News: Lucas Leaving Florida, Arizona's Withey Denied Release

November 5th, 2008

A pair of interesting stories were announced this afternoon: Florida sophomore Jai Lucas will transfer, and Arizona freshman center Jeff Withey has been denied his release.

Lucas, who averaged 8.5 ppg last year, will be looking for a program where he's assured to be the feature point guard.  He was facing serious pressure from Erving Walker and Ray Shipman for minutes.. not to mention next year's arrival of Kenny Boynton. Lucas has said he will finish the semester in Gainesville.

Withey, a 6-10 freshman, is perhaps the more interesting story, due to the long-running soap opera that Arizona basketball has become. Withey is Arizona's top recruit (at least remaining recruit since Jennings and Negedu have already left), and a player who fills a major void in the middle of the Wildcats lineup. His request to leave the program was denied by UofA athletic director Jim Livengood, who reasoned "I firmly believe, as the letter of intent states, that he needs to stay a full academic year." Withey's status remains unclear at this point, and there's only speculation on what school he may eventually play for (ie, perhaps Louisville where he originally committed, or San Diego State where he grew up.)