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UT's Barnett exploring possible transfer

University of Toledo freshman guard Jake Barnett asked for and was granted a release from his scholarship to seek a possible transfer, athletic department spokesman Paul Helgren confirmed to The Blade on Tuesday evening.

Barnett led the Rockets in scoring last season with 12.9 points per game.

UT finished the year with a program-worst 4-28 mark and is currently in the midst of a coaching search to replace Gene Cross, who resigned March 11 after posting an 11-53 record in two seasons.

“I love the University of Toledo,” Barnett said in a university-issued statement. “I have enjoyed my time here thus far, and I am certain that I will continue to have a positive experience if I choose to stay. I feel, given this time of transition for our basketball program, that it is important that I protect my future by seeking a release and exploring all available options.

“However, I want to be clear that I have not made any definitive decision about my future at this time and may very well choose to stay here at UT if it is the best fit for myself, my teammates and our new coaching staff.”

Barnett declined an interview request for further comment through a university spokesman.

“Obviously we would like to see Jake stay at the University of Toledo,” UT athletic director Mike O'Brien said in a statement. “He has been a great representative of our program on and off the court. However, Jake has asked for his release in order to explore other options and we have honored that request.”

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