Oklahoma was not expected to do much this season, but the Sooners are off to a 4-1 start, including wins over Washington State and Santa Clara.
Calvin Newell was a key in the hot start, going for 18 points against WSU and 19 in a close victory over Idaho State. On Thursday, Newell announced he was leaving the team.
According to Guerin Emig of the Tulsa World, Newell departed for personal reasons. Within the last year, Emig tweeted, Newell had lost both his mother and grandmother and was missing his family back in Philadelphia.
Newell is an athletic 6-foot-1 guard who struggled through his freshman campaign, but came out of the gate with a purpose this season. Despite playing fewer than 20 minutes per game, Newell was second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.0 points per contest. He was knocking down nearly 39 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Newell had established himself as one of the better sixth men in the Big 12. In his place, Lon Kruger will have to look elsewhere for scoring off the bench.