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May 5, 2008

Ekpe Udoh decision now final

Michigan sophomore center Ekpe Udoh has been mulling his future in Ann Arbor for some time now -- really, off and on since he arrived. He has come to a decision regarding his place on the U-M roster.

That place, like many feared, is off the roster. Udoh will be transferring from the University of Michigan, leaving the Wolverines without a staunch defender and the top shot blocker in the Big Ten last year.

"Ekpe is a fine young man and we thought he made tremendous improvements throughout the season," said U-M coach John Beilein. "I will miss Ekpe as a person and as a player and we hope success will follow him in his future endeavors."

"This was a very difficult decision for me," said Udoh. "I just feel I need to explore other options right now. I had a wonderful experience at Michigan and I want to thank everyone for helping me the last two years. I wish them nothing but success in the future."

Udoh has not made public his future destination. For now, it's enough for Michigan fans to know there's a hole in the middle for available big men to fill.

Udoh averaged 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this past season, but his defensive presence and improving face-up shooting abilities gave Michigan fans reason for optimism. Udoh recorded 92 blocked shots in 2007-08, and 159 for his two-year Michigan career.

He finishes at Michigan with career averages of 5.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. He secured a spot on the Big Ten's All-Defensive Team this past season.

Udoh recorded career highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds at Northwestern on Jan. 12 of this year. He twice recorded six blocked shots in a game, most recently against Ohio State in February.

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