Wes Washpun granted release

Tennessee guard Wes Washpun, right, steals a pass intended for Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Vanderbilt won 65-47. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Photo by AP Photo / Mark Humphrey

Tennessee guard Wes Washpun, right, steals a pass intended for Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Vanderbilt won 65-47. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Tennessee’s scholarship math works again.

Wes Washpun, in a move that had been anticipated, is leaving the UT basketball team to pursue more playing time elsewhere.

Coach Cuonzo Martin announced Monday that Washpun has been granted a release to transfer.

“We wish nothing but the best for Wes,” Martin said in a UT release. “He’s a high-character kid who comes from a good family. We all want to see him be successful.”

When Martin accepted a commitment from Atlanta-area guard Armani Moore last week, it was apparent someone would be leaving to free up a scholarship for the 2012-13 season.

Moore’s eventual signing would have put the Vols one over the NCAA allotment of 13 scholarships, assuming center Kenny Hall returns from suspension.

Based on playing time, Washpun was the most likely suspect to leave.

The 6-foot-1 backup point guard from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, appeared in 17 games as a freshman, most of them in the nonconference season.

He scored 16 points, the final two coming against Vanderbilt on Jan. 24. He did not leave the bench in UT’s final nine games.

Washpun played double-digit minutes in 10 games, but only once when SEC play began. He lost his backup point guard role to a rotation of Josh Richardson, Skylar McBee and Cameron Tatum.

Washpun, a three-star recruit, was Martin’s first commitment after he got the job last March. Their relationship began when Martin was recruiting Washpun for Missouri State.

After being hired by UT, Martin extended an offer and Washpun accepted without ever seeing the campus.

The lefty is athletic, with a 41-inch vertical, but was small (163 pounds) and limited offensively.

He shot 28.6 percent (6-of-21), was 0-of-3 on 3-point tries and 4-of-8 at the free-throw stripe.

The 2012 signing class includes combo guards Moore and D’Montre Edwards and wing Derek Reese. Moore was recruited as a point guard.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange

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Comments » 95

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor guessed Miller or Chevious. Witch Doctor say now we know. Good luck
Bones never lie.

ZacharyUTK writes:

Good luck Wes!

TritanVol writes:

Good luck to him....

VOLsince68 writes:

I didn't see anything out of Washpun that made me think he could compete in the SEC WD.

Was Miller redshirted? Maybe he has a shot next year.

Nonetheless, good luck to you young man. Hoping the best for your career and life ahead.

GO VOLS!!!!

carbonzip writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor guessed Miller or Chevious. Witch Doctor say now we know. Good luck
Bones never lie.

Do your bones see Hall coming back?

keepitreal4vols writes:

the kid was a freshman, I wasn't expecting him to be all SEC this year or next year. This smells like we have landed some BIG fish.

carbonzip writes:

Good luck, Wes. I enjoyed watching you play. Get the best education you can.

reg_mza#219136 writes:

Ugh. The kid had crazy hops and could have been one of our defensive stalwarts if not a slashing kind of 1 or 2 guard. Hopefully Chievous stays and is that kind of defensive presence as well as offensive talent otherwise we have a depth issue at guard.

voloffaith writes:

That technical foul after blocked shot and being yanked immediately might have played in also.....but other fish in the net possibly...

johnlg00 writes:

As with most other Vol fans, I wish Wes well--say that three times fast!--wherever he winds up. For his sake, I hope he works REALLY hard to develop a reliable shot. I loved his hustle and his athletic potential, but he had a LONG way to go to be a productive player at the SEC level. As others have said, he is probably not the last such player who will be encouraged to continue his career elsewhere. I would not be at all surprised if a pretty big name or two doesn't come on board in the spring signing period, or certainly in next fall's. We won't need a WHOLE lot of help for next season, but we will for the year after that.

1vavolfan writes:

My favorite Wasphun memory is when CCM put him in at the end of the Florida game. He came in immediately blocked a shot, taunted the gator on the receiving end, got a technical, and was immediatley removed by Martin. All in the span of about 4 seconds. Loved his athleticism but couldn't throw a basketball into the ocean on offense. Why any guard who can't shoot a lick is ever recruited by a division one team is beyond me.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to carbonzip:

Do your bones see Hall coming back?

