PULLMAN, Wash. – James Hunter and Royce Woolridge have chosen to transfer and have been granted their releases from the Washington State University men’s basketball program; while signee Jermaine Morgan has been released from his National Letter of Intent (NLI) and will not enroll at WSU this fall, head coach Ernie Kent announced Tuesday.
“I greatly enjoyed my visits with James and Royce and respect their reasons for moving on,” Kent said “We wish them the best and consider them both to be great young men.”
A two-year starting guard for the Cougars, Woolridge averaged 9.2 points and 2.7 assists per outing at WSU. The Phoenix-native averaged 11.0 points in his first season in 2012-13 after transferring from Kansas, following up with 7.3 points per game in his junior year this past season. Woolridge is on schedule to graduate from WSU within the 2013-14 academic year with a degree in human development.
“I commend Royce for his decision, as he made it based on what’s best for him and his family,” Kent said. “We will miss him and we wish him well.”
“I want to thank Coach Kent for the opportunity that he’s given me and everyone else at WSU,” Woolridge said. “I believe with all my heart that he will take this program to the next level, but my responsibilities are with my family and my grandmother. I commend Coach Kent for being so understanding. I’ve enjoyed my three years here and am proud that I will be able to call myself a Washington State graduate. I am looking to continue my education by attending graduate school and playing my final season at a school in Arizona to be closer to my grandmother.”
A native of Sydney, Australia, Hunter played 18 games in two seasons at WSU after transferring from Gillette College in Wyoming. A 6-foot-10 center, he scored a total of 17 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in those games. Having just completed his junior season, Hunter is on track to graduate this academic year with a general social sciences degree.
“James Hunter made a very intelligent decision for himself,” Kent said. “This is best for him and his future and I wish him well.”
“I want to thank Coach Kent and the staff for the great opportunity here at WSU,” Hunter said. “I know I’m leaving my teammates in great hands and wish them all the success in the world. I am set to receive a great degree from Washington State, which allows me to pursue a master’s degree and play my final year of basketball elsewhere. I’ve enjoyed my time at WSU and made lifelong friends, but I know this decision is going to be best for my future.”
Morgan, a 6-8 forward from Chicago, currently at Moberly Area CC, signed with the Cougars during the early signing period. He transferred to Moberly from Odessa in College after graduating from Whitney Young HS in Chicago.
“Jermaine Morgan feels he needs to stay closer to home as a member of his family deals with medical issues,” Kent said. “I granted him the opportunity to do that by releasing him from his scholarship. We wish him well.”