Kobe King is leaving the Wisconsin basketball program.
The Badgers’ second-leading scorer announced his decision on Instagram on Wednesday. The 6-foot-4 redshirt sophomore guard previously didn’t travel with Wisconsin on Monday when they lost on the road to Iowa. According to a report from Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Monday, King was frustrated with the direction of the team.
“After talking with family and friends I have decided that the best step for my future basketball aspirations, as well as my love for the game, is to immediately step away from the University of Wisconsin Men’s basketball program,” King said in his Instagram post. “This has been a very tough decision for me, however after spending almost 3 years in the Wisconsin program, I have realized this program is not the right fit [sic] me as a player and person.”
Kobe King was Wisconsin’s leading scorer during Big Ten conference play. The guard averaged 10.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game this season. The past three games, King struggled to find his place in the Badger offense. Scoreless in 28 minutes during a loss to Purdue, King was only 7-for-27 shooting his last three games.
With big man Micah Potter gaining eligibility at mid-season, it cut into shots for everyone in the Wisconsin offense. It’s hard to say if that’s a direct reason for King’s departure. King was certainly getting fewer touches once Potter joined the rotation.
One thing is certain: King wasn’t happy with how things were going. It’s clear that King is going through a difficult time in his basketball career. Between not traveling to Iowa, and the comments about losing his love for the game, that’s not hard to figure out.
It’ll be interesting to see how Wisconsin responds to this. The Badgers have dropped three of their last four games. Wisconsin is still fighting for an NCAA tournament bid. Losing King is going to hurt, however, as his athleticism was needed among Wisconsin’s perimeter group.