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Freshman forward Akil Watson enters the transfer portal

ASU Basketball loses its third player and second freshman to the transfer portal since it opened this week


ASU freshman forward Akin Watson (23) shoots a three pointer in a game against Oregon State at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. ASU won 79-61.

There’s another ASU men’s basketball player in the transfer portal this week; this time, it’s a former four-star prospect, freshman forward Akil Watson

Watson wasn’t heavily featured in the Sun Devils rotations, with 16 minutes being the most he played in a game this year, hitting that number twice. That tick came in ASUs 78-61 win over Sam Houston State and a 65-46 loss to Northwestern early in the season.  

But his most productive game came against Utah in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. In just 12 minutes, Watson tallied a career-high seven points with a career-high in free-throw attempts and makes, with five.

Despite Watson not being a high-scorer for the Sun Devils this season, his energy and effort didn’t go unnoticed. Sun Devil head coach Bobby Hurley offered high praise to Watson after the win against Sam Houston State, saying, “Akil just laying out on the floor for a loose ball was the best thing we did all night.”

Still, when asked what Watson and freshman guard Braelon Green, who also entered the transfer portal yesterday, could potentially bring as ASU heads into the Big 12, Hurley said he found it challenging to find an answer considering the lack of time he saw him on the floor. 

READ MORE: ASU freshman guard Braelon Green enters transfer portal 

With Watson and Green now heading out the door, two freshmen recruits from Hurley's 2023 class are leaving after their first season.

Watson is now the third ASU player to enter the transfer portal this week, behind Green and junior guard Jamiya Neal. 

Edited by Shane Brennan, Walker Smith and Angelina Steel. 

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