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Point guard Naadir Tharpe leaving Kansas

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Tharpe averaged five assists per game and was honorable mention all-Big 12 last season. (USATSI)
Tharpe averaged five assists per game and was honorable mention all-Big 12 last season. (USATSI)

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Naadir Tharpe is leaving Kansas, the school announced Thursday.

“Due to extenuating circumstances within my personal life, I will no longer be attending the University of Kansas,” Tharpe said in a statement. “My daughter has current medical issues that require weekly visits to her physician, as well as with a specialist. At this juncture, I feel it is best to be closer to home where I can assist and support in any way necessary.”

Tharpe has been much-maligned during his three seasons in Lawrence, and despite being named honorable mention all-Big 12 this past season, many still didn't think he was the answer for the Jayhawks. Combined with head coach Bill Self questioning Tharpe's judgment regarding a photo that went viral on social media, as well as the Jayhawks pursuing point guard options for next season, and Tharpe decided to finish his career elsewhere.

He averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 assists last season.

“Naadir and I have talked numerous times since he's been here about his role and about his situation back home with his daughter,” Self said. “He's told me many times how much he misses his little girl and she's had some health issues that has certainly made it difficult for him to be away from her for this extended period of time. She's doing very well now, but Naadir approached me after the season was over about him wanting to be closer to her. This is his decision to try and accomplish that.”

It will be interesting to see how this impacts Kansas' recruitment of Devonte Graham. Graham is the best point guard left on the board, and the Jayhawks are one of Graham's finalists, along with North Carolina State. However, Graham does attend the same prep school that Tharpe did, Brewster Academy (N.H.).

As it stands, Self's point guard options for next season are rising sophomores Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp.

ESPN.com first reported the news.

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