With leading assist man Michael Bizoukas graduating Missouri State needed a capable distributor to step into his role in 2012-13.
Unfortunately for head coach Paul Lusk one of the candidates to slide into Bizoukas’ role, junior college guard Tevin Bracey, has decided to leave school in order to deal with personal issues.
A native of the Bronx, the 6-2 Bracey averaged 8.3 points and 7.8 assists per game at Westchester (NY) Community College last season.
On the Bears’ off-season trip to Costa Rica, Bracey played in all four games and averaged 3.5 points, 3.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds per contest.
According to Lusk, Bracey leaves school in good academic standing and his request to be released from his scholarship has been granted.
“Tevin is going through some difficulties in his personal life and has decided to step away from basketball and school at this point,” Lusk said in a statement released by the school.
“We will continue to support Tevin and wish him nothing but the best. He’s a good kid and it’s been a pleasure to work with him.”
This is another tough loss for a team that not only had to account for the loss of Bizoukas, wing Kyle Weems and center Caleb Patterson but also the torn ACL suffered by senior wing Jamar Gulley over the summer.
Gulley will sit out the entire 2012-13 season and return for his fifth year in 2013, leaving the Bears with just one returning double-digit scorer from a season ago.
That would be senior guard Anthony Downing, who is Missouri’s leading returning scorer (11.5 ppg) and assist man (2.3 apg).
With Bracey having to leave in order to deal with personal issues, even more likely falls on Downing’s plate with wing Keith Pickens (4.8 ppg) being Missouri State’s next leading returnee.
Freshmen Marcus Marshall and Dorrian Williams (redshirted last season) will likely figure into the Bears’ back court plans as well.
Bracey’s decision is an unfortunate one for Missouri State but obviously a necessary one for the Bronx native, who would like to continue playing at some point but won’t look into those options until the spring according to the release.
“I just need to go home and regroup. Basketball has become secondary right now, and I am not playing at my best level with the distractions in my life,” said Bracey in the release.
“I am grateful to Coach Lusk and appreciate the opportunity to be part of Missouri State. The coaching staff and teammates here are great, and I would not change anything about my decision to come here.”
Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.