The list of more than 300 players who intend to transfer grew by one on Thursday night, with Wisconsin freshman forward Jarrod Uthoff being granted his release according to Jesse Temple of Fox Sports Wisconsin.
Uthoff, who redshirted this season, was expected to factor into the Badgers’ front court rotation next season even with all three starters (Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz and Ryan Evans) due back and Sam Dekker arriving on campus.
A 6-8, 200-pound forward from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Uthoff was both Mr. Basketball and Gatorade State Player of the Year in 2011.
In an conversation with Temple, Uthoff’s AAU coach Jamie Johnson (Iowa Barnstormers) said that he was surprised by the move himself.
“It was a total blindside,” Johnson said. “I would have never guessed that this was coming. … I expected big things and thought everything was going well for everybody involved.
“When I heard the news today, it totally surprised me.”
Johnson also noted that Uthoff’s release came with conditions, and while those exact conditions are is unknown Uthoff does plan to appeal Wisconsin’s decision.
Obviously other Big Ten schools would be ruled out, and the same could go for an annual opponent like Marquette. But from the sound of it there may be stricter conditions applied here.
“I get that they’re pissed that he wants to leave. That’s just natural, but hopefully cooler heads prevail,” said Johnson.
“The way he made it sound was the release was granted to directional schools in Illinois and Creighton. It seemed like a lot of the schools were eliminated.”
Uthoff will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2012-13 season at whichever school he chooses. What schools he’s allowed to choose remains to be seen however.