Simmons leaving UW basketball program

  • By Christian caple The News Tribune
  • Friday, March 28, 2014 11:38pm
  • SportsSports

SEATTLE — Desmond Simmons, a fourth-year junior forward, will transfer from the Washington Huskies men’s basketball program, UW coach Lorenzo Romar confirmed.

Simmons wrote a message on his Instagram account on Friday night thanking UW fans for their support over the past four seasons, then wrote that he is transferring. Simmons, who was a redshirt junior in 2013-14, has one year of eligibility remaining. Assuming he leaves UW with his degree, he should be eligible to play somewhere next season as a fifth-year senior.

His transfer destination is not yet known.

Simmons’ departure — along with the graduation of seniors C.J. Wilcox and Perris Blackwell — leaves the Huskies with one open scholarship for next season, assuming signees Donaven Dorsey (Timberline High School) and Tristan Etienne (Abbotsford, B.C.), as well as junior-college transfer Quevyn Winters (Indian Hills Community College), each arrive as expected.

Simmons, a 6-foot-7 forward from Vallejo, Calif., averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in 2013-14. He missed the first 10 games of the season after undergoing minor knee surgery, then returned on Dec. 22 and averaged 21.0 minutes per game thereafter. Simmons made 10 starts, and scored in double-figures in five games, including four during Pac-12 play.

He also battled a knee injury during his first year on campus, which was part of the reason he decided to redshirt the 2010-11 season. His absence during UW’s first 10 games this season — along with a season-ending knee injury suffered by forward Jernard Jarreau — necessitated the Huskies’ use of a four-guard lineup.

Without him, UW’s frontcourt depth next season will be less certain. The Huskies return forwards Jarreau and Shawn Kemp Jr., and Etienne is expected to give that position a boost. But the status of 7-foot center Robert Upshaw, who redshirted this season after transferring from Fresno State, is a bit cloudier. Romar has been tight-lipped about Upshaw’s status for next season.

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