OGDEN — Weber State’s offseason of men’s basketball roster change hit full speed this week with three more players set to leave the program.
Sophomore guard Israel Barnes and forward Bouki Diakite, and freshman guard Austin Galuppo, have all entered the transfer portal.
“They’re all three just wonderful kids. After talking to them, it was based on, those guys want to go to have a chance to play more, those kinds of things,” WSU head coach Randy Rahe said. “It’s a mutual decision. We support them every which way ... to help them find a situation where they can be successful.”
Barnes leaves with the most experience. The 6-foot-4 native of Wichita, Kansas, started 27 of 33 games as a freshman, averaging 24.5 minutes per game, before appearing in 28 games, with five starts, and 12 minutes per outing as a sophomore.
He averaged 4.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in his WSU career. Barnes hit a game-winning 3-pointer in 2018 to beat Central Michigan at the buzzer.
Diakite, a native of Mali, joined WSU this offseason after redshirting at St. John’s and playing part of a season at Iowa Western Community College. The 6-foot-7 forward is a former four-star recruit who tore his ACL at IWCC. The projected starter then hit a bump in his rehabilitation and recovery, which limited him to appearances in three games this season.
“I felt really bad for him because he worked so hard to get back,” Rahe said.
Galuppo appeared in 12 games as a freshman, most in the first half of the 2019-20 season. The 6-foot-5 guard came to WSU as a shooting ace but went 6 of 25 (24%) from the 3-point line in 9.1 minutes per appearance.
Weber State currently has five open scholarships for the 2020-21 season following an injury-plauged 2019-20 campaign of 12-20, the worst of Randy Rahe’s 14 seasons at the helm. Jerrick Harding and Cody John depart as seniors, and the above three join sophomore guard Caleb Nero as transfers leaving the program.
Junior college guard and 6-foot-6 athlete Zahir Porter verbally committed to Weber State on Friday as WSU’s first commitment of the 2020 class.
Rahe and his staff will work through the summer to reshape the roster through mostly recruiting junior college and Division I transfers, he told the Standard-Examiner.
Weber State’s women’s team is losing two players to the transfer portal, according to a report from Skyline Sports: sophomore forward Ciara James and freshman wing Shyanne Loiland.
James played in 28 of 30 games, starting 11 while averaging 4.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. Loiland appeared in 24 games, averaging 13.8 minutes per appearance and shot 43.3% from the 3-point line.