Utah State point guard Malloy Nesmith has left school, but Aggie basketball coach Kohn Smith said Wednesday morning that news reports of three other players leaving the program may not be accurate and that any or all of the three may return to the team for next season.
A Logan newspaper said centers Neal Pollard and Charlie Sager and guard Brent Lofton will leave for various reasons, but Smith disputes that."This really disturbs me that it's being presented that guys are just leaving and all hell's breaking loose here," Smith said.
"I really think Sager's going to be back here, and probably Pollard," Smith said.
"It's not like I'm running them out of here," Smith said.
Smith said he talked with Sager Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and that the 6-foot-10 junior-to-be lifted weights with the team Wednesday morning and indicated he may have changed his mind. The newspaper report said Sager wanted to transfer because he might not play much next season, but Smith says it's a more personal reason than that and that it may already be resolved.
Sager played in 17 games as a sophomore and had 19 points and 20 rebounds.
Smith said Nesmith, a junior who started 26 games, averaged 11.39 points and had 134 assists, did leave school but that he would not have been academically eligible. Smith said that Nesmith, a junior-college transfer this season, is also not eligible to transfer anywhere else.
The newspaper story said Nesmith left because he didn't like the Aggies' slow style of play.
Smith said Lofton, who will be a senior, wanted a guarantee he'd play more, and Smith couldn't give him one, but Smith said Lofton may stay with the program anyway. Smith says he told Lofton he can complete school in Logan with financial aid if he wishes, even if he doesn't play. Lofton appeared in 11 games last season and scored 20 points.
Pollard, said Smith, has given no notice that he will not return but has apparently gone to Texas to work in construction with a relative. Pollard, a 7-foot transfer from San Diego State, was a walkon who sat out the season as a practice player and would have three eligible seasons. "He just left," said Smith. "He could be back."