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Isaiah Washington leaving Gophers: 'It's best that I find a new home'

Washington's playing time dwindled during his sophomore season.

Isaiah Washington is transferring from the Gophers. 

The former top 100 recruit who was named New York's Mr. Basketball as a high school senior in 2017 said this past season took a toll on him mentally and he needs a change of scenery. 

“Thank you to the University of Minnesota, I appreciate all the support. You guys were tremendous on and off the court and made me a better man each day," Washington said in a statement posted to Twitter

"However, this season took a toll on me mentally. I started to lose the love of basketball and my grandparents health issues added more to it. I’ve took the time to sit with a therapist to help me out. After talks with family, it’s best that I find a new home. With that being said, I will not be returning to the University of Minnesota next season. I love you all, you will always have a place in my heart."

Washington played in 28 of 36 games as a role player and averaged 4.3 points in 16.3 minutes per game. 

With Amir Coffey's switch to point guard, there wasn't much of a fit for Washington in head coach Richard Pitino's rotation, and the backcourt is only going to get more crowded next season when Pittsburgh transfer guard Marcus Carr is eligible to play. 

If Coffey returns for his senior season, Pitino will have to decide whether to start Coffey as an off-guard or small forward with Carr a strong candidate to start as a pure point guard. 

A potential starting lineup in 2019-20, if Coffey returns, could look something like this: 

  • PG: Marcus Carr
  • SG: Gabe Kalscheur
  • SF: Amir Coffey
  • PF: Eric Curry
  • C: Daniel Oturu

Curry has battled injuries the past two seasons but when healthy is a productive big man. Jarvis Omersa, a true freshman this season, could also compete for the starting power forward job. 

Minnesota also has an incoming four-star recruit in Tre Williams, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Utah who is ranked 109th in the country by 247 Sports

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