Witch Doctor its nothing but a wild guess. but yes for some reason. Witch Doctor say zo could have kicked him to the curb sooner. Witch Doctor say we'll know for sure in a few days or sooner(?) Witch Doctor say WW was best for both parties as I gather from KNS tweets. Maybe Martin giving Hall a legitimate chance to grow up and man up. (?)
Bones never lie.
*Witch Doctor not have any sources on Bball personnel. ?

westknoxrepub writes:

Why was he given a scholarship in the first place?

westknoxrepub writes:

I'll assume that his scholarship is giong to the three star guard we fought long and hard with Charleston and Ole Miss for (you know, those powerhouse programs), because replacing a three star flop with a three star soon to be flop is good recruiting.

Ironcity writes:

in response to johnlg00:

As with most other Vol fans, I wish Wes well--say that three times fast!--wherever he winds up. For his sake, I hope he works REALLY hard to develop a reliable shot. I loved his hustle and his athletic potential, but he had a LONG way to go to be a productive player at the SEC level. As others have said, he is probably not the last such player who will be encouraged to continue his career elsewhere. I would not be at all surprised if a pretty big name or two doesn't come on board in the spring signing period, or certainly in next fall's. We won't need a WHOLE lot of help for next season, but we will for the year after that.

I agree . He also was a lousy passer and a below average dribbler also. He has a forward mentality (and hoops) in a PG body. He will do well at a small school where they don't pressure the ball to much. I liked watching the kid but you could see he wasn't going to make it. Miller will be around next year. He is a Senior and we are his third team. Their really isn't anywhere for him to go. Chievous is a question mark because no one has seen him play. I doubt we get any other players for next season. This next recruiting class will be huge with the potential heavy losses from our bigs. The next two recruits need to be a PF and a center or Yemi will be all we have in 2013.

westknoxrepub writes:

BTW, reports are Frank Martin's been hired by South Carolina, they chose to upgrade instead of going bargain basement hunting for a coach who's never been to an NCAA tournament. . .

voloffaith writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

I'll assume that his scholarship is giong to the three star guard we fought long and hard with Charleston and Ole Miss for (you know, those powerhouse programs), because replacing a three star flop with a three star soon to be flop is good recruiting.

Momma said if ewe can't say anything nice don't say anything at all......also lil known Gumption....being a "flop" allows one to easily recognize(they think)flopsters.....

tennrich1 writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

I'll assume that his scholarship is giong to the three star guard we fought long and hard with Charleston and Ole Miss for (you know, those powerhouse programs), because replacing a three star flop with a three star soon to be flop is good recruiting.

There's the ole west knox democrat that I know and love!!!!

underthehill writes:

Washpun should benefit from this..he showed a lot of spunk when on the floor..especially in the game against Memphis State..he is a far better defender than Golden but has little offensive skills at this time..hope he improves his shooting and becomes a star player..I seem to have read where Martin was not a good shooter when he was a freshman and became a great one by his junior year..hope the same happens with Washpun..

brod writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

BTW, reports are Frank Martin's been hired by South Carolina, they chose to upgrade instead of going bargain basement hunting for a coach who's never been to an NCAA tournament. . .

everyone thought that darin horn was a great hire too. westknox, i thought that you would be happy. your favorite 3 star is leaving. who are you going to say is atlantic sun talent now.

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to RockyTopUT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think it is what westknoxrepub hits before making comments. As Richard Pryor's Grandma said, "I told you that stuff will make you ignorant."

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

BTW, reports are Frank Martin's been hired by South Carolina, they chose to upgrade instead of going bargain basement hunting for a coach who's never been to an NCAA tournament. . .

Who??

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Thanks Wes for the almost memories. Seriously I liked watching the times you've played and contributed. I feel certain you helped us as a team in practices and in games. God bless.

