OSU point guard Cezar Guerrero leaving team
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
8/21/12 at 5:20 AM
A difficult offseason for Oklahoma State basketball worsened Monday with the departure of Cezar Guerrero.
Guerrero, a sophomore point guard, chose to leave the team to be closer to his mother, who is going through health problems.
"It's a difficult decision for me, but being with my mom and my family is the most important thing right now," Guerrero said. "It's unfortunate, because I have really enjoyed my year at OSU and being a part of the Cowboy basketball family.
"Coach (Travis) Ford has been like a father figure to me, and I appreciate everything he's done for me, as a player and a person. It's disappointing for me to leave, because I think this team could be something special this season. It will be an exciting team to watch."
Guerrero, who leaves in good academic standing, is expected to transfer to a school nearer to his hometown of Huntington Park, Calif., in the Los Angeles area.
"We wish Cezar nothing but the best, and pray for a speedy recovery for his mother, Martha," Ford said. "Cezar has been a valuable member of this team, and we appreciate all the contributions that he has made to the program.
"We will certainly help him in any way possible to locate a school near his home that will give him an opportunity to continue his education while also pursuing his basketball career."
The news comes two days after the team returned from a 10-day exhibition tour in Spain, where the Cowboys posted a 4-0 record against international competition, with Guerrero averaging 8.8 points per game.
As a backup to veteran Keiton Page last season, Guerrero averaged 5.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 32 games. He scored a career-high 29 points against Texas-San Antonio in the second round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
With Page having graduated, Guerrero might have been the team's starting point guard. Without him, options include junior Markel Brown and freshmen Marcus Smart and Phil Forte.
Depth could again be an issue for Ford as the past few months have been disastrous. Darrell Williams, a senior forward, is gone after being convicted of sex-related crimes and senior center Phil Jurick remains suspended indefinitely amid drug charges.
Another senior, Jean-Paul Olukemi, is waiting to hear back on an NCAA appeal as to whether he will be eligible beyond the fall semester. Junior-college transfer guard Kirby Gardner is expected to join the team this week.
Original Print Headline: OSU basketball loses another in Guerrero
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