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Key piece of Boise State's 2018 recruiting class enters the transfer portal

When Riley Abercrombie joined the Boise State men's basketball team, he was going to be a key asset, but the Broncos landed several major transfers since then.
Credit: Jake King/Idaho Press
Boise State's Riley Abercrombie (11) dunks the ball during a homecoming slam dunk contest on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Boise State Gymnasium in Boise.

BOISE, Idaho — Boise State redshirt sophomore-to-be Riley Abercrombie recently put his name in the transfer portal, but according to head coach Leon Rice, the move does not guarantee his departure from the team.

"Riley is exploring some options," coach Leon Rice said.

After redshirting during the 2018-19 season, Abercrombie appeared in 17 of 32 games this past year. He was sidelined with a hand injury back in November, but even when he returned, his playing time was limited. Abercrombie averaged just 1.4 points and 4.2 minutes of action off the bench.

"It's hard for me because that's two years where he hasn't got to play enough, and I want to find him a place where he can play a lot," Rice said, "and if we can't, then we'll talk about him coming back."

Coming out of high school, the 6-foot-9 forward had significant interest from other schools. Abercrombie held 15 total Division I offers, according to 247 Sports, with programs such as Northern Iowa, Tulane, Tulsa and UNC-Greensboro listed amongst the group.

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Abercrombie, who is native of Wollongong, Australia, moved to Houston, Texas, during prep playing career. He starred for Cedar Lake High School, leading them to a 31-6 record and a quarterfinals appearances at the 6A Texas State Basketball Championships.

Initially, he was considered a key piece of Boise State's 2018 recruiting class, but since then the Broncos have built incredible depth at his position. Derrick Alston is expected to return for his senior season next fall, and PAC-12 transfers Abu Kigab and Emmanuel Akot will make a significant impact on the 2020-21 team as well.

"Riley is such a good kid. He's a straight A-student. He's like one of my sons," Rice expressed. "I want what's best for him and he knows that."

"We're in great communication," Rice continued. "Just because he put his name in the (transfer) portal doesn't mean he's leaving for sure. We want to find him the right spot. If we can't, then we'll go from there."

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If Abercrombie does indeed transfer, the Broncos would head into the 2020-21 season without a single member from their 2018 recruiting class on the roster. Jaycson Beal, Mikey Frazier, and Pat Dembley have all already transferred.

That would leave R.J. Williams, who transferred in from East Los Angeles College, as the only member of the 2018 recruiting class to finish his collegiate eligibility at Boise State.

Williams started 22 of 32 games this past season. He led the Broncos in rebounding (8.9 RPG) and was third on the team in scoring (12.2 PPG).

  • Redshirt freshman forward Jayscon Bereal transferred to Odessa Junior College in Texas. He averaged 2.7 points and 2.4 rebounds in 24 appearances for the Wranglers this past season.
  • Redshirt freshman forward Mikey Frazier transferred to Garden City Community College in Kansas. He had a successful first season, averaging 14.2 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 47.9-percent from the floor over 19 games.
  • Guard Pat Dembley dropped down to the NCAA Division II level and enjoyed an elite season statistically. The senior set UT Permian Basin single-season records for assists (157) and steals (71) and finished with the second-most points (702).

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