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More on Tristan Spurlock's departure from Virginia basketball

Virginia forward Tristan Spurlock met with Coach Tony Bennett on Sunday night in what Spurlock said was the final individual meeting the coach conducted with players. At the meeting, Spurlock said that he and Bennett spoke about Bennett's vision of Spurlock and the future and they mutually agreed he should leave the Cavaliers' program.

"I didn't like his vision for me," Spurlock said, "and we came to the agreement that what's best for me might not be staying at the University of Virginia."

When asked specifically what vision he did not like, Spurlock said Bennett wanted him to become a "4" -- a power forward. Spurlock believes he's a wing.

Spurlock insisted that no decision was made during the season. He said he "did not put anything out there" when asked if he and his family looked into other opportunities during the season. Spurlock said he thought about returning to Virginia throughout the year, and never entered a game expecting that game's playing time to determine his future.

"A lot of people speculated, a lot of people thought I was transferring," Spurlock said. "Jontel is my best friend on the team, and we talked all the time about next year and how things are going to be different. So I never, ever speculated or wanted to speculate."

Spurlock said he has no ill will toward Bennett, and still believes Bennett is a "good man." The same respect he had for Bennett when the coach visited Spurlock's family last spring upon accepting the job remains. The issue was entirely a basketball decision.

"Things do change when you get to the school," Spurlock said, "and I don't think I fully understood what kind of coach he was and his philosophies and his schemes and how I fit into those schemes."

Spurlock spoke with other players on the team at study hall on Monday. He received a call from Sylven Landesberg in the afternoon.

He does not have any potential schools, emphasizing the decision to leave came last night. He plans to visit other schools.

"After the meeting, that's when I really knew," Spurlock said, "this is not the right place for me."

By Zach Berman  |  March 22, 2010; 6:04 PM ET
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Next: Sylven Landesberg not returning to Virginia


I suppose attending one of the nation's finest universities at no charge isn't enough for him, as well as players like hin who wabt to major in basketball. Too bad they can't see the forest for the trees, to use the trite phase.

Posted by: howard10859 | March 23, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I wish him the best. The sad thing is that a lot of kids today think they know more than their Coaches, and in this case, it's better that the two sides part ways, as that way of thinking is not conducive to winning as a TEAM!!!! Uva needs players that will buy in to Coach Bennetts philosophy, and do what ever the TEAM needs to be successful on the court!! What they lose "talent wise" with Spurlock departing, they will hopefully make up with "Team Cohesion".

Posted by: frmi | March 23, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't really blame him for transferring but it is unfortunate. If I were in his situation I would want to get more playing time in a system that would better suit me. Plus, he was a Leito guy and not a Bennett guy and this frees up a scholarship for this incoming class. I would like to see Landesberg stay though, but we'll see.

Posted by: giardinie | March 23, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse


Im going to assume you are a white male. No im not calling you racist, but Im just pointing out a strange and rather humorous double standard that pops its head up in these types of situations.

Spurlock's situation is the equivalemt of, say, having a job that pays 70k and looking for a job that pays 100k. Sure, he is fortunate at 70k(UVA), but why not try and do even better.

Use the system, not vice versa.

Posted by: jpekand | March 24, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

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