Montana State guard RaeQuan Battle, a Marysville Pilchuck alum, celebrates after scoring against Kansas State during a first-round NCAA Tournament game on March 17, 2023, in Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Montana State guard RaeQuan Battle, a Marysville Pilchuck alum, celebrates after scoring against Kansas State during a first-round NCAA Tournament game on March 17, 2023, in Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Former MP star Battle announces transfer to West Virginia

After a big season leading Montana State to the NCAA Tournament, the senior-to-be will join the Mountaineers of the Big 12.

RaeQuan Battle’s next step is taking him to the Big 12, where he’ll get a chance to test his abilities against some of the top collegiate men’s basketball programs in the country.

The Marysville Pilchuck High School graduate, who entered the transfer portal after spending the past two years at Montana State, is transferring to West Virginia. Battle made the announcement Wednesday on his social media platforms, saying on Instagram: “More country roads? Morgantown let’s rock!”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by RaeQuan Williams-Battle (@realraequanbattle)

This is Battle’s second transfer, as he spent his first two seasons at Washington before transferring to Montana State. He has one season of eligibility remaining.

Battle, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who was The Herald’s Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 2019, is coming off a breakout junior season with Montana State. The past season he averaged a team-leading 17.7 points per game, shooting 47.5% from the field and 35.3% from 3-point range as he led the Bobcats to a 25-10 record and was a first-team All-Big Sky Conference selection.

Battle was even better in the postseason. He was named the Big Sky tournament’s Most Valuable Player after scoring 66 points in three games to lead the Bobcats to the championship and the first back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in school history. Then in the first round of the NCAA tournament Battle dropped 27 points as 14th-seeded Montana State lost 77-65 to third-seeded Kansas State.

After the season concluded Montana State coach Danny Sprinkle stepped down to become the head coach at Utah State, and last week Battle announced he was entering the transfer portal. Battle’s performances caught the attention of several top programs, with the likes of Alabama, Kansas, Texas and UCLA among the schools reported to have interest.

In choosing West Virginia, Battle joins a team with a strong history of success. Under coach Bob Huggins the Mountaineers made the NCAA tournament 10 times since 2009, including reaching the Final Four in 2010. Last season West Virginia finished 7-11 in the Big-12 and 19-15 overall, losing 67-65 to Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Battle also takes a big step up in level of competition. The Big-12 is arguably the most competitive men’s basketball league in the nation, with two of the past three national champions (Baylor in 2021, Kansas in 2022) hailing from the conference.

Playing time is available in West Virginia’s backcourt as starting guards Erik Stevenson and Kedrian Johnson, the team’s top two scorers, both exhausted their eligibility. Joe Toussaint, a returning fifth-year senior who averaged 9.4 points per game off the bench, is the only guard on the roster who saw significant minutes last season. The Mountaineers also added guard Kerr Kriisa, a transfer from Arizona, this offseason.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Shorewood’s Emily Lin hits the ball during a Class 3A District 1 girls tennis tournament at Snohomish High School in Snohomish, Washington on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2024 All-Wesco girls tennis teams

Here are the 2024 All-Wesco girls tennis teams. Teams are chosen by… Continue reading

Archbishop Murphy senior Cole Balen poses for a photo after winning the Class 2A boys singles title at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle on May 25, 2024. Balen never dropped a set in any of his four matches and was the only Snohomish County competitor to win first place this season. (Photo courtesy Kathy Kenny)
Baseline-hitting Balen: Murphy’s first state tennis champion

After placing seventh in doubles last year, Balen claimed the singles title without dropping a set.

Jackson High School freshman Chanyoung Park won the Class 4A state girls golf championship last Tuesday and Wednesday in Spokane. (Photo courtesy of Jerome Gotz)
Jackson’s Park caps spectacular frosh season with state title

Chanyoung Park eagled the final hole to clinch the Class 4A state girls golf championship.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for May 20-26

The Athlete of the Week nominees for May 20-26. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks, right, celebrates with General Manager John Schneider at the end of Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos, 43-8. (Lionel Hahn/Abaca Press/MCT)
Seahawks mailbag: Is there more pressure on John Schneider?

Plus an examination on how many Seattle draft picks played out their four-year rookie contracts.

Champion Johnny Carey tees off during the 93rd Annual Snohomish County Amateur Championship on Monday, May 27, 2024, at the Everett Golf and Country Club in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Johnny Carey claims his first Snohomish County Amateur title

The Kamiak High School grad edges Snohomish High School senior Palmer Mutcheson by one stroke.

Seattle Kraken announce Dan Bylsma as new head coach

Bylsma, a former NHL head coach and Stanley Cup winner, has been coaching Seattle’s AHL affiliate.

Glacier Peak’s Mateo Ganje wins the Boys 200M 4A dash during the Class 4A, 3A, 2A track and field state championships at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Washington on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
State track: Glacier Peak’s Mateo Ganje claims 200 gold

Ganje, Everett jumper Shukurani Ndayiragije each take home three top-three medals.

The Jackson softball team poses with the Class 4A state tournament trophy after a 10-1 triumph over Emerald Ridge Saturday, May 25 at Columbia Playfield in Richland, WA. (Aaron Coe / The Herald).
Domination: Jackson repeats as 4A state softball champion

The Yanina Sherwood-led Timberwolves top Emerald Ridge 10-1 in the title game.

Is Mariners slugger Julio Rodriguez about to break out?

Sunday’s performance may be a good omen for the Seattle slugger, who’s been mired in a slump.

Snohomish’s Hannah Siegler becomes emotional after striking out in the final inning of the 3A state softball championship game against Auburn Riverside on Saturday, May 25, 2024 in Lacey, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish softball falls in 3A state championship game

The Panthers lose 11-6 to Auburn Riverside, marking their second straight championship-game defeat.

State roundup: Murphy’s Balen, Jackson boys win tennis titles

Grace Academy’s Pearce Hess sweeps the sprints in the Class 1B boys track and field meet.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.