Head coach Ben Howland: “Joshua is a fine young man who has meant a lot to this program. I know I speak for myself and my staff when I thank him for his time in Westwood and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Josh Smith: “I have made the decision to leave the program for personal reasons. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCLA and am grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to me here.”
This is a disappointing, if unsurprising end to Smith’s career. The junior center has to take the bulk for the blame for failing to get himself in shape, but what a mess Howland’s program has quickly become. Two transfers in four days? If players want to get away from you that badly, you probably won’t be around much longer either.
Freshman Tony Parker, who has averaged 8.4 minutes so far this season, will probably sop up some extra time on the court. He could probably double his playing time easily if it weren’t for the back spasms that have bothered him lately.