Well, there had to be at least one.
After each UConn basketball season ends, the search for which down-on-his-luck-former-highly-touted recruit will leave the program begins. Last year, both Darius Smith and Jamaal "Other Jama(a)l" Trice exited.
This year, it's the other Other Jama(a)l.
Just two weeks after being arrested on a marijuana possession charge, Jamal Coombs-McDaniel will be transferring to another school, the university announced Thursday, with more playing time the impetus cited.
"Jamal and I met recently and, although he loves the program, he would like more playing time," coach Jim Calhoun said in a prepared statement. "He and I both agree that he may have more opportunity for that playing time in another program. He was a very important part of our national championship this season and I know is capable of great success in the future. We wish Jamal the best of luck athletically and academically where ever he decides to continue his college career."
Miscast early as a 3-point shooter before settling into a steady reserve role as a sophomore, Coombs-McDaniel averaged just 4.5 points per game in 14.1 minutes per game over his two-year campaign. Still, we'll always have the memories of the time he defied the laws of basketball for two games in early February, in which he became the team's go-to finisher and scored more than 23 points in back-to-back games (before falling back into obscurity, of course).
And he'll probably be best remembered as the muse of perhaps the best photoshop in the great Photoshopathon of 2010-11.
More importantly, though, it sort of justifies my long-held unfounded belief that McDaniel has been riding the coattails of long-time friend and teammate Alex Oriakhi for five years or so and was not, in fact, ever any good at basketball.
With eight players left on the books from last season and only one incoming freshman (Ryan Boatright) as of now, the Huskies have only nine players slotted for 2011-12 (13 is the maximum). One of the scholarships will be lost as a result of NCAA sanctions, and at least one and maybe two more could be taken away because of UConn's poor Academic Performance Rate (APR). Which leaves Calhoun & Co. one, maybe two more scholarships with which to harbor more large Germans.