Little-used guard Achraf Yacoubou was granted a release from his scholarship today by Villanova, according to CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman. The former Long Island Lutheran star will look to transfer to a school where he will receive more playing time. Both Pittsburgh and Saint Louis have already expressed interest.
Pittsburgh has lost a few players to already, with 7-foot center Steven Adams opting to go pro after just one year in Pittsburgh and guard Trey Zeigler leaving to finish his college career at a third different school. Saint Louis loses guard Kwamain Mitchell to graduation, and will need to replace three junior guards a year from now.
"I'm interested in Pitt, St. Louis, Georgia Tech, Miami and UNLV," he told ZagsBlog.com
"I averaged the highest 3-point percentage and field goal efficiency and was the best defensive player on the team and I also played well against Louisville and Syracuse and when I played 25 minutes I led the team in points and rebounds," he said. "But after the last Syracuse game I ended up averaging 12 minutes and I wanted to play more but I wasn't."
Yacoubou averaged just 12.0 minutes this season as a sophomore, up from 10.6 as a freshman, but he didn't play many minutes in the Big East tournament and did not play at all against UNC in the NCAA Tournament. He hit a high of 25 minutes in a December game against Penn, scoring a team high 13 points and grabbing a team high 6 rebounds, but after playing 21 minutes at Syracuse, his time began to dwindle. He did not play at all against Seton Hall and played single-digit minutes in all but one game after February 1st.
He averaged 2.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 39.6% from beyond the arc (but just 50% from the free-throw line).
Due to this decision, the Wildcats now have at least three scholarships available for new players in the 2013 recruiting class.
Updated 4/5: Official Release from Campus
VILLANOVA, Pa. – Sophomore guard Achraf Yacoubou (Bronx, N.Y./Long Island Lutheran High School) has informed the Villanova coaching staff that he plans to transfer.
"Ash has been a valued member of our Villanova Basketball family for two years," stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "He is looking for a more prominent role. We are grateful to Ash for the two outstanding years he spent with us as a member of the Villanova Basketball family."
Yacoubou appeared in 31 games for the Wildcats in 2012-13 and averaged 2.9 ppg. He connected on 21-of-53 attempts (.396) from beyond the 3-point arc last season. On Dec. 8, he contributed 13 points and six rebounds to a victory over Penn at the Palestra.
In two seasons as a Wildcat, Yacoubou appeared in 57 games and earned three starting assignments while posting a 2.6 ppg average.
Yacoubou will complete the spring academic semester at Villanova.