Trae Golden leaving Vols: 'We wish him well'

Tennessee guard Trae Golden (11) reacts after teammate forward Kenny Hall (20) made a basket during the second half against Kentucky at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Tennessee won 88-58 over Kentucky. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee guard Trae Golden (11) reacts after teammate forward Kenny Hall (20) made a basket during the second half against Kentucky at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Tennessee won 88-58 over Kentucky. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin confirmed the news in a two-word text to the News Sentinel.

“He’s transferring.”

Moments later, the university made things official with a press release announcing rising senior point guard Trae Golden will transfer from UT following the completion of the spring semester.

The unexpected news Tuesday came following a flurry of morning rumors of Golden’s departure.

The Powder Springs, Ga., native started 58 of his 96 career games over three years with the Vols, averaging 9.7 points, 3.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds.

“We want nothing but the best for Trae,” Martin said in the release. “Everyone associated with our program wants to see him be successful, and we wish him well.”

No further explanation for Golden’s decision was included in the press release. Martin did not immediately respond to a request by the News Sentinel for further comment.

Golden was the Vols’ second-leading scorer last season at 12.1 points per game and led UT with 13.7 points per game as a sophomore.

“I had a great three years here at Tennessee, but I plan to play my senior year somewhere else this fall,” Golden said in the release. “I really appreciate the staff and all the great support from Vol fans. I’m definitely going to miss my teammates. I want them to have nothing but success in the future.”

Golden’s exit comes in the wake of former UT signee Travon Landry, a point guard from Huntington Prep, being released from a National Letter of Intent at Martin’s request.

Tennessee’s depth at the point guard position is now the No. 1 issue facing the 2013-14 Vols. Incoming freshman guard Darius Thompson played some point for Murfreesboro’s Blackman High School, but is still learning the position.

Other UT players with experience at point guard in Martin’s motion offense include Jordan McRae, Armani Moore and walk-on Brandon Lopez.

Tennessee sits one scholarship under the NCAA limit of 13, should Martin choose to add a freshman or transfer to his 2013-14 class.

An uneven junior campaign saw Golden fall out of Martin’s starting lineup 13 games into the season. He averaged 30.8 minutes per game over the first 10 games of the year. That number dropped to 20.0 minutes per contest in UT’s next nine outings as he went from starter to reserve.

After missing two games with a hamstring injury in early February, a rejuvenated Golden returned to the lineup and reclaimed his starting role after one game. He averaged 35.8 minutes per game over the season’s last 12 games, including a 56-minute, 32-point showing in a quadruple overtime win at Texas A&M.

Golden averaged 13.8 points on 41.9 percent shooting and 3.8 assists in his final 12 games as a Vol.

Immediately following news of Golden’s transfer Tuesday, former UT player Tobias Harris, Golden’s friend and current member of the Orlando Magic, took to Twitter voicing his displeasure, writing, “it ain’t his decision,” and “he is not trying to transfer, he wants to stay.”

Former Vol and fellow transfer Yemi Makanjuola, who was granted his release to leave UT on April 20, tweeted, “This whole thing is the craziest.”

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn.

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Comments » 98

keepitreal4vols writes:

Sounds like Trae was pushed out the door. Something just ain't right here.
Signed,
Captain Obvious

DC82_Vol writes:

Didn't see this coming!

voloffaith writes:

I was the firts, not that I care about that. Wondering why my post removed as was well within rules. Merely asked if some public issue unknown to us though I doubt it. Was he concerned about 5* frosh taking his playing time. Frosh shooting guard..not PG. Something amiss here. Hopefully we get a clarification. Thanks Trae for being a good Vol for three years.

cheetah-vol writes:

Holy Point Guard, Batman!! The timing of this given the Landry situation is just plain bizarre.

dbc5361 writes:

It wouldn't be Tennessee Athletics if bad news weren't to be found!

StoneJackBaller writes:

We should be able to get a good PG by selling them on an immediate starting job with an awesome front court. Come on Cuonzo, make it happen. We'll find out just how good a recruiter Mr. Martin is. It shouldn't be too hard.

1vavolfan writes:

Kind of poetic justice after how Martin did Landry. BRING BACK BRUCE.

TheEffect writes:

Conzo has turned UT Basketball into a circus. I wonder who is going to run off next?? Sounds like the guy has lost it!

BigOrangeRock writes:

Cool, not football news.

thevoice writes:

Used to be on the Martin Train. Midway through he season, I jumped off, citing lack of ability and suspect decisions. Now, I've been reassured Martin's going to have trouble making it at this level.