Razor784 writes:

Seemed like a good kid, i've never liked a point guard that didn't have an outside shot.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to RockyTopRenegade:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He doesn't, he's already filled it. . .with another three star guard that no team of consequence bothered to offer. What happened to getting these kids out of Memphis?

tnvol4ever writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

BTW, reports are Frank Martin's been hired by South Carolina, they chose to upgrade instead of going bargain basement hunting for a coach who's never been to an NCAA tournament. . .

Words of wisdom from someone that voted for George Bush. Voted for him not once but twice.
Probably 4 times if you count daddy Bush. You are officially eliminated from any upgrade conversation.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to brod:

everyone thought that darin horn was a great hire too. westknox, i thought that you would be happy. your favorite 3 star is leaving. who are you going to say is atlantic sun talent now.

Richardson, Chievous, Yemi, Reese,Moore and Edwards . . .and Martin has a proven track record of success. He's been to multiple NCAA tournaments, our coach has been to zero.

VFL70 writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

the kid was a freshman, I wasn't expecting him to be all SEC this year or next year. This smells like we have landed some BIG fish.

Stokes was a big fish.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to tnvol4ever:

Words of wisdom from someone that voted for George Bush. Voted for him not once but twice.
Probably 4 times if you count daddy Bush. You are officially eliminated from any upgrade conversation.

What exactly is incorrect about what I said? Frank Martin has been to Four NCAA tournaments, Martin has been to zero. South Carolina upgraded. . .I'm not sure what we did, but nobody can call it an upgrade with a straight face. What happens when Bruce's recruits are gone (and Jarnell Stokes is a Pearl guy, make no mistake about it) and all we're left with are three star people we beat out losing programs for?

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

the kid was a freshman, I wasn't expecting him to be all SEC this year or next year. This smells like we have landed some BIG fish.

Nope, just another three star guard we beat out Ole Miss and College of Charleston to get. . .typical Martin recruiting to this point.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to RockyTopRenegade:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Stokes was heavily recruited by Bruce. . .and is really a Pearl recruit. His situation was odd, mostly because of the TSSAA's stupid ruling on the matter, and his options were very limited. Still, even if you count Stokes in his favor, the three players for next year are rather sub par, three stars no respectable programs wanted.

Ironcity writes:

in response to Razor784:

Seemed like a good kid, i've never liked a point guard that didn't have an outside shot.

Or couldn't dribble or pass.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to tnvol4ever:

Words of wisdom from someone that voted for George Bush. Voted for him not once but twice.
Probably 4 times if you count daddy Bush. You are officially eliminated from any upgrade conversation.

Ok. I'm not really a Bush fan...either one. But especially the elder. I do think he they were the best alternatives. I'm not a democrat either.

Why'd you have to pull the polical card to diss WKR??? It really weakens any point you were making. BTW most of the country voted for these men? Hence 12 years of the Bushes. Those years were scary just as our current president is scaring a lot of people.(I like OBama as a person...president?!!)
Golly there IS no political solution. We (humans) need help.
Uhhh soorry. See what happens when you bring up politics?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Wetknoxrepub. Please take the repub out of your name. It's making repubs everywhere look dumb. 'Course that may be your goal.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

btw westknoxville or west Knox County doesn't appear too bright either.
imho

Bigger_Al writes:

My favorite Washpun moment was when he packed Joe Jackson's breakaway layup in fantastic fashion. Dude can jump out of the gym. With the scholly open, I was hoping for a higher profile point guard signee to go with Stokes. But I guess we have to trust Cuonzo.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

This young man has some talent, but UT needs players that can contribute immediately..Good luck Wes & HBTV!!

HtownVol writes:

All i know is that UT really, really, really needs a player who is a consistant shooter. Not a McBee but someone who can actually handle the ball and create his own shot. McBee is a great shooter but if he takes three dribbles the result is never good.

I think Martin can teach defense. Look at Tatum, McRae and McBee, it is the lack of offense that really hurts UT right now.

Lets only hope the three new kids are scorers who can defend.

I do trust C Martin, but at some point the 4 and 5 star recruits are a must. Stars do matter when it is a roster of 3 star players. Pretty soon Bruces 4 stars will be gone. It is what it is but other than Stokes (no one really knows if UT just got lucky) none of Martins recruits this season could score when needed. Maybe the freshmen will grow into scorers but I am just saying please get some scorers!

