BOZEMAN — Montana State star RaeQuan Battle announced Friday he will explore his options in the NCAA transfer portal but is keeping open the possibility of returning to play for the Bobcats next season.
Battle, a 6-foot-5 guard, made his intentions known via Instagram, where he wrote: "I'm going to enter the transfer portal to explore my options with the chance of coming back to Bozeman! I believe it's the right thing to do."
Additionally, Verbal Commits reported Friday on Twitter that fellow MSU guard Darius Brown II is also entering the portal.
Battle and Brown were juniors this past season. The news comes a week after Danny Sprinkle was hired away from Montana State to become the new head coach at Utah State in the Mountain West.
In two seasons with the Bobcats, the high-flying Battle became one of the top players in the Big Sky Conference and helped the team reach back-to-back NCAA tournaments for the first time in program history. In 2022-23, Battle averaged 17.0 points while shooting 45% from the floor in 29.7 minutes per game. He was a first-team all-conference pick and was named MVP of the Big Sky tournament.
The season prior, his first with the Bobcats after transferring from Washington, he averaged 8.5 points per game while shooting 46% from the field.
"This place changed my life and I will be forever grateful. I want to thank coach Danny Sprinkle for taking the chance and believing in me!" wrote Battle, who hails from Tulalip, Washington. "I also want to thank the rest of the coaching staff for working with me over these last couple of years.
"More importantly, I cant forget to thank my teammates. We became family, had fun, and got after each other like brothers! I could never ask for anything more than that."
Montana State G Darius Brown II has entered the transfer portal. Grad transfer. https://t.co/oqYtdOz4y7— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) April 14, 2023
Brown, who has not publicly announced his intention to enter the portal, came to MSU for the 2022-23 season after transferring from Cal State Northridge. The 6-foot-2 native of Pasadena, California, was a steady presence in the backcourt, averaging 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists while playing 30.2 minutes per game. He was named the Big Sky's defensive player of the year.
Brown came to the Bobcats having already graduated from CSUN in the spring of 2022 with a degree in communications.
Brown and Battle join reserves Alex Germer and Nick Gazelas to enter the transfer portal so far. Germer, a Missoula Sentinel alum, has since announced his commitment to play at NAIA national champion College of Idaho. A recent commit, Washington transfer Jackson Grant, announced he was reopening his recruitment on April 11, four days after Sprinkle was hired away by Utah State.
The search for Sprinkle's replacement is ongoing at Montana State.