Losing seniors Jarrod Jones, Pierre Sneed and Randy Davis was something that Ball State followers knew was going to happen at the end of the 2011-12 season.
But did anyone expect the Cardinals to say farewell to three players with eligibility remaining as well?
Sophomore forward Aaron Adeoye became the third Ball State player to decide that he was best served to finish his career elsewhere, with the decision being announced on Friday.
Adeoye was selected to the MAC’s All-Freshman Team last season, averaging 3.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in 30 games (eight starts).
His rebounding average led all MAC freshmen, and in Adeoye’s eight starts he averaged nearly six rebounds per contest (5.9).
With Jones moving on Adeoye’s role likely would have expanded, but it’s back to the drawing board for head coach Billy Taylor with the Marion, Illinois product deciding to move on.
“We are disappointed Aaron has decided to leave,” Taylor said in a school release. “We appreciate his contributions to our team in the time he was here and wish him the best in the future.”
Guard Jesse Berry (9.7 ppg) and forward Chris Bond (7.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg) are Ball State’s leading returnees, with five freshmen joining the fold as well.
Offense was an issue for Ball State last season, most notably during a seven-game losing streak in which the Cardinals failed to score more than 58 points in any of those defeats.
While Adeoye wasn’t the kind of player who would be a focal point offensively (according to Ken Pomeroy’s numbers, Adeoye had a possession percentage of 11.9%) he did shoot 50.6% from the field, so losing him is definitely a noticeable loss.
Ball State finished last season with a 15-15 record, and was tied with Western Michigan for third place in the MAC West with a 6-10 league record.
Photo credit: Ball State University Photo Services