N.C. State’s basketball roster took another hit Wednesday night.
Hours after guard Trevor Lacey announced his decision to enter the NBA draft, forward Kyle Washington informed the coaching staff he has decided to transfer.
Washington, a 6-9 sophomore, averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds last season for the Wolfpack. He started 18 games but came off the bench in the last nine.
The Wolfpacker was the first to report Washington’s decision, which unlike Lacey’s, was considered probable after Washington’s playing time slipped at the end of the season.
N.C. State regularly rotated three sophomore forwards and freshman Abdul-Malik Abu last season. Washington averaged 17.8 minutes per game, and was the Wolfpack’s best scoring threat in the post, but lost his starting job before a Feb. 14 trip to Louisville.
N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried noted at the time that he preferred the defensive ability and rebounding consistency of fellow sophomore Lennard Freeman.
Over the last 11 games, Gottfried went with Freeman and Abu in the starting lineup and with sophomore BeeJay Anya getting regular minutes for defensive purposes.
Washington didn’t play in two of the five games after the regular-season Louisville win. He averaged 4.6 minutes in the three games before the NCAA tournament.
In the Round of 64, he came off the bench and was instrumental in N.C. State’s 66-65 comeback win over LSU. He had nine points and four rebounds in 12 minutes against the Tigers and helped erase a 16-point deficit in the second half.
Washington, who’s originally from Champlin, Minn., will have to sit out the 2015-16 season but will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Washington is the third transfer in as many years to leave the Wolfpack program.
With the exits of Lacey and Washington, N.C. State has seven scholarship players on the roster. That leaves six open spots.
Gottfried was on the road recruiting on Wednesday and declined to comment.
N.C. State is still in the mix for shooting guard Malik Newman, the No. 4 player in ESPN’s top 100.
The Wolfpack has also had recent success on the transfer market, with junior guard Terry Henderson (via West Virginia) eligible to play next season.
Who’s back for the Pack?
N.C. State’s rotation shrunk from nine players to seven on Wednesday. The NCAA scholarship limit is 13. The players still on the 2015-16 roster:
Terry Henderson, G
DNP — transfer
Cat Barber, G
Lennard Freeman, F
BeeJay Anya, F
Abdul-Malik Abu, F
Caleb Martin, G
Cody Martin, G
The players that left on Wednesday:
Trevor Lacey, G
Kyle Washington, F