Point guard Isaiah Washington arrived on the University of Minnesota campus in 2017 having been named the player of the year in New York and with an expectation that great things were to come.
But that did not come close to happening and on Monday the former four-star recruit took to Twitter to announce that he has decided to transfer. The Pioneer Press reported that Washington has entered the NCAA transfer portal.
Washington’s arrival was a big deal not only because of his ability on the court, but also because he was the co-founder of the “Jelly Fam” brand and had a significant following on social media.
But Washington saw his playing time decrease from his freshman year as he averaged only 4.3 points and 2.8 assists in 16.1 minutes in 28 games as a sophomore. He had averaged 8.7 points and 2.6 assists in 20 minutes as he played in all 32 of Minnesota’s games during his freshman year.
“Thank you to the University of Minnesota, I appreciate all the support,” Washington wrote in a tweet. “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.”
Washington told reporters after the Gophers’ lost to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Des Moines, Iowa, that he would be back but it was pretty clear that wouldn’t be the case. He had scored nine points in 24 minutes in that game, but coach Richard Pitino had sat Washington in six of seven games through the Gophers’ first-round victory over Louisville in the NCAA tournament.
The Gophers lost Nate Mason after last season, but Pitino decided to go with Amir Coffey, not Washington, as his point guard, even though that wasn’t Coffey’s natural position.