According to multiple reports Oregon State junior guard Ahmad Starks has decided to transfer, citing a desire to be closer to his ailing grandmother in his native Chicago.
Starks’ grandmother, who raised Starks, currently suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia according to John Hunt of The Oregonian.
“My plan is to be somewhere in the state of Illinois, as close to home as possible,” Starks told The Oregonian. “It’s not a personal thing, with the coaching staff or anything like that. It’s just about me being close to home and to my grandma. I don’t know how much time she has left.”
According to the paper Starks cited Illinois and Bradley as two of the possible locations. As a junior Starks averaged 10.4 points, 2.3 assists and 1.4 turnovers per contest for an Oregon State team that struggled mightily in Pac-12 play.
The Beavers finished the season with a 14-18 record, going 4-14 in conference play. Starks struggled at times with the balance of running the team while also being asked to score, but the bigger issue for Craig Robinson’s team was their porous defense.
Opponents averaged 71.9 points per game and shot 45.2% from the field in Pac-12 play, numbers that ranked 12th and 11th in the conference. Oregon State also ranked 11th in the conference in defensive efficiency (conference games only).
With Starks’ need to transfer closer to home, head coach Craig Robinson has two starters to replace with the graduating Joe Burton being the other. Oregon State has two signees in the 2013 class in 6-3 shooting guard Hallice Cook and 7-1 center Cheikh N’Diaye.
On the perimeter the Beavers are down to Cook and returnees Roberto Nelson and Challe Barton at the guard spots. With a scholarship opening up, Oregon State may look to find a late addition to add depth.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.