Slaninka, 7 feet 4, to leave Maryland

College Basketball

October 24, 2001|By Gary Lambrecht

Matt Slaninka, a 7-foot-4 redshirt freshman center who joined the Maryland Terrapins last year out of nearby DeMatha High School, has announced his intention to transfer from Maryland, Terps coach Gary Williams confirmed last night.

Slaninka missed the Terps' first preseason scrimmage on Saturday - he was said to be ill - then skipped the team's next two practices. Williams said he believes Slaninka will enroll in a smaller Division I program or possibly at a lower-level school.

Slaninka did not figure to get much playing time this season, as the Terps try to win a national championship a year after going to their first men's Final Four in school history.

"If you're going to gamble, you gamble on a big guy, and [Slaninka] is as big as they come," said Williams. "You hope he can play. Everything has to fall into place. I think he'll be more comfortable in a smaller situation. He wants to go someplace where he can play. That's just the way it goes."

Slaninka's departure leaves Maryland with a 12-man roster. The Terps could use his scholarship to sign a fifth player to the recruiting class of 2002, although Williams hinted he is leaning toward holding the scholarship for the next year.

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