Aiming higher, Mulligan granted release by UMBC

Forward wants to transfer to a bigger conference

April 27, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

Peter Mulligan, who earned Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year honors for UMBC last season, was granted his release from the school on Wednesday.

Mulligan, a 6-foot-5 small forward on the men's basketball team, wants to transfer to one of the bigger conferences in the East (Atlantic Coast, Big East, Atlantic 10). So far, Villanova and Boston College have shown interest.

"I've always thought I had potential to play at a higher level," said Mulligan, who averaged 15.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in his freshman season. "It was nothing against my coaches or teammates. The people were great, but I felt it was time for another challenge."

Mulligan is the second talented freshman to leave a local Division I school. Loyola granted a release to its best player, John Reimold, who averaged 15 points and five rebounds per game. He will likely transfer to Bowling Green State University.

UMBC signed Mulligan out of St. Raymond's High School in the Bronx during the fall signing period in 1999. However, he played well enough to be New York's Player of the Year as a senior, catching the eyes of colleges that had already signed friends of his, like Andre Barrett (now at Seton Hall).

Mulligan said he had thought of playing at a higher level before he attended UMBC. His successes at the beginning and end of the season made transferring seem like more of a possibility.

"I wanted to honor my commitment. ... I came here with a positive attitude," he said. "But after the year, I had a change of heart. I thought I had a good opportunity to go and felt I would reach my highest potential at a bigger program."

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