TheEffect writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

We should be able to get a good PG by selling them on an immediate starting job with an awesome front court. Come on Cuonzo, make it happen. We'll find out just how good a recruiter Mr. Martin is. It shouldn't be too hard.

Who is he going to get? There are no High School recruits left that could play at this level. Point guard is the most important position on the court.....gonna be hard to run the team without one!

thevoice writes:

in response to TheEffect:

Who is he going to get? There are no High School recruits left that could play at this level. Point guard is the most important position on the court.....gonna be hard to run the team without one!

We haven't had a "Point Guard" in years (see record).

NowHearThis writes:

Tennessee: where NBA dreams go to die.

murrayvol writes:

There will be more to this story.

8inarow writes:

in response to voloffaith:

I was the firts, not that I care about that. Wondering why my post removed as was well within rules. Merely asked if some public issue unknown to us though I doubt it. Was he concerned about 5* frosh taking his playing time. Frosh shooting guard..not PG. Something amiss here. Hopefully we get a clarification. Thanks Trae for being a good Vol for three years.

Well, one thing for sure, it wasn't because he was afraid a 5* was going to take his place or his playing time.

pcorange writes:

Wow. What next?

volinlouisvilleky writes:

Just got word from an "insider" it was grades!

gillblog writes:

Does not seem to be an indication of team-wide dissatisfaction to me. Simply one man making a decision on his own.
The fact that Martin is maintaining the program well enough to keep the front court together at least one more year is still a major accomplishment.
Nevertheless, it hurts continuity for TG to leave this team. Most Vol fans I know in west TN appreciated his dedication and effort as a guy who never complained and never took himself out of responsibility for his own actions. I'm sad to see him go.

bigsteve92 writes:

Oh How You All Assume This Is Martin Fault. We Are Not Above The Scholarship Limit. so He Is Not Forced Out. There Can Be Many Reason. How Bout Wait Till The Full Story To Drop Before Blaming Martin. Bu Most Of Us KneW Martin Was A Transition Coach To Get Us Out The Ncaa Turmoil. If He Would CaMe In
Great We Would Have Loved It Though.

bUTch_please writes:

Good luck Trae. No one ever doubted your effort.

Did spring grades come in yesterday?

budd#207344 writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

We should be able to get a good PG by selling them on an immediate starting job with an awesome front court. Come on Cuonzo, make it happen. We'll find out just how good a recruiter Mr. Martin is. It shouldn't be too hard.

This is May. Season starts in October. Name me three point guards with experience that are available for this fall. Or are you just FOS?

born2ride writes:

It's back to the NIT for Martin.

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to volinlouisvilleky:

Just got word from an "insider" it was grades!

I had the same thought considering grades are being released right now. But, I hate the "insider" thing. No offense, but I'd appreciate it if you'd share more about that for the sake of credibility.

Col26ca writes:

As one who has both played and coached the game. It ain't easy folks. #1 Travon gave every indication of not having the skills to succeed in the SEC. What happened was best for both parties. I wish him well. #2 Trae was cussed more than praised by most of you most of the time. I believe coach showed him that it would be difficult to maintain his playing time as a senior. Trae was always a stand up guy and I think he and Coach came to an agreement on what was best for both. I wish him well. #3 to all you who are smarter and better than Coach. Look at what he has accomplished and try to be better. Then apply for his job. I will take him over most people. I think Conzo has found it. I have faith and really don't care if you do or not. Good Day

brod writes:

damn. juco time.

HooRay_Vol writes:

Coach Martin's policies similar to Coach Dooley's?????????????

Sure glad Coach Jones has his open door policy.......

tobytyler writes:

It seems every year we have drama with the bbteam going all the way back to bruce. I'm not surprised one iota, next year it's going to be if stokes or hubbs stays.

bUTch_please writes:

Save the scholly for next year, give the team to Lopez and let's go.

Go Fulton! Zo VOLS!

OwensboroVol writes:

I'm not saying that this is Martin but where there is smoke, there is fire. Where there is a foul odor something stinks. Something bad is getting ready to happen. You may be praying to have Bruce Pearl back in the near future.

Ayres_Hall writes:

This comment board was trashing Tre Golden nearly every week during the season. Now, you cry for him.

I really wish you guys would grow up.

alfrizzle097 writes:

Last year for Golden really reminded you alot of Tyler Smith's last year. Lack of development, regression in some areas, and general lack of intensity on the court made you think something else might be up.

I was really hoping the guy would come back and be the player he's shown flashes of, and I hope there isn't anything more important than college basketball amiss in his life.

