Mocs losing two

Mocs losing two

McKeither, Harvey decide to leave basketball program

April 14th, 2010 by David Uchiyama in Sports - College

The revolving door to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball locker room continues to spin.

Junior forward Ridge McKeither and sophomore forward Dante Harvey have decided to transfer out of the program, coach John Shulman said Tuesday.

Harvey, McKeither and sophomore guard Jasper Williams, who made his transfer announcement last week, all decided to leave before Shulman interviewed for UNC-Wilmington's coaching position.

"The attrition rate is alarmingly bad all over the country," Shulman said. "Losing guys is never a good thing, but that's a common practice. We're going to get tough, hard-nosed kids that are excited to be in Chattanooga."

Former Cleveland High School standout Drazen Zlovaric will claim one of the scholarships freed by the transfers.

Zlovaric, a native of Serbia, has spent the last two years at the University of Georgia. The 6-foot-9 forward played in 26 games and averaged 7.2 minutes and 0.9 points per game.

"He's excited about going to UTC," said Steve Campbell, who has been an American father to Zlovaric since his junior year as an exchange student at Cleveland. "He made the decision over the weekend, and we're excited about it, too."

Zlovaric received inquiries from Southern Illinois, Rhode Island and Canisuis once he announced his decision to transfer from UGA.

Staff Photo by Angela Lewis UTC coach John Shulman will go into next season without the services of Dante Harvey, right, who is one of three players who have recently decided to transfer other schools.

Staff Photo by Angela Lewis UTC coach John Shulman...

"We were worried and upset about the possibility of Coach Shulman leaving," Campbell said. "So we held off until we found out Coach Shulman wasn't going anywhere. He's a big reason Drazen decided to come to UTC."

The players transferring out were not made available to explain their decisions.

"Dante has got a family matter that he needs to get closer to home," Shulman said. "He's pegged that he wants to play Division II."

Harvey, who is from Lithonia, Ga., was hobbled by injuries in his two years with the Mocs. He played in 21 games last season, when he averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

McKeither played in 27 games and averaged 9.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. His season was marred by the death of his stepfather over the holiday break and a two-game suspension for a violation of team rules during Southern Conference play.

At times, such as the game at The Citadel when he scored 13 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, McKeither was UTC's best post player.

"He had a very good year on the court and a very average year off the court," Shulman said. "Ridge and I butted heads a little bit, and that's no secret.

"We all felt it best if he went in his direction and we went in our direction."

Despite the defections, Shulman insists the program will not be hampered by the academic performance rate, which reduced UTC's scholarship limit to 12 during last season.

"If you leave with a 2.6 GPA, you don't get hit with anything," Shulman said. "One of the two does, but we're not allowed to talk about GPAs. It will not take us under the 925 mark. We've above that, and that's where we're going to stay."


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