Michigan will be down one more big man next season. Jon Horford, who just capped his redshirt junior season with the Wolverines with an outright Big Ten title and a return trip to the Elite Eight, will not return to the program next season.
Horford will instead transfer to another school, although he has not decided where, exactly, he will spend his final year of eligibility. Because Horford has graduated, he can enroll in a graduate program at another university and be eligible to play immediately, according to the NCAA rulebook.
"My time at Michigan has been the most beneficial period of my life in terms of athletic development and overall enlightenment," Horford said in a statement released by the Michigan athletic department. "The bonds created over the last four years are everlasting, and the memories made are truly priceless. As on all journeys, new paths must be taken and intuition must be trusted. I leave Michigan with nothing but love in my heart."
As one of the team's three captains this season, Horford helped the Wolverines clinch the program's first outright Big Ten title since 1986, finishing three games ahead of second-place Michigan State with a 15-3 conference record.
Horford played in in all 37 games, making seven starts (both were career highs for a season). He averaged 3.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and shot 56.4 percent from the field (62-of-110).
"Jon has been an integral part of our many accomplishments over the last four years," Michigan coach John Beilein said in the statement. "He brought great enthusiasm, leadership and work ethic to our program. Jon is a wonderful young man, who has a very bright future ahead of him. With his graduation this May, he will have the opportunity to play immediately at another Division I program. We will be rooting for him every step of the way."
Horford played in 107 career games, making 12 starts. He averaged 2.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game over the course of his career, shooting 54.7 percent from the field (127-of-232), making last year his most production season, by far.
With the loss of Horford, the Wolverines will be without their top two contributors at the five position. Jordan Morgan, who made 27 starts this season and 122 in 142 total games played in his career, expired his eligibility after the 2014 season.
The Wolverines return Max Bielfeldt, who will be a redshirt junior next season. He played in 19 games in 2013-14.
And Michigan may have the services of Mitch McGary, who played in just eight games this year because of a surgery stemming from a back injury sustained in last summer.
McGary, who was an Associated Press preseason All-American heading in into the year, was the breakout star of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, receiving NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team honors.
He and fellow sophomores Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III are expected to announced whether they will return to school for their junior seasons or enter the NBA Draft soon.
The Wolverines will also have Mark Donnal, a four-star prospect according to Rivals.com who redshirted in 2013-14, and incoming freshman Ricky Doyle, a 6-9 prospect from Fort Meyers, Fla. who is rated a three-star by Rivals.com.
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