Washington State Guard, TJ Bamba, Transfers to Villanova


Courtesy of VU Hoops

Bamba was the Cougars leading scorer this past season.

James Haupt, Staff Writer

Are the Wildcats officially back? After a disappointing season that ended with a first round loss in the NIT, that’s the question Villanova basketball fans have been asking, and after making a huge splash in the transfer portal, this may not seem so far-fetched. 

On Friday, April 14, junior guard TJ Bamba transferred from Washington State to Villanova, offering Wildcats fans a glimmer of hope for the 2023-24 season. 

The 6-foot-5 guard chose Villanova over a host of other schools such as Kansas, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia Tech, Auburn, North Carolina and St. John’s. 

At Washington State, Bamba led the Cougars in scoring last season, averaging 15.8 points per game while also grabbing 3.7 rebounds and dishing out 1.7 assists per game. Bamba shot 42.6 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from behind the arc.

These stats earned him All-Pac-12 honorable mention, and could now slot him in as a starting guard for the Wildcats next season. With his style of play, Bamba likely helps fill the void left by Caleb Daniels’ departure.

However, Bamba still holds NBA aspirations. When he announced he would enter the transfer portal, he also said that he would enter the 2023 NBA Draft. He is still going through the draft process, and has until June 1 to withdraw.

“[Transferring to Villanova] gives me the best chance to reach my ultimate goal of playing in the NBA,” Bamba told On3. “Players in my mold like Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo have gotten drafted from Villanova and proven to be valuable pieces. My hope is to follow in their footsteps.”