CrankE writes:

Fix Football First.

volforeverandever writes:

in response to 1vavolfan:

Kind of poetic justice after how Martin did Landry. BRING BACK BRUCE.

No

1vavolfan writes:

If another NIT season is what it takes to get rid of this clown then so be it. If you follow college basketball at all you know that the point guard is the most important spot on the floor. As Golden went last year so did UT. This is a disaster, Martin is in over his head. I'll bet the Landry family is having a good laugh right about now.

bUTch_please writes:

in response to alfrizzle097:

Last year for Golden really reminded you alot of Tyler Smith's last year. Lack of development, regression in some areas, and general lack of intensity on the court made you think something else might be up.

I was really hoping the guy would come back and be the player he's shown flashes of, and I hope there isn't anything more important than college basketball amiss in his life.

+1

bUTch_please writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

This comment board was trashing Tre Golden nearly every week during the season. Now, you cry for him.

I really wish you guys would grow up.

Well, truth be told I self-deleted a comment I had typed about how our assist-to-turnover ratio just improved..but...little dude's been through enough..so thought I try a little politeness. Still get your point.

CoverOrange writes:

If he plans to play next fall can't go anywhere but Div II. Which begs the question, why bother?

FWBVol writes:

in response to brod:

damn. juco time.

Wake up and smell the coffee, Golden can't go to a junior college as he has used three years of college eligibility at Tennessee.

If it is grades, and he can get in another school this summer and get his grades up in time for basketball season, he is still limited to a Division II option or lower. If he sits out a year, he can play as a senior in the 2014-15 season.

CroKev writes:

If he's transferring and he doesn't have to sit out a year, doesn't that mean that it was the coach's decision? It will be interesting to see where he goes...

sambad writes:

If there isn't another article explaining an acceptable reason for this I am totally off Martin. He hasn't shown any coaching ability and now he runs off a producer and only offers "HE'S TRANSFERRING".

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

This doesn't sound right..If trae wanted out, he wouldn't wait til his senior year to transfer..There's something fishy in Denmark??

volinlouisvilleky writes:

in response to cheetah-vol:

I had the same thought considering grades are being released right now. But, I hate the "insider" thing. No offense, but I'd appreciate it if you'd share more about that for the sake of credibility.

Have a friend that is the station manager and program director for WUTK. His info has been spot on through many of these troubling times. No offense taken....don't blame you for being skeptical.

volinlouisvilleky writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Wake up and smell the coffee, Golden can't go to a junior college as he has used three years of college eligibility at Tennessee.

If it is grades, and he can get in another school this summer and get his grades up in time for basketball season, he is still limited to a Division II option or lower. If he sits out a year, he can play as a senior in the 2014-15 season.

I think he means UT will have to get a juco now Einstein! How's that coffee smelling?

CoverOrange writes:

in response to brod:

damn. juco time.

What's the probability of finding a B.Maze at this point? Extremely low. If Martin brings a juco transfer in it will likely be a third string PG.

brod writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

What's the probability of finding a B.Maze at this point? Extremely low. If Martin brings a juco transfer in it will likely be a third string PG.

you make a good point. we're a bobby maze away from being a top 20 team the last two years, and there wasn't a bobby maze out there then, so why would there be now. maybe the freshman from murfreesboro can play right off the bat like cj watson did.

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

Kinda wish we had situated this BEFORE turning Travon Landry free....

pcshowtime writes:

great a new excuse for all of the Conzo supporters to use to dismiss next years record. "He did a great job considering his senior point guard left the team."

jt45 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

This doesn't sound right..If trae wanted out, he wouldn't wait til his senior year to transfer..There's something fishy in Denmark??

Exactly ! I know Golden had some slow games but he was the key to the offense most of the time.

Seems to be alot of changes taking place within the BB team, and as much as I hope to see the Vols succeed, there are some things that I would hope is not happening. Axing loyal players is one of those things. Not saying that is the case here, but other than grades why would Trae leave now after putting in so much time at UT ?

Regardless I wish the best for golden no matter where he ends up.

allvolinatlanta writes:

in response to cheetah-vol:

I had the same thought considering grades are being released right now. But, I hate the "insider" thing. No offense, but I'd appreciate it if you'd share more about that for the sake of credibility.

No insider here, but I just don't understand the grade part. It would seem that would have been known about last week when Landry was being told to find a different place to play

tomatosoup writes:

What in the world is going on? This should be a slow time of year regarding basketball news!!!Oh well, I still think that we'll be able to field a good time next year...yeah baby! Go Vols!!!

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