Lockett might transfer from ASU

Arizona State could lose its fourth player in a year after
junior Trent Lockett asked to be released from his scholarship so
he could transfer to be closer to his ailing mother.

Arizona State’s leading scorer this past season, Lockett
recently learned his mother has cancer is looking into the
possibility of finishing his playing career closer to his home in
Minnesota.

”With the recent news of my mother’s illness, I want to be
honest with everyone and say that it is in my best interest to
possibly pursue playing my final season closer to home,” Lockett
said in a statement. ”At this time, my energy and focus needs to
start now on being as close to my mom as I can while at the same
time pursuing career goals with one year of college basketball
remaining.

Lockett, who averaged 13 points and nearly six rebounds in the
2011-12 season, is scheduled to graduate this summer and could
possibly play for another school next season if he does decide to
transfer. He left open the possibility of returning to Tempe,
though, saying he had to take this step in preparation.

”We are giving Trent and his family all of our support at this
time,” Arizona State coach Herb Sendek. ”At the present moment,
the focus is making sure he and his family know that Arizona State
is here to help him. Trent is a wonderful young man who has been an
outstanding ambassador for our university and basketball program
and has established himself as one of the best players that I have
ever coached.”

Should Lockett transfer, it would leave the Sun Devils in a big
bind.

The program, after a good start under Sendek, has floundered
over the past two seasons. Plagued by injuries and inconsistency,
Arizona State has won just 22 games the past two years, including
10 this past season.

The Sun Devils also have had a string of exits, with 11 players
leaving the program over the past four years.

This season, guard Keala King was dismissed from the team for
violating team rules, guard Chanse Creekmur decided to transfer to
pursue football at a school closer to his home in Iowa and forward
Kyle Cain also announced plans to transfer.

Arizona State has six new players coming in next season,
including prized point guard Jahii Carson, but losing the team’s
leading scorer and leader could be tough to overcome.

”The main reason we’ve had student-athletes transfer out of our
program is a combination of expectations around playing time and
holding them accountable for their actions,” Sendek said. ”It is
important that we maintain certain standards and expectations and
not lower them. Ideally, we want everybody to stay and graduate.
But in some instances it’s better for them not to stay.”

Sendek added that the Lockett situation was completely different
from the others because it involved a deeply personal issue, and
that the school will provide any support it can.

Second Chance Busted bracket? Enter the FOX / SI Second Chance
Play Now!