GO VOLS

Ayres_Hall writes:

Wes Washpun is a really good kid.

SandySpringsVol writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Stokes was heavily recruited by Bruce. . .and is really a Pearl recruit. His situation was odd, mostly because of the TSSAA's stupid ruling on the matter, and his options were very limited. Still, even if you count Stokes in his favor, the three players for next year are rather sub par, three stars no respectable programs wanted.

Stokes seems like a bright young man, and, as such, was smart enough to know that Cuonzo Martin is now UT's basketball coach, not Bruce Pearl. I don't think he would've come on board if he didn't believe in Martin's ability to take Tennessee to the next level.

Even though he's only a teenager, Stokes knows about 1,000% more about basketball than you do, so I, along with most well-informed individuals, will value his opinion far more than the opinion of some troll with an obvious axe to grind.

manoffewwords writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

I'll assume that his scholarship is giong to the three star guard we fought long and hard with Charleston and Ole Miss for (you know, those powerhouse programs), because replacing a three star flop with a three star soon to be flop is good recruiting.

Why do you care ?

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to RockyTopRenegade:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

One. . .Steven Pearl was not on a scholarship. . .two yes, they weren't SEC calibur players (possible exception Williams), but he recruited high level players too. So far Martin's recruited a bunch of sub par players, and reaped Pearl's hard work by landing Stokes.

orangecountyvols writes:

This WestKnox Whiner is really getting old.

For goodness sake..........get lost, but most importantly, grow up. A real champion of negativity.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

One. . .Steven Pearl was not on a scholarship. . .two yes, they weren't SEC calibur players (possible exception Williams), but he recruited high level players too. So far Martin's recruited a bunch of sub par players, and reaped Pearl's hard work by landing Stokes.

You are like the new age movement. soooo close to the truth that you seem like you ARE correct.
You always choose to leave out the other facts. such as TIME. Most on here know that it takes a while to actually get something fickle like families involved and courted etc., etc.
Stoke's family had already been drawn to UT it seems. Who knows? I bet you don't.
Also...it takes time to build the dream of UT in a prospect who also has dreams of NBA. Who is going to give the player the best shot?

Besides. This year's Kentucky team was a fluke.
I think it's rare for so many 4 and 5 star type players to actually play team ball. Or play defense. Personally I'm not afraid of 3 star players with tremendous upside and a great work ethic. Also hard to find. While the 4 and 5 star recruits look great on paper they aren't necessarily great gets.

I think your main goal on here is to diss UT and are not really worried about any recruits. Just a theory.

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The same Aaron Craft who appeared in the photo with Bruce Pearl that magically appesred at the NCAA office after Tennessee beat No.1 seeded Ohio State in the tournament

Basketvol writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Why was he given a scholarship in the first place?

Limited recruiting time and players to choose from?

VolGrad writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Why was he given a scholarship in the first place?

Only to irritate you.

Basketvol writes:

in response to RockyTopRenegade:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Took the words right out of my mouth. Hilarious.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And Craft was a 3 star when he committed to Pearl which wasn't good enough for many on here back then. Some coaches see things that others don't.

UT4prez writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

One. . .Steven Pearl was not on a scholarship. . .two yes, they weren't SEC calibur players (possible exception Williams), but he recruited high level players too. So far Martin's recruited a bunch of sub par players, and reaped Pearl's hard work by landing Stokes.

Pearl brought in 3 5-star recruits in his time. Stokes does not count because he didn't come here under Pearl. Ramar Smith, Duke Crews, and shoot, I forget the 3rd. Maybe Hopson? I'm thinking it wasn't him but it may have been. All I know is Crews and Smith did not pan out at all. With a good coach a 3 star will be just as good as a 5 star. I'm not saying ratings don't matter at all but they are more important in football to me. Basketball has a more level playing field where smart play, good schemes, and good team play can overcome what some people see as talent. As a UT fan just try supporting the coach and team until that coach is no longer our coach.

I heard Pearl is rumored for the Kansas St job.

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