Texas sophomore Jordan Barnett informed the men’s basketball coaching staff that he is leaving the program immediately and intends to transfer, according to a UT spokesman.
Barnett played sparingly in 21 games as a freshman last season and only four this year. He hasn’t played at all during the team’s recent skid where the Longhorns lost three of their last four games.
Barnett, a 6-foot, 6-inch guard from St. Louis, came to Austin as the nation’s 86th-best prospect, according to ESPN’s recruiting rankings. He averaged 20.8 points and 8.2 rebounds while leading his high school team to the state championship game as a senior.
But that kind of scoring success never translated to the college level, and former coach Rick Barnes wouldn’t play Barnett because of his defense.
“He just came in and let me know that he wanted to make a move,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said after Tuesday’s 94-91 overtime win over No. 17 Iowa State. “I think pretty much it comes down to playing. I think he really enjoyed Texas, he really enjoyed the people here. He enjoyed the city of Austin. But in a year and a half with three semesters, he didn’t play a lot.
“Jordan, he’s a good player, and it was close at different times,” he added. “He wasn’t quite there to play more and maybe other coaches would have done it differently. But this is the reality of college basketball at this level.”
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