Jan 172005
Authors: Jon Pilsner

Dwight Boatner, the CSU men's basketball team's starting point guard, left the team on Tuesday for what head coach Dale Layer called "personal reasons".

The sophomore guard from Lake Charles, La., will transfer to McNeese State in Texas.

"I visited with Dwight at length in the past several days and weeks. There are several issues that he is trying to deal with personally," Layer said in a statement released by the CSU athletic department. "He felt it was in his best interest to step away from basketball and focus on those issues."

Boatner played in 14 games this season, 10 of which he started. He averaged 8.1 points per game and had 31 assists.

His departure now leaves a question in the backcourt for the Rams. In a 74-67 win this weekend against BYU, senior Nick Ball started at point for CSU. It was the junior college transfer's first start as a Ram.

"Nick is a guy our team rallies around," Layer said after the BYU game. "They all respect him."

Ball struggled in his first start, turning the ball over four times. Layer said he thought Ball was just nervous.

"We'll live and die with him every day," Layer said.

Junior Micheal Morris and his brother, true freshman Sean Morris, are also expected to play point guard in place of Boatner. Neither played the position in high school, but they both played at point guard against the Cougars.

Micheal Morris, who had three assists and eight points against BYU, said the team's guards will have to adapt.

"We struggled at the beginning because this is totally different," Micheal Morris said. "I just have to work hard and things will get better."

Sean Morris, who is a very close friend of Boatner's, also said that his departure made the week difficult for him.

"Dwight leaving really hurt me," Sean Morris said. "But he really wasn't that happy here."

But Sean Morris said he's ready to play.

"I've got some big shoes to fill," said Sean Morris of Boatner. "Hopefully I can step up."

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