Angel Garcia is leaving the Memphis basketball team to play professionally overseas, coach Josh Pastner said Sunday night. It's a development that led to Pastner removing the redshirt from freshman Hippolyte Tsafack because the Tigers need help in a suddenly thin frontcourt.
"Angel is a sweetheart of a person and a terrific basketball player," Pastner said. “We fully support Angel in his decision to play professional basketball in Spain and will continue to follow his career. ... We wish him all the best and happiness as he pursues his basketball career at the professional level."
Garcia, a 6-foot-11 junior, was averaging 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds.
Tsafack is a 6-8 freshman from Cameroon. He'll add depth to a once-deep roster that's now missing three players who were a part of the team this preseason. In addition to Garcia, Memphis has lost Jelan Kendrick permanently and Wesley Witherspoon temporarily. Kendrick, a 6-6 wing, was essentially dismissed from the team because of conduct issues. He's expected to transfer to another Division I school at the semester. Witherspoon, a 6-9 forward, had surgery last week to repair a torn meniscus. He's expected to be sidelined until mid-January.
The Tigers are 7-1 and ranked 18th in the latest Top 25 (and one).
They play Austin Peay on Thursday.