Reserves Kareem Cooper and Tre'Von Willis, each caught in a numbers game, are in the process of transferring from Memphis, sources close to the situation have told CBS SportsLine.com.
According to the sources, Cooper (a sophomore from Washington D.C.) and Willis (a freshman from Fresno, Calif.) are on track to leave with their eligibility intact, and they intend to secure more playing time with a lesser program after being bit players under John Calipari. One source said neither student-athlete has picked a future college, adding Cooper is "wide open" while stating Willis will "likely transfer out west."
Cooper will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Willis will have three.
Though these developments should leave Memphis with just 11 scholarship players, this is pleasant news for the Tigers. Neither Cooper nor Willis were expected to be factors next season thanks to a deep rotation, and both -- if unhappy with their limited roles -- could've potentially developed into the type of problems that disrupt team chemistry, particularly Cooper.
Skilled for a man 6-foot-11, 290 pounds, Cooper has never seemed committed to tapping into his undeniable talent, and his off-court distractions have been more notable than anything achieved in the paint. He was arrested for marijuana as a freshman and suspended last season for a "violation of team rules."
So while Cooper's departure might eventually hurt if senior Joey Dorsey is injured, sophomore Pierre Niles refuses to get into shape or Iowa State transfer Shawn Taggart doesn’t have an impact, it's likely this is addition by subtraction for Memphis, which doesn't need anything hindering its very realistic quest for the program's first national title.