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Ahmed Ali appears set to return to WSU

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The guard seems destined for a smaller role after exploring his transfer options.

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Stanford Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

What has been speculated for a while appears to finally be confirmed: Ahmed Ali, the Washington State Cougars’ main point guard last season, looks like he’s planning on returning to Pullman for his final season.

Ali had been reported to be in the NCAA transfer portal, but for whatever reason, didn’t go all the way through with leaving.

Last season, Ali started 24 games and averaged 21 minutes, 7.3 points and 2.9 assists. It’s hard to imagine him having as prominent of a role in this upcoming season, given all of the guards new coach Kyle Smith has recruited and the renewed emphasis on defense — at 5-foot-11 and just 165 pounds, Ali struggled on that end. However, he’s a sound ball handler who doesn’t turn it over much and he possesses a Pac-12-level three-point shot (even though he only shot 33% last season, it seems like there’s some meat on the bone there).

With that, we’re now just waiting on whether big man Nigel John, who signed with WSU way back in November, is indeed planning on coming to Pullman. It’s reasonable to believe that John isn’t coming, given that WSU hosted Jamon Kemp — yes, son of Shawn — for a visit last weekend, and there’s only a scholarship available in the absence of John.

You can catch up on all the roster movement here.

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