Torrey Patton, a Division II state player of the year at Trotwood-Madison High School, will transfer from the University of Akron men’s basketball program. The 6-foot-4 wing spent only this past season as a freshman with the Zips.
He announced his decision to leave by Twitter on Thursday.
“I wouldn’t say I made a mistake,” he said. “I wanted to figure out what I really want to do, be a role player or shine somewhere. I just felt I could find a better fit somewhere else.”
»RELATED: Patton leaving Akron
The school has not released anything about Patton leaving the program. He’s also at least the third freshman to leave the Zips following the end of the season, following Virshon Cotton and Sina Gbadebo.
Akron was 14-18 overall (6-12 in the Mid-American Conference) this past season, its first with John Groce as coach. He previously was the coach at Illinois for five seasons and at Ohio University before that.
»RELATED: Patton signs with Akron
Fired at Illinois, Groce succeeded Keith Dambrot, who left Akron to become the head coach at Duquesne. Akron was 27-9 overall and won the MAC East Division and MAC overall regular season championship in Dambrot’s final season.
Dambrot initially recruited Patton to Akron.
Patton played in all 32 games and had seven starts. He averaged 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in an average of 16 minutes per game playing time. He twice scored a season-high 10 points.
He said Groce tried to talk him into staying.
“Of course, (Groce) didn’t want me to leave,” Patton said. “He said overnight, think about it and if that’s what really I want to come up with doing, then he’ll do everything to help me out. Me and coach still have a great relationship. There’s no hard feelings.”
Patton is pursuing a business and marketing degree and will finish out the school year at Akron. He has not committed elsewhere.
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Should he transfer to another NCAA D-I program, he’ll be required to sit out the 2018-19 season before he’s eligible to play. He could immediately play should he transfer to an NCAA D-II or D-III program, NAIA or junior college.
“I’m just waiting on schools to hit me up,” he said.
At Trotwood, Patton was a two-time, first team All-Ohioan and as a senior was the co-Division II player of the year. However, he went into the 2017 final four not having signed.
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It was there that Patton wooed Groce, who was impressed with his 34 points and 11 rebounds in a state semifinal loss to eventual state champ Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. Trotwood also lost to Akron SVSM in the D-II state final this past season.
Current Trotwood senior Myles Belyeu was a D-II first team All-Ohioan this season but has yet to sign. Trotwood junior Amari Davis is regarded as a top Ohio prospect and is not verbally committed. All three have played integral roles in keeping Trotwood among the state’s best D-II programs.
Locally, Wright State (25-10) is coming off its second appearance in the NCAA men’s tournament and most of its lineup returns, including a strong recruiting class. Dayton (14-17) has had at least five players leave following its first season with Anthony Grant as coach.
Miami (16-18) completed its first season with Jack Owens as head coach. He previously was an associate head coach at Purdue.
“It would always be great to stay close to home in Ohio,” said Patton.
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