Reports: Junior Colton Iverson granted release from Gophers

The 6-foot-10 center averaged 5.4 points and 5 rebounds in 18.4 minutes this year.

by Josh Katzenstein

Junior center Colton Iverson has been granted a release from the Gophers menâÄôs basketball team, according to several reports.

The team has yet to announce the news, but Iverson confirmed he is leaving in an email to the Star Tribune.

âÄúI just want to say that my experience at the U has been great, but my family and I [have] decided that it is best for me to move on,âÄù Iverson wrote in the email. âÄúMinnesota is a proud program, and I wish them the best of luck in the future.âÄù

The 6-foot-10-inch, 258-pound Iverson averaged 5.4 points and five rebounds per game in the 2010-11 season. He started 11 of the GophersâÄô 31 games last year and played 18.4 minutes per game. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

If Iverson transfers to another Division I program, he will have to sit out a season due to NCAA rules. He can play at a Division II or III school next season.

Iverson is the third player from coach Tubby SmithâÄôs first recruiting class to leave Minnesota. Devoe Joseph transferred to Oregon in January, and Paul Carter left to be closer to his family after the 2009-10 season.

IversonâÄôs departure likely means freshman center Mo Walker will see an expanded role as a sophomore next season. Redshirt freshman Elliott Eliason will also help fill in for the loss of the Yankton, S.D. native.

The Gophers are now left with just two seniors next season, and Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson are both considering their NBA draft prospects.