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MADISON - Sophomore guard George Marshall has decided to leave the Wisconsin men’s basketball program and will explore his transfer options.
UW coach Bo Ryan announced the decision in a statement Saturday, hours before No.8 Wisconsin (9-0) hosts Marquette (5-3) at the Kohl Center.
“George came and talked to me and he informed me that he wanted to pursue his options of playing somewhere else,” Ryan said in the statement. “I told him we would help in any way we could to facilitate his transition to a new school. He’s a great kid, from a terrific family and we wish him luck as he continues his academic and athlete career.”
Marshall, a native of Chicago, Ill., was in his third year with the Badgers after redshirting the 2011-12 season. He can transfer at semester and be eligible at the start of second semester next season. He has 1.5 years of eligibility remaining.
“I love my teammates and the team and I’m thankful to the university and Coach Ryan for the chance to play at Wisconsin,” Marshall said in the statement. “I’m excited to look for a new opportunity.”
Marshall received varying degrees of interest from a number of schools including Arizona, Baylor, DePaul, Marquette and Wake Forest. He is the second member of Wisconsin’s four-player 2011 recruiting class to transfer. Jarrod Uthoff made a highly controversial exit from Wisconsin following the 2011-12 season and is currently playing at Iowa after sitting out last season.
Wisconsin can choose to sign a prospect during the spring signing period or bank the scholarship for 2015, where the Badgers would have six scholarships available for the class.
Marshall started the season as the first guard off the bench for Wisconsin, scoring four points in 25 minutes in Wisconsin’s first two games, but hasn’t played since Nov.12. He sustained a concussion in practice Nov.15 and missed the next four games.
Marshall was cleared prior to the Cancun Challenge, but did not play due to true freshman Bronson Koenig providing solid minutes in Marshall’s spot.
Marshall impressed UW coaches during his redshirt season by his work on the scout team guarding senior Jordan Taylor.
“George understood as quickly as any other freshman that was redshirting as we had how important this role and this year was for him,” associate head coach Greg Gard said at the end of the 2012 season. “This isn’t a year to take a break. It’s a year to get better, and I think he maximized the ability to use Jordan as a teacher.”
Marshall became the first freshman to start at point guard for Ryan at Wisconsin and started the next six games, but uneven play and ball security led to the coaching staff starting Traevon Jackson, who has been the starter ever since.
Marshall appeared in 37 games for Wisconsin, averaging 15.6 minutes and four points in his career. His best performance came last season at Iowa, scoring a career-high 20 points. All of his points came in the second half, including 16 over the final 4 minutes, 23 seconds, as UW tried to make a comeback before falling 70-66 to the Hawkeyes.