Mississippi State Basketball makes two big additions through transfer portal

Mississippi State basketball just filled out its roster with a pair of fantastic commitments.
Mar 15, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Florida Gators guard Riley Kugel (2) dribbles the ball into the
Mar 15, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Florida Gators guard Riley Kugel (2) dribbles the ball into the / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Jans has been working hard in the transfer portal to reload Mississippi State basketball's roster ahead of his third season in Starkville. The Bulldogs lost several key contributors from last season, but with the return of Josh Hubbard and Cam Matthews, a strong nucleus to build around remains in place.

State was down to the last few open spots on the roster, and on Thursday, Jans landed the final pieces for his 2024-2025 team.

Florida guard and former MSU signee Riley Kugel transfers to Bulldogs

Florida guard Riley Kugel announced his transfer to Mississippi State on Thursday. Kugel had briefly committed to Kansas in late March, choosing the Jayhawks over Arizona, Houston, and UConn, but he ultimately chose to reopen his transfer options. Now, he's Starkville-bound.

Kugel is a familiar name to State fans. A highly-rated 4-star prospect out of high school, the 6'5" guard originally signed with Mississippi State in the class of 2022 under Ben Howland. When Howland was fired, Kugel was released of his letter of intent and ended up going to Florida.

Kugel had a productive two seasons in Gainesville. As a freshman he shot 46% from the floor, including 38% from three, for 9.9 PPG. Last season, he averaged 9.2 PPG to go along with 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He adds another quality scoring option to the Mississippi State backcourt.

Rhode Island center Jeremy Foumena commits to MSU

Shortly after Riley Kugal's commitment, Chris Jans got the last commitment he was looking for in this year's transfer cycle with Rhode Island center Jeremy Foumena announcing his transfer to the Bulldogs.

The 6'11 big man averaged 5.3 points and 3.5 rebounds for Rhode Island last season. Foumena is the second center transfer State has brought in this offseason along with Michael Nwoko. Center was a huge position of need for State through the portal after losing Tolu Smith and Jimmy Bell from the previous roster.

Though neither Foumena or Nwoko have been highly productive thus far in their careers, both are seen as promising up-and-comers who could develop into major contributors.

State has brought in an impressive portal class

Chris Jans has done a very nice job working the transfer portal this offseason. According to On3, State currently has the nation's 7th-best portal class with five 4-star transfers joining the roster.

They've given themselves several strong options at multiple positions for next season. Chris Jans emphasized the importance of working the portal to build a NCAA Tournament caliber roster on an annual basis. He's shown he was up to the task with this transfer class.