AUBURN, Ala. — A thinner Auburn basketball team will be down an additional man Thursday night against Coastal Carolina — and the absence will last for the rest of the season.
Auburn announced Thursday evening sophomore point guard New Williams has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer from the program. Jeff Goodman of ESPN first reported the news of Williams’ transfer.
“We wish New the best,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said in a statement. “He has a terrific future. Last year was difficult because of all those injuries, and this year and the future, it just looks like a numbers game that presents less opportunity. New has grown on and off the court and genuinely respects and cares about Auburn.”
Williams, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Santa Monica, Calif., was a 3-star recruit in the class of 2015. He averaged 6.4 minutes in 21 games in the 2015-16 season in a reserve role. He scored a career-high 4 points in January against Vanderbilt.
Williams had not played a single minute in 2016-17 for the Tigers, which added true freshman Jared Harper and senior graduate transfer Ronnie Johnson at point guard in the offseason.
The sophomore became a fan favorite for his 48-inch vertical leap. But the athletic Williams never broke through into the rotation during his time on the Plains.
Williams posted a farewell video to Auburn on Twitter on Thursday night, thanking the fans and the program for “sticking with him.”
— New Williams☔️ (@newwilliams_) December 16, 2016