WSU wing Andrej Jakimovski and center Rueben Chinyelu enter the transfer portal

Mar. 29—PULLMAN — Andrej Jakimovski and Rueben Chinyelu may have made their final plays for Washington State.

The Cougars' senior wing and freshman center have entered their names into the transfer portal, according to multiple reports and confirmed by a source to the Spokesman-Review, becoming the fifth and sixth Cougars to enter the portal this offseason.

Jakimovski, a grad transfer from North Macedonia, played four years at WSU, averaging 9.7 points and 5.6 rebounds as a senior. He started all 35 games for the Cougs, helping them reach their first NCAA Tournament in 16 years, dispatching Drake before falling to Iowa State in the Round of 32.

In Jakimovski, WSU is losing one of its better defenders and a reliable shooter. He shot 33% from deep last season, his lowest mark since his freshman season, but some of those misses attributed to a shoulder injury he sustained late in the regular season, which bothered him throughout the rest of the year.

Chinyelu, a true freshman from Nigeria, averaged 4.7 points and 5 rebounds in 14 minutes per game. WSU's all-time freshman blocks leader, Chinyelu provided valuable rim protection and physical defense, supplying a career-high 12 points in the Cougs' road win over then-No. 4 Arizona in late February.

Both retain the option to return to Washington State, as do the other four Cougars who have entered the portal: Star guard Myles Rice, wing Kymany Houinsou, walk-on center AJ LeBeau and reserve guard Dylan Darling, who sustained an injury before last season.

WSU is also looking to replace former head coach Kyle Smith, who left for the same job at Stanford on Monday. The Cougs' list of candidates includes associate head coach Jim Shaw, who interviewed for the position this week, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Cougs' list of priorities also includes finding a new athletic director, following the departure of former AD Pat Chun, who took the same job at rival Washington on Wednesday. The school promoted senior deputy AD Anne McCoy to interim AD on Thursday.

Rice named to Freshman All-America team

Rice, who entered the transfer portal on Thursday, was named to the 2024 Kyle Macy National Freshman All-America Team on the same day. The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and an all-conference first-team selection, Rice becomes the first Cougar since Klay Thompson was named an honorable mention in the 2009 All-Freshman Team and the 12th player in WSU history to earn All-America honors.

Rice averaged 14.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists as a redshirt freshman, becoming the team's go-to shot-creator and ball-handler. An Atlanta native, Rice received his only Power Five offer out of high school from Washington State.