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Texas loses leading returning scorer to overseas career

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

The best returning points-getter for Texas has suddenly opted to play overseas instead of with the Longhorns next season.

The Longhorns confirm that Ioannis Papapetrou has agreed to play with Greece-based Olympiacos BC. Papapetrou is from Athens. Eurohoops.net first reported the story, and Papapetrou is listed as an addition on Olympiacos' official site as well. The deal is reportedly around $2 million over five years. This marks the second college player in less than a month to leave school early to accept a professional deal overseas; Vanderbilt's Kevin Bright did the same at the end of July.

In a statement head coach Rick Barnes said: "We need to be happy for Papi and his family, and all of us wish him the best. There's no question that Papi wanted to be here at the University of Texas, and it was going to take something very significant for him not to be here. And that's exactly what happened."

Papapetrou was predicted to be a player of importance in the program gor the upcoming season, certain to be a fixture of a struggling Texas program's rebuilding process. Barnes' team missed the NCAA tournament last season for the first time in his 15-year career with the team. The Horns finished 16-18. Papapetrou, 6-8, was the freshman forward who put up 8.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

Papapetrou's departure means Texas has prematurely lost him, Jaylen Bond, Sheldon McClellan and Julien Lewis to transfers this offseason.

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