Kyle Smith has another scholarship open, as Chance Moore — a 6-foot-7 wing who transferred into the program midseason from the Wichita State Shockers — has transferred out without ever appearing in a game, a spokesperson for the Washington State Cougars confirmed to CougCenter.
Had Moore, who would have been a sophomore, remained with the program, he would have been ineligible to play in this upcoming season until after the end of first semester, per NCAA transfer rules. It had been presumed that Moore was on board with the transition to Smith, if for no other reason than that — another transfer to a Division I school would mean sitting out even longer. His transfer destination is unknown, but a junior college seems likely.
Update, 5/8: Moore says he was forced out by Smith.
Thanks for everything @WSUMensHoops and Coach KENT for trying to give me a New Opportunity. God has a plan for me and can’t wait to see where I will end up. Keep Faith, Trust the Process and Know Better days are coming. Rerun Out!!!! pic.twitter.com/PPsHE3S0lk— Chance ReRun Moore™ (@ReRunMoore11) May 8, 2019
Moore’s recruitment was considered significant for former coach Ernie Kent; Moore had been rated four stars as a high school player by ESPN and a high three-star recruit by 247Sports.
“Chance brings an excellent skill set that will fit nicely with our style of play,” Kent said at the time.
However, there were questions from the beginning of the coaching change as to how the score-first player might fit in with Smith, whose style clashes significantly with that of his predecessor. Smith has emphasized that defense will be a major coaching point going forward, and there’s reason to believe that defensive demands played a role in Moore leaving Wichita State.
“Obviously we had some disagreements on mostly playing time,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. “He thought he should be playing more and our staff didn’t. We had some specific things we wanted him to do to play more and he just couldn’t come around to that.”
Additionally, Smith had talked a bit about players during various interviews, and comments about Moore were conspicuously absent.
Smith now could have up to four more scholarships still to give, as we’re still waiting to hear if Ahmed Ali and Isaiah Wade will indeed be transferring, as well as whether Nigel John will be released from his letter of intent. Both Ali and Wade are assumed to be leaving, but both still appear on WSU’s roster. John has given no indication of his intent one way or the other.
Smith already has secured commitments from four recruits: Deion James (whose grad transfer has been officially announced by the school), junior college transfers Daron Henson and Isaac Bonton, and Australian high schooler Ryan Rapp.