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Utes' leading scorer, Will Clyburn, leaving program

Published April 6, 2011 8:49 am

Utah basketball • Team's leading scorer wants to play closer to home in Detroit.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It didn't take long for Utah forward Will Clyburn to make up his mind about his future.

Clyburn asked for and was granted a release from Utah following three meetings with new coach Larry Krystkowiak.

Clyburn, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound junior, was the Utes' leading scorer last year, averaging 17.1 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Clyburn and the rest of the Utes met with Krystkowiak following Monday's news conference in which Krystkowiak was introduced as the Runnin' Utes coach. Clyburn met with him twice on Tuesday.

Ultimately his decision was based on playing closer to his home in Detroit, although he is unsure where he'll go.

"I'm going to finish out this semester and take it day by day," he said. "Ever since coach [Jim] Boylen was fired, I've done a lot of thinking in the last couple weeks, and my mind was kind of made up. It had nothing to do with coach [Krystkowiak] or anything or being at Utah."

Asked about Clyburn's future with the Utes, Krystkowiak said Tuesday he didn't want any players to remain with the Utes who didn't want to be at Utah.

"My job is to have his best interest in mind," Krystkowiak said.

Clyburn said Krystkowiak expressed that same thought to him in the meetings.

"He wanted me to stay but said he wanted my best interest," Clyburn said. "He respected my decision. He is a good guy in my book and has a great reputation."

Clyburn isn't the only Ute to talk of transferring.

Josh Watkins and J.J. O'Brien both said they were uncertain what their futures were, although both were more open to staying with the Utes in their comments.

"The best thing to do is to wait and see what happens," O'Brien said. "I definitely think everyone is optimistic about it. The best thing to do is find out what is best for us."

In the last two years the Utes have had five players transfer. The turnover played a part in Utah's recent losing season, which ultimately led to coach Boylen's firing.

Stabilizing the program is one of Krystkowiak's priorities, he said.

"Life is all about change and handling curve balls when they are thrown at you," he said. "There are growing pains along the way and things you don't like. But it's all about getting through today and then the next day rather than worrying about tomorrow. I'd encourage them to have the same view. Some things are going to be done differently but their best interest is going to be high on my list."