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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Prince to transfer, likely headed to Vanderbilt”

    Sophomore guard J.P. Prince cleaned out his locker Wednesday and is transferring from Arizona, he announced Wednesday afternoon. Prince is considering Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Alabama but is likely headed to Vanderbilt, a source close to the team said.

    Prince had played a total of 17 minutes in three games and had not played since Nov. 19 against New Mexico State. UA head coach Lute Olson has said that Prince has been battling an illness and therefore had not been playing.

    Prince did not sit on the bench with the team in San Diego, New York, or Phoenix where the Wildcats traveled. He rejoined the team and sat on the bench against Houston Sunday.

    “”My focus is on getting healthy and maintaining my academics,”” Prince said in a statement. “”The health problems I dealt with last spring have kept me from performing at the level needed here at Arizona. Right now I just want to get back home and get better physically.””

    Olson met with Prince and his dad Tuesday and again on Wednesday to discuss Prince’s status.

    “”The feeling was that they just needed to get him back home and get him well, and they feel that they can do that better there,”” Olson said.

    Prince came in as the recruiting Web site’s No. 4 point guard in his class, but he averaged just 2.2 points per game in 28 games his freshman season.

    “”We wish him well, and hopefully he can get himself back healthwise to the capabilities that he has, and the capabilities are huge,”” Olson said.

    Olson said Prince’s last words to him during their meeting were, ‘I’m an Arizona fan, and I’ll remain an Arizona fan.'””

    Prince came to Arizona in a recruiting class that also featured forwards Marcus Williams and Fendi Onobun. Both said they were sad to see him go.

    “”Me and J, we were pretty close,”” Onobun said. “”It’s unfortunate that he had to leave. He was a great teammate and a great player. All I could do is just wish the best for him as far as going to wherever he’s going. I think it’s Vanderbilt.””

    Williams talked to Prince and wished him the “”best of luck.””

    “”He’s a great teammate, he’s one of my good friends … wherever he decides to go he’ll make the best of the opportunity,”” Williams said.

    In place of Prince, Arizona tried out Louis Holmes, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound defensive end on the football team on Dec. 13. The source said Holmes is unlikely to join the team, however.

    The source said Prince, a Memphis, Tenn., native, at one point also considered Memphis, but the Tigers currently have no scholarships available.

    On Tuesday, prior to news of Prince’s transfer, Memphis head coach John Calipari said Prince is always welcome at Memphis.

    “”J. P. is welcome in our building any time,”” Calipari said. “”He knows that. He’s a Memphis kid that we wish him well and hope he does well.””

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