Transfer Makes UConn's Job Tougher in 2011-12

Jamal Coombs-McDaniel was arrested on marijuana possession charges two weeks ago. On Tuesday, coach Jim Calhoun told the Connecticut Post that Coombs-McDaniel's punishment would be coming in the next few days. "I'm not trying to hide anything but I think over the next week, everyone will see what action has been taken," Calhoun said.

On Thursday the Calhoun announced that Coombs-McDaniel will transfer.

“Jamal and I met recently and, although he loves the program, he would like more playing time,” said Calhoun. “He and I both agree that he may have more opportunity for that playing time in another program. He was a very important part of our national championship this season and I know is capable of great success in the future. We wish Jamal the best of luck athletically and academically where ever he decides to continue his college career.”

Coombs-McDaniel and Calhoun have had a tumultuous relationship since Coombs-McDaniel arrived on campus two years ago. We wrote last month that, "As for the expectations, Coombs-McDaniel was to be a big part of sustaining the program in the post-Kemba era. His first two years in Storrs can conservatively be described as inconsistent, both on and off the court. The Hartford Courant's Paul Doyle encapsulated perfectly Coombs-McDaniel's UConn career in this piece prior to the Final Four:"

[His] career has been marked by clashes with Calhoun and stretches when he couldn't get off the bench. In fact, he talked of transferring when his minutes evaporated early in the season. But it was during some long talks with [Alex] Oriakhi — his roommate at home and on the road — that convinced Coombs-McDaniel to stay. "He just tells me, you know how [Calhoun] is," Coombs-McDaniel said. "You're not going to win that battle."

So it seems that Coombs-McDaniel has decided to cut his losses and move on.  Now UConn's already thin margin for error heading into next season just got thinner.  And if the Huskies are sanctioned later this month for low Academic Performance Rates, it will affect the program's ability to recruit big-time players for 2012-13.

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