The roster churn for the New Mexico State men’s basketball had one player coming and one going Tuesday.
Guard Jabari Rice, who has been an Aggie for five years, will spend his graduate transfer season at the University of Texas, he announced on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the Aggies have announced the arrival of transfer DaJuan Gordon, who started 32 games last year at Missouri and played two previous seasons at Kansas State.
The departure of Rice wasn’t a surprise, though the school might be. Rice had entered the transfer portal the day after new coach Greg Heiar was introducted as Chris Jans’ successor. He has one season of eligibility remaining.
“Throw the cards in and roll the dice cause I’m BettingOn10,” Rice tweeted with a picture of him in an orange Texas jersey wearing the No. 10 and flashing the “Hook ‘Em Horns” sign.
— Sir Jabari Rice© (@_jabariii) April 19, 2022
Rice’s five years included a redshirt season in 2017-18, and he takes advantage of an extra season afforded all NCAA athletes who were enrolled during the COVID-wrecked 2019-20 basketball season. He was first-team All-Western Athletic Conference that season and was All-WAC Tournament this past year.
Rice was the Aggies’ second-leading scorer, averaging 11.9 per game, during NMSU’s recently concluded 27-7 season that included an upset of Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament first-round game in Buffalo, New York.
But that Aggies backcourt already had lost Teddy Allen (going pro) and Clayton Henry (expired eligibility) prior to Rice’s announcement.
Gordon, a 6–foot-3 Chicago native, averaged 8.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game this past season at Missouri. He also played in all 32 games for Kansas State in 2019-20 and made 22 starts at Kansas State in 2020-21.
“I personally love that he takes as much pride on the defensive end of the floor as he does when his team has the ball. We got a tremendous two-way player who will be one of the captains and leaders of the team from day one,” Heiar said in a statement released by the school.
NMSU also has lost guard Mario McKinney, who announced last week his intention to transfer to rival UTEP, and center Will McNair Jr., who will join former Aggies coach Chris Jans at Mississippi State.