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WSU basketball signs two JUCO transfers in the early period

As expected, Daron Henson and Ryan Murphy intend to become Cougs.

The Washington State Cougars signed two junior college transfers today to kick off the early National Letter of Intent signing period: Forward Daron Henson and guard Ryan Murphy.

Henson comes to WSU as a transfer from Utah State by way of Salt Lake Community College. A 6-foot-7 stretch four, Henson is only four games into his junior college career, but he’s averaging 14 points and 6 rebounds in 20 minutes. As a redshirt freshman with the Aggies, he averaged 4 points and 2 rebounds in 13 minutes across 33 games.

He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining.

The most intriguing part of Henson’s skill set is his ability to shoot: He hit 36-of-95 3-point attempts last season, and is off to a 10-of-25 start this season at his junior college. To that end, Henson will probably draw a lot of comparisons to Robert Franks, who also is 6-7 and also can shoot — in fact, that’s how the coaching staff pitched Henson during the recruiting process ($).

In case you wanted to verify that he can, in fact, shoot:

Henson basically was a specialist from 3 for the Aggies, as he was quite terrible on his twos — according to hoop-math, he shot just 17 percent on his 2-point jumpers, and was just 21 percent overall from inside the arc. If he’s going to be the next Robert Franks, he’s got some work to do there. (So far, at his juco, he’s 8-for-17 from 2.) His rebounding rate also was quite low for a player of his height.

Murphy, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-2 guard who comes to WSU from UNC Charlotte by way of New Mexico Junior College. Like Henson, he also was a three-point specialist for the 49ers, shooting 30-of-75 from beyond the arc while taking just 31 twos. He’s been referred to as a “combo” guard, but his assist rate last year suggests that he’s really just a scoring guard.

That’s been backed up by his play at NMJC this season: In six games, he’s averaging 17.3 points, 2.3 rebound and 1.5 assists. His threes and twos have been evenly split, and he’s been deadly from inside the arc.

Murphy also will have two years of eligibility.

One other little recruiting note: Remember Roberto Gittens, the four-star/top 150ish high school recruit from Foss High School who signed with the Cougs in 2017 before failing to qualify and then heading to a junior college?

Despite insisting multiple times over the past year and a half that he always intended to attend WSU at the end of his two years, Gittens is now uncommitted and presumably not coming to Pullman after all:

Thus, Ernie Kent’s most highly touted recruit never materialized.

Here’s the scholarship situation as it now stands. Kent has two scholarships available to continue to recruit for the regular signing period in February: