Sophomore Eron Harris has asked for his release and plans to transfer from the West Virginia basketball program.
Harris was the second-leading scorer averaging 17.2 points per game. The Indianapolis native also led the team in three-pointers and three-point field goal percentage.
"I have enjoyed my time at West Virginia University the past two years, but I want to transfer closer to home," Harris said.
The six-foot-three sophomore had played in all 33 games this season. He scored thirty-points twice and registered at least twenty-points eleven times.
"We have enjoyed Eron and his contributions to Mountaineer basketball," said West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins. "Of all people, I certainly know what it is like to be closer to family and friends, that's why I did it as a student-athlete then as a coach."
Harris was also named an All-Big 12 Conference Honorable Mention selection.
During the 2012-13 season, Harris became the first true freshman to lead West Virginia in scoring since the 1972-73 season when Warren Baker did it.
There is no way to sugar coat this. Harris' departure is a huge and completely unexpected loss for the program. Harris averaged 17.2 points per game this past season as a sophomore and while he struggled at times, shown flashes of being a very special player others, sometimes even taking over basketball games. There is no easy way to fill the loss of your second leading scorer and someone that would have two more years of eligibility on the table, but that's exactly what West Virginia will now be faced with doing.
The name that immediately comes to mind for a replacement would be junior college prospect T.J. Dunans, but for now it's not entirely clear if he will be eligible to come out this year or will have to wait for the next cycle. Regardless, there is a vacant scholarship now that can be used.
As for the impact on next year's team, obviously the general feeling was this upcoming season had the potential to be a very special one in Morgantown and while that still could be the case, it really clouds things up for the moment. With a nucleus of Juwan Staten and Harris returning for their senior and junior seasons respectively in addition to a growing Devin Williams, there was good reason for optimism.
Harris was just such a key contributor for this team, West Virginia is going to have to find points and offensive production elsewhere to fill that void. All of these situations are different, but there is no doubt this is one that will hurt.
Unfortunately this continues the trend for West Virginia of players leaving the program in recent years. Dalton Pepper, Aaric Murray, Keaton Miles, and Jabarie Hinds are just some of the names that have left the program over the past couple years.
There is only one player from the 2010 class left on the roster in Kevin Noreen. Gary Browne is lone player from the 2011 class after Aaron Brown, Pat Forsythe, Hinds, Tommie McCune and Miles didn't work out. Terry Henderson and Elijah Macon is what's left of the 2012 class with Harris' decision to transfer.