After a year focusing on academics at Florida, former Gator forward Cody Larson will resume his basketball career closer to home.
Larson has transferred to South Dakota State, saying he “just wants to play basketball”. The campus, located in Brookings, S.D., is about 45 minutes from Larson’s hometown of Sioux Falls, S.D. South Dakota State has reached the NCAA Tournament in each of its last two seasons as champions of the Summit League.
A change of scenery was needed for Larson, who struggled both on and off the court in his three seasons at UF. A four-star recruit, the 6-foot-9, 240-pound Larson never lived up to comparisons of Mike Miller, UF’s last recruit from South Dakota.
Larson was initially red-shirted, then following his redshirt freshman season, was involved in an off-season arrest with teammate Erik Murphy outside a St. Augustine bar. Felony burglary charges were reduced to misdemeanor criminal trespass.
This past season, Larson lost his scholarship because Florida coach Billy Donovan said he did not meet up with responsibilities off the court and in the classroom. Not wanting to go through the season as a walk-on, Larson left the team in late October to focus on academics. Larson averaged just 0.8 points and 0.5 rebounds in his lone full season at UF.
“Through all the trouble I’ve been in, I know that this will be the hardest task to take on in terms of maturity,” Larson told the Argus Leader. “If I can utilize my talents and my potential in this aspect of my life, I’m completely confident about any other area of my life.”
Larson is Florida’s seventh transfer since 2009. Here’s a look at the list:
Kenny Kadji — Miami
Eloy Vargas — Miami Dade College, Kentucky
Allan Chaney — Virginia Tech, High Point
Ray Shipman — UCF
Walter Pitchford — Nebraska
Braxton Ogbueze — UNC Charlotte
Cody Larson — South Dakota State