Provo • Much-traveled guard Matt Carlino is traveling again.
BYU’s mercurial junior playmaker announced Tuesday that he is transferring for his final season of eligibility. He did not say which institution he is transferring to, but he will be eligible immediately because he will graduate from BYU in June with a degree in recreation management and youth leadership.
Carlino will be eligible to play at an institution that offers a graduate program that BYU does not offer. Carlino began his college career at UCLA but transferred to BYU just weeks into his first season with the Bruins, picking the Cougars over Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga and others.
“I am grateful for the opportunity Coach [Dave] Rose and his staff have given me,” Carlino said in a school news release. “I am also grateful for my teammates, professors and advisors for making my time at BYU such a great experience and for helping me grow so much as a person. Thank you to the fans that have given me so much support. I feel very blessed that I was able to represent BYU.”
The announcement caught BYU’s coaching staff by surprise. In a 30-minute interview with The Salt Lake Tribune on Tuesday morning, Rose said he didn’t expect any members of the 2013-14 team, which had no seniors, to be moving on except freshman Eric Mika, who leaves on a two-year church mission to Italy in May.
“We are really grateful for Matt’s contribution to the success of our program over the last three years,” Rose said in the release. “We wish Matt and his family the very best in their future endeavors. Matt was a great teammate and will be missed by the coaching staff and players.”
Carlino’s departure does alleviate BYU’s scholarship crunch. Rose was looking at the possibility of having to pull a scholarship away from a player, because he had 14 scholarships allotted for 2014-15, and only 13 are allowed.
“Right now, I don’t know how that is going to work out,” he said Tuesday morning, before exit interviews with Carlino and the other players. “I think it will work its way out, because it always does.”
However, Rose also said he wasn’t looking at the junior college ranks, or for transfers such as the three players who are leaving Utah State — Jordan Stone, Danny Berger and Kyle Davis — to bolster his next team.
“We are pretty locked into our group of guys,” he said. “We aren’t looking [at adding a player] right now.”
Carlino averaged 13.7 points, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals last season and was an all-West Coast Conference honorable mention selection. He ends his career 27th on BYU’s all-time scoring list, with 1,201 points.