Gophers sophomore point guard Isaiah Washington announced Monday on Twitter he plans to transfer to another school.
Washington, who averaged 4.3 points and 2.8 assists this season, saw his playing time diminish from his freshman year. The former New York player of the year and co-founder of the “Jelly Fam” brand was a four-star recruit with high expectations when he arrived at Minnesota in 2017.
“Thank you to the University of Minnesota, I appreciate all the support,” Washington said in his statement on Twitter. “You guys were tremendous on and off the court and made me a better man each day. 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.”
In his last game with the Gophers, he scored nine points in 24 minutes in the NCAA tournament second-round loss to Michigan State. Washington said after the game that he would be back next year.
“I felt like I could’ve done some other things better,” he said. “But as far as a teammate, I felt like I did everything I could to help my teammates out.”
Washington saw the court for the first time in five games when he came off the bench in the Big Ten tournament semifinal loss vs. Michigan.
Coach Richard Pitino said he couldn’t play everyone when referring to Washington. Pitino decided to use 6-8 junior Amir Coffey as his starting point guard this season, and freshman guard Gabe Kalscheur’s emergence also kept Washington from seeing the court.
“I’m just going to keep doing everything I can to help my team, whether I’m on the court or off the court,” Washington said recently. “At the end of the day, it’s a team thing. Coach is captain of the ship, so we’re just going to keep rolling with him.”
The Gophers will have Pittsburgh transfer Marcus Carr at point guard next season after he sat out 2018-19. Pitino will also have four scholarships available for next season with Washington’s departure.