Freshman guard Braxton Ogbueze leaving UF
Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.
A day after picking up a transfer guard, Florida lost another promising young guard to the transfer wire.
Florida announced Wednesday that rising sophomore Braxton Ogbueze is leaving the program after the 6-foot combo guard played sparingly his freshman season.
“Braxton has been a hard worker with a great attitude, and we wish him nothing but the best as he moves on,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
In a statement released by UF, Ogbueze said he appreciated his time at UF. But his older brother, Klem Ogbueze, said he felt his brother never got a fair chance to showcase his talent in Gainesville.
“He should have been playing,” Klem Ogbueze said. “There were some teammates, some people on the coaching staff that felt he should have been playing more. But he wasn't in control of that.”
Klem Ogbueze also said the recent addition of Rutgers transfer guard Eli Carter didn't play a role in his decision to leave.
“Eli Carter, Scottie Wilbekin, Kasey Hill, Braxton feels like he can compete with all of them,” he said. “He's played against them all in travel league. Braxton is a guy who feels like he can compete with anyone in the country.”
Mostly in mop-up duty, Ogbueze averaged 0.8 points and 0.6 rebounds. His assist-to-turnover ratio was 7 to 10, which included a three-turnover game against LSU in the SEC Tournament.
Ogbueze came into his freshman season as the highest rated (35th overall) of UF's 2012 class, but couldn't crack the eight-player rotation. Freshman guard Michael Frazier II earned more playing time due to his shooting and rebounding ability.
“After sitting down as a family, we just realized that Florida wasn't a good fit, a good program for him,” Klem Ogbueze said.
Klem Ogbueze said his younger brother has received a couple of phone calls, but will take his time to decide a new destination. Braxton Ogbueze declined further comment on his reasons for leaving UF.
“He's fine,” Klem Ogbueze said. “He's still motivated, still determined to play at a high level. It will just be in another jersey. He's a tough kid.”
Ogbueze is Florida's sixth transfer since 2009, a list that includes Allan Chaney (Virginia Tech, High Point), Kenny Kadji (Miami), Eloy Vargas (Miami Dade College, Kentucky), Ray Shipman (UCF), Walter Pitchford (Nebraska) and Ogbueze. Forward Cody Larson also left the program last fall for personal reasons, but hasn't decided to resume his basketball career.
With Ogbueze's departure, Florida is down to 12 scholarship spots filled for 2013-14. The Gators could add one more player, either a transfer or a freshman signee, for next season.