Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bryce Webster Says So Long To Minnesota

A week or so ago I posted about the mysteries surrounding Bryce Webster's rumored decision to leave the Minnesota basketball team. Now it's official according to the Associated Press.

The Associated Press piece linked to above, like all the reporting on Webster's departure, is completely lacking of any insight into why he decided to leave. The AP suggests he was overmatched in the Big Ten: "Webster often looked overmatched against Big Ten competition. He appeared in 28 games last season, starting seven ties on a 9-22 team, and averaged 1.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 9.3 minutes per game."

Minnesota blogger Down with Goldy also suggests Webster was slightly overmatched.

I won't go that far, considering he was a true freshman last year playing limited minutes.

But I would like to reiterate what I said in my previous Bryce Webster post. The reporting on this situation has been embarrassing. Rumors have circulated on message boards that pointed to various factors contributing to Webster's departure. But no solid reason has ever been given. The rumors made Webster so umcomfortable he apparently contacted the message board to put some rumors to rest.

In any real college basketball town, the reporters would be fighting over this story no matter the real reason Webster decided to leave. If a sophomore leaves Billy Gillespie's team at Kentucky, I'd wager just about anything that the papers across the state would get to the bottom of the situation.

It was previously reported that he wanted to step away from the team--not transfer--because of academics and family issues. A transfer smacks of something more than a desire to hit the books and "family issues."

Did he feel outmatched? Did he want to concentrate on academics? Does he want to travel to Cali to play for Dan Monson? Is he not a Tubby Smith type of player? Does Tubby have plans that don't include him?

Or, does he want to transfer to Normandale Community College to be closer to his girlfriend? That might sound silly, but no one has reported any solid reason. Hopefully the Star Tribune andPioneer Press will pick up the slack.

UPDATE: Our two local periodicals continue to tell us next to nothing. Here's the Star Tribune's nothingness. The Pioneer Press at least tried, with this article by Marcus Fuller. The reporter quoted Webster's coach from his days with Howard Pulley as saying Webster didn't like the social aspect. But it's not clear if he meant that concerning his Gophers teammates. It was also reported he could be off to Harvard to play for Tommy Amaker.

Oh, and by the way, Charley Walters, in this series of blurbs published Friday, is still citing his famous birdies. Can someone tell Mr. Walters that once a press release is out about the situation, one need not cite unidentified sources to get out the same material? Sheesh. Correction: I read Walters' blurb wrong. He was citing a birdie that indicated Webster might head to Harvard. My bad. I still see no need for a 'birdie,' considering Fuller cited a source and reported the same thing. But I hereby take back the "Sheesh."

Whatever the real reason, I wish Webster well. If he's off to Harvard, I say congratulations.


Anonymous said...

Charley Walters birdie was not talking about him leaving the U. The note was about where he might end up...which was not in the press release.

PJS said...

You're right, anon. I read his blurb wrong.

So, then his birdie is talking about Webster attending Harvard. In the straght news article, Fuller reports the same thing citing a source. So, I still see no need to insist on using 'birdies.'