In this era of rampant transfers in college basketball, some level of roster attrition is virtually guaranteed to accompany any coaching change. To that end, point guard Ricky Tarrant has requested and been granted a release from his NLI. New coach Avery Johnson had this to say on the matter (h/t to Marq Burnett at the Anniston Star):
I met with Ricky on Wednesday and shared with him that we wanted him back next season. We told him it would be competitive but he would have the opportunity and we would help him get better so he could reach his goals. There were no gray areas and everything was crystal clear. He wanted to talk it over with his family and once he did that, he called back and asked us for his release yesterday, which was granted.
As a new coaching staff, we understand that these things can happen. It is not a bad reflection on Ricky or anyone else. He has to do what's in his best interests and we wish him nothing but the best of luck.
Tarrant missed the final month of the season following a plantar fascia injury suffered in the home loss to Florida on January 27, and his presence was certainly missed as the team floundered down the stretch. Retin Obosohan filled in admirably, but Tarrant was the closest thing to a pure point guard on the roster. It's somewhat puzzling that he would want to play and learn under someone other than a former NBA champion point guard, but he clearly has other priorities. We wish him well and look forward to seeing what Coach Johnson does with this additional roster spot and the point guard position going forward.