As the regular signing period for Division I basketball opens Wednesday, head coach Randy Rahe still has a little more work to complete Weber State’s men’s basketball roster.
Sophomore guard Ricky “Doc” Nelson confirmed April 11 he had entered the NCAA transfer portal and will leave WSU after two seasons. That means the Wildcats have one open scholarship to use in recruiting ahead of the 2019-20 season.
“We absolutely wish Doc nothing but the best of luck and know he’s going to be very successful,” Rahe said. “He’s a wonderful kid and we loved having him in our program. But we understand the situation and Doc’s got to do what’s best for him. We’re going to support him in every which way we can.”
Nelson, a native of Houston, Texas, started six games as a sophomore before a leg injury took him out of the lineup for nearly two months. He dished 102 assists to 42 turnovers and shot 43.2% from the 3-point line in 51 career games. Nelson will have three years to play two at his currently undetermined destination.
With Weber State’s roster now carrying only three scholarship upperclassmen (seniors Jerrick Harding and Cody John, and junior Michal Kozak), it seems likely WSU might target a transfer — either a graduate transfer who can provide an immediate, one-season impact, or, a player who may have to sit the required season before becoming eligible to step in and boost the roster’s depth after Harding and John have used up their eligibility.
Rahe said his coaching staff is leaving its options open.
“We’re actively recruiting for one more spot but, at the same time, we don’t feel like we absolutely have to fill it. If the right situation comes, we will fill it,” Rahe said. “But if it doesn’t, we’ll hold it ... sometimes kids pop up at the last minute so we’d hang onto it throughout the summer and see what happens.”
WSU has also secured two more verbal commitments for the class of 2019. Austin Galuppo, a 6-foot-5 wing player and three-star sharpshooter, would be an incoming freshman and Bouki Diakite, a 6-foot-8 forward and former four-star prospect, would be a sophomore after spending one season redshirting at St. John’s and one at Iowa Western Community College.
Diakite and Galuppo can sign and submit their letters of intent beginning Wednesday.
Harding has entered the NBA Draft but can return for his final year of eligibility if he withdraws by May 29.