Riley Kugel transfers to Mississippi St.

Riley Kugel transfers to Mississippi St.

After a disappointing sophomore campaign at Florida, Riley Kugel announced in late March that he was entering the transfer portal. A week later, he committed to Kansas, choosing the Jayhawks ahead of Arizona, Houston and UConn.

However, after Bill Self signed three other four-star transfers in Rylan Griffen (Alabama), AJ Storr (Wisconsin) and Zeke Mayo (South Dakota St.) from out of the portal, Kugel decided to reconsider his plans for the 2024-25 season.

Then on Thursday, the former Gator committed to Mississippi St. Chris Jans has now added three four-star transfers to his roster with Kugel, Michael Nwoko (Miami) and Kanye Clary, who was Penn St.’s leading scorer before being dismissed from the team in February.

The Bulldogs have also added a trio of three-star transfers in guard Claudell Harris Jr. (Boston College), forward RJ Melendez (Georgia) and 6-foot-11 center Jeremy Foumena (Rhode Island).

Mississippi St. has two incoming freshmen in Dellquan Warren and Eric Paymon. The Bulldogs have six players returning from last year’s team that was beaten by Michigan St. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Josh Hubbard is the best of the bunch. He enjoyed a spectacular freshman campaign, averaging 17.1 points per game. Cameron Matthews (9.4 PPG, 6.8 rebounds per game), KeShawn Murphy (4.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG), Shawn Jones (4.5 PPG), Gai Chol and Adrian Myers also return.

Kugel started 17 of 32 games for Florida as a true freshman in 2022-23. He averaged 9.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game, hitting 45.6 percent of his field-goal attempts and 37.6 percent of his 3-pointers.

Kugel started 11 of 33 games this past year, averaging 9.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He made merely 39.4 percent of his FGAs and 31.2 percent of his treys.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Mississippi St. as a No. 8 seed in the 2025 NCAA Tournament in his latest edition of ‘Bracketology’ released on May 14.

FanDuel has the Bulldogs with 80/1 odds to win the 2025 NCAA Tournament.