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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Natyazhko, Turner leave basketball

Colin Darland
Colin Darland

Freshman guard Josiah Turner will leave the UA and transfer to another program, the school announced Wednesday. Center Kyryl Natyazhko will also leave the team to pursue a professional career in Europe.

Arizona now has one scholarship to spare for the 2012-13 season after it entered the day one above the limit of 12.

The Wildcats added two transfers, Duquesne guard T.J. McConnell and Cochise College forward Matt Korcheck, this offseason and are in the running for three-star guard Amedeo Della Valle.

Turner played in 29 of the Wildcats’ 35 games a year ago, starting 17 of them. The Sacramento, Calif., native is the second member of Arizona’s highly regarded 2011 recruiting class to leave the school after center Sidiki Johnson was dismissed from the team in December.

“I learned a lot in my year at Arizona and would like to thank my coaches, teammates and the fans for all of their support,” Turner said in the UA’s release.

Turner flashed glimpses of what made him the No. 2-ranked point guard out of high school, but battled off-the-court issues throughout the season. He was removed from the starting lineup on Nov. 9, 2011, after arriving late to a pregame workout and didn’t see the court at all on Nov. 13, 2011.

The 6-foot-3, 192-pound guard was suspended from the Wildcats Dec. 7, 2011 game at Florida and didn’t make the trip to Gainesville. The school announced on March 7 that Turner was suspended indefinitely and wouldn’t travel with the team to the Pac-12 Tournament in Los Angeles.

Head coach Sean Miller said Turner is expected to finish the semester and leave the school in good academic standing, meaning he won’t negatively affect the Wildcats’ Academic Progress Rating. Schools can now be banned from postseason play for a two-year score of less than 930 or four-year score of less than 900.

“Josiah made a great deal of progress as a student-athlete in his year with us,” Miller said in the release. “All of us at Arizona wish him well in his future.

While Natyazhko never battled off-the-court issues, he was ineffective on the floor during his three-year career. The 6-foot-11, 275-pound center averaged 1.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.2 blocked shots per game in 91 career appearances, including nine starts.

He averaged 1.1 points and 1.6 rebounds in his junior season and didn’t play in 11 of Arizona’s final 15 games.

“I’d like to thank the fans, my teammates and the coaching staff at Arizona,” Natyazhko said in a UA press release. “It has been a wonderful experience for me to study and play here … As hard as it is for me to leave, at this time I have to do what is best for me and my family and pursue these professional opportunities, but I plan on earning my degree in the near future.”

Natyazhko is also expected to finish the semester and leave the school in good academic standing. If he does, he won’t negatively affect the UA’s APR. Natyazhko is expected to finish his degree requirements in December 2012, according to the release.

Miller said he and Natyazhko sat down two weeks ago to discuss his future, and decided that pursuing a professional career was the right move if opportunities presented themselves, which they did.

“All of us at Arizona support Kyryl’s desire to begin his professional career,” Miller said. “As a part of our program for three years, Kyryl represented himself as a great teammate, a hard worker and a good student off the court. We wish him well in his professional career.”

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