Update: Shipman will transfer

Florida's Ray Shipman, center, goes up for a lay-up over Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe, right, during the first half against Kentucky at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.

Aaron E. Daye/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 12:45 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 12:43 p.m.

UPDATE: 12:30 p.m.

As expected, sophomore guard Ray Shipman is transferring from Florida.

Florida coach Billy Donovan officially announced the transfer Wednesday afternoon.

"I have truly enjoyed coaching Ray the last two seasons," Donovan said. "He's an outstanding person and a great student. I want to wish Ray the best of luck as he pursues the things that are important to him as a player and as a student."

Shipman's father, Ray Shipman Sr., told The Sun on Tuesday night that his son was transferring due to playing time issues.

Shipman, the 2010 SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year, averaged 2.7 points and 1.6 rebounds per game in 32 games this season. Known for solid defense, he posted 26 steals on the year. For his career he averaged 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds per game in 68 games with one start.

"I appreciate the opportunity that the University of Florida gave me," Shipman said in a statement released through Florida. "I want to thank Coach Donovan, the staff, and my teammates for the last two years and I wish the University of Florida the best in the future moving forward. I'm looking forward to making a decision to go somewhere with an opportunity for a bigger role."

Original story: Published at 12:45 a.m., Tuesday, March 23

Sophomore Florida shooting guard Ray Shipman is planning to leave Florida, according to his father, Ray Shipman Sr.

"He's definitely outta there," Shipman Sr. told The Sun on Tuesday night. "I talked to him (Tuesday) morning and I just think there were some issues with playing time."

Shipman's father said his son is scheduled to meet with Florida coach Billy Donovan later today. But barring an unforeseen change of heart, the elder Shipman said he expects his son to transfer.

Shipman, a former Florida Mr. Basketball from Miramar, averaged 2.4 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game in his sophomore season.

Shipman's scoring and minutes were down from his freshman season, when he averaged 3.8 points in 13.2 minutes per game.

In two seasons at Florida, Shipman had just one career start. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Shipman was a defensive catalyst off the bench, recording 53 career steals. But Shipman's lack of perimeter shooting (6-of-38 career from 3-point range) and turnovers (41 to 32 assists in his career) kept him off the court for longer stretches.

Off the court, Shipman was an excellent student at UF who earned SEC scholar athlete of the year honors. Shipman, a sports management major, currently holds a 3.4 grade-point average.

"I'm proud of him for that because it would have been easy for him to back off the books," Shipman Sr. said.

Shipman Sr. said he was unsure at this point where his son will end up.

"We feel like he can play somewhere at the major Division I level," Shipman Sr. said.

Florida team spokesman Fred Demarest declined to comment on Shipman's status as of Tuesday night. Donovan was unavailable for comment.

Shipman is the fifth Florida player to transfer in the past two years, a list that includes Jonathan Mitchell (Rutgers), Jai Lucas (Texas), Eloy Vargas (Miami Dade College) and Allan Chaney (Virginia Tech).

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