PULLMAN, Wash. — WSU forward and All-Pac-12 Freshman Mouhamed Gueye is headed back to Pullman after all.
The soon-to-be sophomore declared for the NBA Draft and then entered the transfer portal at the end of April. However, he withdrew from the NBA Draft last week at the deadline and withdrew his name from the transfer portal on Tuesday.
Mouhamed told KREM he never entertained any other programs in the transfer portal, but the staff also didn’t treat him like someone who wasn’t being pursued by other schools.
"In my mind I already knew (I was going to return), but they definitely did their job. They definitely did their job," said Gueye of the staff, who also added that he was in constant contact with teammates TJ Bamba, Miles Rice, and Dishon Jackson.
Losing Gueye would have been a big blow for WSU. The freshman started 33 of WSU’s 37 games this year and averaged 21.9 minutes per contest. He averaged 7.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in his first year in Pullman as well. Gueye’s biggest game of the season was when he put up 25 points against UW. The Senegal native was also named on the All-Pac-12 Freshman Team, and many thought he should have been named the conference’s Freshman of the Year.
Unsurprisingly, Gueye is projected to be one of the best, if not WSU's best player next season, especially with four players who saw starting minutes either graduating or transferring. In particular, Efe Abogidi going to the G League should free up Gueye to have more of an impact.
"I’ve got more tasks, definitely offensively and defensively with Efe leaving," said Gueye. "It’s exciting. I want to see how I react to it because I want to show myself that I’m that guy that I’m talking about."
Gueye did participate in the G League Combine while he was declared for the draft but didn’t have great results there. He only had 13 points in two contests, including a game where he went 2 of 9 from the field. He also only tracked down four rebounds over the two scrimmages. Gueye didn’t have good results in any of the shooting drills either, with the exception of the free-throw drill where he went 9 of 10.
Despite not having his best showing at that event, Gueye said he learned a lot from the last two months.
"I went to Portland, and I saw Dame work out and I thought, ‘Oh, I need this to be a pro,'" said Gueye, who also worked out for the Portland Trail Blazers. "I think that’s my biggest takeaway from it. Now I know what I need to work on and how I need to work on it to be a pro."
That process starts immediately. His message to the fanbase that he'll have along the way he kept short and sweet:
"Show up to the game. Let’s turn up. That’s it."