MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia's men's basketball team keeps getting smaller.
Coach Bob Huggins told the Charleston Daily Mail Thursday redshirt freshman center Pat Forsythe is transferring to Akron. It's the roster's second sizeable loss of the offseason.
"The explanation I got was he just wants to be closer to home," said Huggins, who had not spoken to Forsythe as of Thursday night and instead heard from Akron coach Keith Dambrot.
The 6 foot, 11 inch, 255-pound Forsythe is from Brunswick, Ohio, about 45 minutes northwest of Akron. Forsythe was first-team all-state as a senior at Brunswick High and the unanimous selection as the Northeast Inland District Division I Player of the Year. He averaged 22.5 points, 12.6 rebounds, 6.1 blocks and shot 66 percent from the floor.
The Mountaineers have 12 players on scholarship for next season, one below the NCAA's limit. Huggins said he would award the scholarship at any position, though only within reason this close to the start of the fall semester.
"If there's a transfer available that we think can help, that's one thing we'll look at," he said. "We're not going to just take someone to fill a spot."
Forsythe is the sixth recruit to leave Huggins in his five seasons (Will Thomas, Dee Proby, Dan Jennings Dalton Pepper and Tommie McCune). Additionally, guard Noah Cottrill, center David Nyarsuk and forward Darrious Curry - the entire 2010 recruiting class - never played for the Mountaineers.
Last month WVU learned four-star power forward recruit Elijah Macon would not enroll with the Mountaineers and instead head to New Hampshire's Brewster Academy. The 6-8, 250-pound Macon, who played this past season at Huntington Prep, intends to enroll at WVU next year as part of the 2013 recruiting class.
That group already includes 6-9 Morgantown High forward Nathan Adrian and 6-10 Georgia center Brandon Watkins. The Mountaineers lose forwards Deniz Kilicli and Dominique Rutledge to graduation after next season. Center Aaric Murray, who sat out this past season after transferring from LaSalle, is an academic senior who could be good enough to leave after his junior season of basketball for the NBA.
Forsythe took a medical redshirt this past season for a stress fracture in his right ankle. He played just seven games and averaged 2.1 points and 3.4 rebounds in 11.4 minutes. In addition to last season's injury, Forsythe fractured the same ankle late in his senior season and also fractured his L5 vertebrae in his junior season at Brunswick.
@Tagline:Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.