Star Lamonte Bearden to transfer from Buffalo

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Buffalo suffered a major blow on Wednesday as starting point guard Lamonte Bearden will be transferring out of the program.

The school confirmed the news with a statement on Wednesday morning.

“I spoke with Lamonte Bearden last week about his basketball future and he thought it would be in his best interest to transfer,” head coach Nate Oats said in a statement. “Even though I am disappointed in his decision, I want him to be at peace with where he is at. He has been given his release to pursue other options.”

“As we have done since we’ve been here, we will move on and continue to win at a high level. We are truly excited about the players we have here and the upcoming season.”

Bearden was a four-star recruit coming out of high school that ended up at Buffalo, where he started the past two seasons. He averaged 8.3 points and 4.4 assists as a freshman and, after losing head coach Bobby Hurley and their two leading scorers, his 13.7 points as a sophomore helped lead the Bulls to their second straight NCAA tournament.

Bearden will immediately become one of the best point guards on the transfer market. He has two years of eligibility remaining but must sit out the 2016-17 season.