Utah’s leading scorer Will Clyburn asked for and was granted a release. He’s expected to transfer to a school close to his home in Detroit.
His departure is a significant blow for the Utes and new coach Larry Krystkowiak.
Clyburn, a 6-foot-7 and 200-pound junior, averaged 17.1 points and 7.8 rebounds last season. He voted all-Mountain West Conference second team.
In a statement released by the school, Clyburn said: “I asked Coach Krystkowiak for my release so I could explore my options. I made that decision long before finding out who the new coach would be. Coach K said he had my best interests in mind and if I felt it was right for me to leave, he would honor that. He also said if I decide Utah is still the best place for me that he would allow me to stay, and I really appreciate that.”
The Utes may also lose junior guard Josh Watkins and freshman guard J.J. O’Brien, the second and fifth leading scorers last season. They are reportedly considering transferring.
— It’s a little old, but here’s an interesting development at UCLA. The Bruins are moving the student section from their midcourt seats to behind the west basket on the side adjacent to the visiting team’s bench. it’s a similar setup to the seating arrangement at USC and Arizona. The renovated building is scheduled to open for the start of the 2012-13 season.
— Interesting column today from Greg Hansen at the Arizona Daily Star who writes college basketball was better in the good (not-so) old days. He says Washington State teams in 2006-07 and 2007-08 would have beaten Connecticut and Butler this year.
Hansen writes: “(The Cougars) were VCU before anyone heard of Shaka Smart.
This year’s NCAA tournament was the most talent-challenged of any in the shot-clock/three-point basket era. Such is the new order of college hoops.
Think of it this way: In the 1980s, when college stars such as Patrick Ewing, Danny Manning and Hakeem Olajuwon all spent four years in college, the only unfamiliar names, the only so-called mid-majors to reach the Elite Eight were Navy, UAB, Wichita State and Dayton.
That’s it. Four Cinderella entrees in 10 years, and Navy was blessed with a once-in-a-lifetime talent, David Robinson.”
— Former Oregon coach Ernie Kent is one of three finalists for the UNLV job. Another candidate is Mike Dunlap, the associate head coach at Oregon (2009-10) and at Arizona (2008-09).
— The Oregonian’s Rachel Bachman wrote a story today and refreshed an old quote from Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott about his dream to have two or three women’s sports produce revenue. One of those sports could be women’s basketball.