Harthun also leaving; Brown, Thames talk

SOPHOMORE Michael Harthun has become the third Washington State reserve guard to announce his intention to transfer at the end of the semester. Harthun's decision was confirmed Sunday by his father, Steve. On Saturday, it was learned that freshmen Xavier Thames and Anthony Brown are leaving.

None of the players have made decisions on their future schools. Brown said he might consider dropping below the NCAA Division I level.

Brown, who played just five minutes in three games and did not score, said he "pretty much" decided to transfer because coach Ken Bone told him Friday that his prospects for significant playing time next season were slim. Bone said Brown was welcome to remain with the team on scholarship, Brown said.

Thames, who averaged 17.6 minutes (sixth on the team) and 4.6 points (also sixth) and made four starts, was less revealing about his reasons for leaving.

"I don't want to talk about it. It is basketball (related)," Thames said.

Thames, a highly regarded point guard in high school, was recruited by former WSU coach Tony Bennett to play the point. However, Bone signed freshman point guard Reggie Moore after replacing Bennett, and Moore started all but one game and finished second on the Cougars in scoring (12.2) and first in assists (4.2).

Moore and Thames quickly became close friends. Asked if having Moore ahead of him affected his decision to transfer, Thames said, "Not really."

Thames asked to be released from his letter of intent after Bennett left for Virginia, but Bone convinced him to come to Pullman. Thames said UCLA, Arizona, Colorado and San Diego State were among the schools that contacted him before he renewed his commitment to WSU.

"I really liked the fans and the people up here," Thames said.

The Cougars, who have already signed two recruits, now have two scholarships available for next season. Bone previously said the Cougars would be most interested in adding a big man if a scholarship became available.

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