On Friday afternoon, Rutgers announced that sophomore forward Junior Etou would be transferring from the program heading into next year. The move is certainly a surprising one.
Etou entered the program during the 2013-14 season and was rated as a 3-star prospect. During his first season, he played in 47.0% of the team's minutes with a 95.1 offensive rating and in 26 games. He scored double-digits in 5 games over the course of the season and played at least 15 minutes in the team's final 22 games.
His minutes actually increased this season as he played in 71.8% of the team's minutes with a 94.4 offensive rating and played in a total of 31 games. He had several big games this year including a 13 point performance against Indiana and 12 points against Ohio State. He was also playing nearly 30 minutes a game toward the end of the season, indicating his impact on the court.
Rutgers does have Mike Williams and DJ Foreman as potential options to rotate in on the wing, but this is a significant departure for a team that was already set to lose its two best players. Now, the team will bring back just two starters from a roster that finished last in the Big Ten.
Here is the full release from Rutgers:
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 27, 2015) - Rutgers University sophomore forward Junior Etou (Republic of Congo) has informed the coaching staff of his intent to transfer and has been granted a release.
"Junior is a quality young man and we appreciate his contributions to our program," said head coach Eddie Jordan. "We wish him the best moving forward."
Etou played in 31 contests this past season. He averaged 7.4 points and 6.6 rebounds-per-game.
With Etou's departure, Rutgers will have to search for options to replace his contributions and an option may be to add a wing in the upcoming recruiting class.