Tyler Smith Leaves Iowa.. Headed to Tennessee?

April 23rd, 2007

Iowa freshman forward Tyler Smith has been granted his release from the university. He said that he wanted to transfer closer to his home in Pulaski, Tennessee, to be closer to his father, who suffers from lung cancer. Athletic director Gary Barta saw it coming. "I have had conversations with both Tyler and his father from the time we knew we would have a coaching change," said Barta. "Both expressed a sincere appreciation for Iowa, but also hinted toward a desire for Tyler to continue his career closer to home.” New coach Todd Lickliter supported the decision. “Tyler asked to be released, expressing his desire to be closer to his father,” Lickliter said. “We respect his decision to be near his family and will grant the release in order for Tyler to further his education closer to home.”

Smith was the team’s second-leading scorer last year, averaging 14.9 points per game, earning him third-team all-Big Ten honors.

He told the Tennessean that he wants to play for Bruce Pearl and the Volunteers. "Tennessee is where I want to go. I've always liked Tennessee," Smith said. "They're the only school I'm looking at right now, and it's close to home. It makes the most sense for me and my dad. I hope it works out this time." He originally signed with the Volunteers out of high school, but went to prep school after Buzz Peterson was fired from Tennessee.

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In other Tennessee news, Chris Lofton is returning for his senior year: