The Georgetown men’s basketball team has lost its second underclassman in less than three weeks, with university officials announcing that sophomore Omar Wattad won’t return to the Hilltop for his junior year.
Wattad, a native of Johnson City, Tenn., becomes the eighth Hoya in the last four seasons to leave Georgetown before his eligibility expired.
Two -- forward Jeff Green and, just last month, forward DaJuan Summers -- announced they were leaving for the NBA. The other six transferred: Wattad, Vernon Macklin, Jeremiah Rivers, Octavius Spann, Marc Egerson and Josh Thornton.
“People leave for different reasons,” Georgetown Coach John Thompson III said on Wednesday. “Some leave because they are unhappy with their playing time. Some leave because of family situations and personal issues. Some people don’t necessarily have the option to return. There are different reasons why people leave.”
Thompson confirmed that freshman Greg Monroe, who was named Big East rookie of the year, will return for his sophomore season, as he announced in February.
Wattad (6 feet 5, 225 pounds) was a role player for the Hoyas, playing in 25 of 31 games this season and starting once. He averaged 11.1 minutes, 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.
In the season’s early going, Thompson credited Wattad with helping elevate the play of the reserves with his intensity during practice. But Wattad had a limited role down the stretch of the disappointing 16-15 campaign, in which the Hoyas lost in the first round of the Big East tournament and the first round of the National Invitational Tournament.
Thompson said that Wattad hadn’t yet decided where he’ll transfer. He was initially recruited by Massachusetts, Vanderbilt and UNC Wilmington.
Georgetown officials announced on March 30 that Summers had decided to make himself eligible for the NBA draft rather than return for his senior year, as he had said he planned in February. His departure, followed by that of Wattad, leaves the Hoyas with just seven returning scholarship players for the 2009-2010 season.
April 15, 2009; 11:40 AM ET
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