Freshman Uthoff leaving Badgers
Two sources confirmed Thursday that Uthoff requested to be released from his scholarship and that request was granted.
Uthoff, a 6-foot-8 forward from Cedar Rapids, was named 2011 Mr. Basketball and 2011 Gatorade Player of the Year in Iowa.
He initially planned to play for UW last season but announced on Nov. 19 he would redshirt.
“When it came down to it, I figured I could have a bigger impact on the program in my fifth year than I would in my true freshman season,” Uthoff said at the time.
Uthoff and guard George Marshall, who also redshirted last season, were expected to be contributors in 2012-’13.
A source close to the program said Uthoff’s move came as a surprise and Uthoff gave no indication during the NCAA Tournament he was thinking about transferring.
Before UW faced Syracuse in the Sweet 16, Uthoff was asked to describe his goals for next season.
“To play,” he said with a smile. “To get on the court.”
UW is still recruiting Sheldon Jeter, a 6-6 wing from Beaver Falls, Pa., for the 2012-’13 freshman class.
Jeter is expected to decide sometime this month.
South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Penn State and Florida State are among the schools interested in Jeter.
Sheboygan Lutheran forward Sam Dekker and guard Zak Showalter, a preferred walk-on from Germantown, make up UW’s 2012-’13 freshman class.
If the Badgers land another player in the spring signing period, they likely will have three scholarship openings for 2013-’14.
If they do not sign another player this spring, they could have four scholarships available for the 2013-’14 class.