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UNC officials have confirmed an ESPN.com report that junior point guard Larry Drew II has left the North Carolina basketball team and will seek a transfer.
“This morning I spoke to Larry Drew Sr. and he informed me that it was in Larry II’s best interest to leave North Carolina at this time,” Head Coach Roy Williams said in a statement. “Personally I hate this for Larry and our team because he was such an important part of our team and he has continued to improve and played well in recent games.
“I regret that Larry and his family feel this is the right thing to do, but again, each individual has to do what they think is best. He will be successful wherever he chooses to go. I appreciate what he gave to our University and basketball program in his time here.”
In the statement Drew II thanked UNC for the opportunity to play.
“I’d like to thank the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play at one of the nation’s top colleges in UNC, and my teammates for their support as well. It is unfortunate my career didn’t meet expectations in Chapel Hill, however I do look forward to continuing my collegiate and athletic career in the near future.”
Head coach Roy Williams will speak at 2 p.m.
Teammates John Henson and Dexter Strickland said goodbye via Twitter.
“I’ma miss my bro @LarryAngeles,” Henson wrote.
“Even though im a lil upset, im still gon miss my bro @LarryAngeles,” Strickland wrote.
Drew was benched on Jan. 18 in place of freshman Kendall Marshall. Marshall was the overwhelming fan favorite after Drew sputtered in the first-half of the season as a starter.
Drew picked up his game after being benched, dishing out 18 assists to just two turnovers in the three games since taking his reserve role.
Following in the footsteps of the 2009 team’s point guard Ty Lawson, Drew started last season on a team marred with injuries. The Tar Heels finished with a loss in the NIT finals.
Drew’s Twitter reads cryptic since news broke with Tweets like “Its sad because most people are conditioned NOT to see the bigger picture.. Either that, or they just don’t want to” and “everythings gon be alright lol.. i Promise..”
_Updated at 1:25 p.m. to add statement from Drew II and Williams.
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