Ram basketball forwards Stephen Verwers and Phillip Thomasson, who will both be juniors at the end of this term, have asked and received permission to transfer to another school at the end of the semester.
"I think both guys were looking for an expanded role in a program, more playing time," said head coach Dale Layer. "We will miss both of the guys and wish them the best of luck."
Thomasson (6-7, 210 lb), from Burleson, Texas, played in 21 games, starting eight times, and averaged 2.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. Verwers (6-10,
225 lb), from Weatherford, Texas, played in 28 games, nine as a starter, averaging 2.0 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
Verwers has not announced a specific place where he will transfer, but has reported wanting to go back to Texas.
"It was a matter of playing time, as well as some differences with the coaching staff," Verwers said on www.ramnation.com. "I also wanted to be closer to home a little bit. I just wasn't enjoying my time here basketball-wise. I really liked the town and the people here, but basketball wasn't going well. I can't really comment on (all the other players who have left), but with me, I just had differences with the coaching staff. It was more than a playing-time factor. I'm disappointed because I came here hoping to help turn the program around. But, there are some things you just can't control."
Phillip Thomasson was could not be reached for comment and has not announced where he will be transferring.
Thomasson and Verwers, who were ranked fourth and ninth respectively coming out of high school by Texas Basketball Review, were part of a freshman class in 2003 that was very highly regarded around the nation. The class also included point guard Dwight Boatner and Stuart Creason. Boatner transferred to McNeese State during mid-season, leaving Creason as the only remaining member of the class still on the team.
"We are actively recruiting and lining up guys to fill those positions. It's been our mission most of the spring," Layer said.