie Jones, I could not have done this without you,” Rice wrote. “No words can equate to the tremendous impact you have made in my life.”

Rice made sure to thank the crimson faithful as well.

“Last but certainly not least, gratitude to the Pullman community. you took me in, embraced me, and lifted me up with nothing but hugs and love during my times of need…. to that I say thank you. Once a Coug, always a Coug!”

Wherever Rice ends up, he will surely be a contributor. The most likely landing spots will be in the South, closer to South Carolina and Georgia where he is from.

Rice was not the only Coug to enter the portal on Thursday morning. 

Also announced was the departure of Kymany Housinsou, a French point guard who has been with the Cougs for two seasons. He posted a statement on social media Thursday evening.

“Having given the recent changes to WSU’s athletic department, particularly to the men’s basketball program, I have made the decision to enter the transfer portal,” Housinsou wrote. “My family and I are thankful to CougNation for making a kid from Mulhouse, France feel at home 5,000 miles away. Once a Coug, Always a Coug.”

Houinsou did not jump off the stat sheet, averaging just over 4 points in his Cougar career, but he provided greatly in other ways. His defense at the guard spot was invaluable, and he was able to use his height to great effect as an initiator in the minutes that Rice sat.

His stock in the portal is hard to gauge, but he is likely the type of transfer that is looking for playing time rather than the type that is looking for a program upgrade. He averaged just over 20 minutes this season.

The other Coug to enter the portal so far, Dylan Darling, was actually the first. The news broke Monday evening, with Darling posting an announcement on social media.

“Officially in the transfer portal with 3 years of eligibility remaining. Thank you to everybody who is involved during my time here as it was truly special, ” Darling wrote. “Go Cougs Forever!” 

Darling played only one real season as a Coug in 2022, taking a medical redshirt this season after getting injured early in the season. He averaged 12 minutes and 1.7 points per game in his only full season as a Coug but had four spot starts due to injuries.

He is a legacy Coug, with his father winning awards in crimson and gray before playing the NFL. Now, Darling ends his WSU career in search of a fresh start and more playing time.

The portal is not closed yet, and there will be more departures for the Cougs as the offseason goes on. The biggest names are junior wing Jaylen Wells and freshman center Rueben Chinyelu. Both will see interest in the portal if they do enter it, while Wells has a chance as an NBA prospect if he chooses that route.

There are a lot of questions for the Cougs right now. WSU is currently without an athletic director, while the team is without a head coach. Both of those hires should happen soon, but the portal will not close for months. Until then, how the future of the program will look is up in the air.

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About the Contributors
HAYDEN STINCHFIELD, Evergreen sports co-editor
Hayden Stinchfield is a senior in Criminology from Washougal, WA. He is considered by some experts to be the greatest to ever spot birds. Hayden began working at the Evergreen in fall 2022, and became Sports Co-Editor in summer 2023.
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.