Two NC State basketball players no longer with program

N.C. State men’s basketball players Ernest Ross and MJ Rice are no longer on the team, a school representative confirmed Tuesday.

N.C. State has not shared any details regarding the reason for their exits, and neither athlete has publicly shared a statement.

Rice, from Henderson, North Carolina, still lists NC State basketball in his Instagram biography, but his X (formerly Twitter) account has been deleted.

Ross, from Florida, entered the transfer portal in April and announced his commitment to UTSA on May 11. The junior forward announced four days later he would return to N.C. State.

In three seasons with the Wolfpack, Ross averaged 2.3 points per game, 1.8 rebounds and 0.6 blocks. He finished with 145 points and 114 rebounds.

He appeared in 14 games last season and made two field goals, including one during the ACC title game against North Carolina. A season prior, Ross made 34 appearances and went 44 of 88 from the field.

Rice transferred to N.C. State last season after spending his true freshman season at Kansas. He played in nine games for the Wolfpack, averaging 4.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest.

The sophomore started the season in December after taking a leave of absence for personal reasons, before the program announced in January that Rice would sit out the remainder of the season.

The Division I transfer portal entry window closed on May 1, meaning the two players cannot transfer to another DI institution without applying for an NCAA waiver.

Their departures mean the program has one scholarship remaining. Jayden Taylor, Breon Pass, Michael O’Connell, Ben Middlebrooks and Dennis Parker are set to return for 2024-25.

Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, Dontrez Styles, Mike James, Marcus Hill and recent commit Ismael Diouf join the program from the transfer portal. Paul McNeil and Trey Parker come to Raleigh as incoming freshmen.

The Wolfpack lost six other players this offseason. Kam Woods, LJ Thomas and Alex Nunnally entered the transfer portal after the Final Four. Casey Morsell, DJ Horne and DJ Burns exhausted their collegiate eligibility, while Mohamed Diarra entered the NBA Draft.