As another school year ends at Monmouth, students look on to the year to follow, however, next year men’s basketball team will look relatively different.
On April 3, the University announced that four student-athletes will transfer the college and thus, will not return for the 2014-2015 season. Among the four are sophomores forward Tyrone O’Garro, guard Christian White, guard Jalen Palm, and freshman center Marcelo Ruediger who will not return for the 2014-2015 men’s basketball season.
“Any time you have kids leave your program, it hurts. They are a part of your family and you help them grow,” head coach King Rice said. “Sometimes, people have to go different directions and we are prepared and excited about the group of young men that will take us into next season.”
While the decision was not easy for the student-athletes, some felt it was necessary for their future success.
“It was a very tough decision. I feel like I have built very strong and close relationships with my teammates and coaches,” White said. “When I made the decision to transfer, I told my teammates that I would not be coming back next year and this is was an extremely tough decision but it was the best thing for me.”
During his time at the University, White played in 44 games, compiled a .391 percentage for field goals and .359 percentage in three-pointers. His sank 17 out of 28 free-throw opportunities and closes his Monmouth career at 112 points. White played 16 games this season.
Though White has not picked a final destination for junior year, he wishes the best to the Hawksand there are no bitter feelings.
In an article published by the Asbury Park Press, O’Garro said that his decision to transfer had nothing to do with the team.
“I was unhappy and just felt Monmouth wasn’t the place for me anymore or the place that I thought it would be. I think I’m doing what most people do in an uncomfortable situation,” O’Garro said. “It was just better for me to go somewhere else and instead of becoming a cancer for the team, that’s what I’m doing.”
O’Garro, who was a team tri-captain, started in 20 out of 32 games during the 2013-2014 basketball season accumulating a total of 127 points and 18 steals. He was one of six Hawks to appear in all 32 games. O’Garro has ended his Monmouth career at 203 points in 63 games with a .469 shooting percentage in field goals.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Palm played in 17 games this season compared to 30 games during his freshman year. During his time as a Hawk, Palm assembled 20 assists, 22 rebounds, and made 16 out of 23 free throws.
Standing at 6’10” Ruediger was originally recruited from Lee Academy in Maine by way of Brazil. In one season as a Hawk, Ruediger saw 24 games, shot .313 from the floor, made 28 rebounds, and had 16 points.
The team is now faced with the complication of replacing those spots on the roster. “We always work hard to find the right kids and families to join our program here at Monmouth. We recruit winners who will represent us well on our campus and in the community,” Rice said.
The Hawks have already received a commitment from 6’8″ Serbian-born forward Nikola Vujovic. According to the Asbury Park Press, the program has also made a non-binding verbal agreement with 6’2″ point guard Austin Tilghman last month from Archbishop Carroll (PA).
As the Hawks move on, they will have the support of persistent scorers junior Deon Jones, and seniors Andrew Nicholas and Max DiLeo.