April 30, 2004
Simmons, a native of Tacoma, was a walk-on for the Cougars last season. He appeared in 15 games as a junior guard for WSU in 2003-04. He tallied seven points at home against both Arizona State and Arizona. He played a season-high 29 minutes against the Wildcats in his lone start.
"Isaiah demonstrated an ability to compete at this level," Bennett said. "He has one year left and this is a chance to help him."
Bennett also announced Lance Den Boer and Justin Garcia are leaving the Cougar program. Den Boer, a freshman from Sunnyside, averaged 1.7 points in 14 games off the bench last season. He scored a season-high 11 points at Montana, Dec. 13. Garcia, a junior from Mira Loma, Calif., appeared in seven games and scored four points in 2003-04.
"These decisions were mutually agreed upon," Bennett said. "In Lance's case, he will most likely transfer to a school in the state of Washington. Justin's future school will probably be in California."
Bennett added the NCAA's recent elimination of the "5/8 rule" allows WSU to replace its two departing players immediately. Previously, a school was only allowed five new players in one year or eight in a two-year period. The Cougars added four players in 2003-04 and with four early signees for the 2004-05 season, WSU was at the maximum prior to the recent NCAA ruling.
"In anticipation of this change, we have kept in touch with a number of available prospects," Bennett said. "We have made offers and plan to follow up with visits to fill out our roster with this spring. Next season we will be at the optimum number of scholarships by awarding two to new players and one to Isaiah Simmons."