McConnell and two others leaving Dukes

DUQUESNE Sophomore Talley also quitting team

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T.J. McConnell's days as a Duquesne basketball player are over.

McConnell, a sophomore guard from Chartiers Valley High School, has decided to leave Duquesne and will transfer to another school. He met with Duquesne coach Ron Everhart Monday and asked for his release. McConnell's father, Tim, met with Duquesne athletic director Greg Amodio Tuesday.

The elder McConnell said Duquesne will grant his son an unconditional release today. T.J. McConnell said he preferred not to comment and requested his dad handle all interviews.

"T.J. is very thankful for the opportunity that Ron Everhart gave him," Tim McConnell said. "He loves Ron Everhart and we can't say enough good things about him. This has nothing to do with coach Everhart or the Duquesne administration, or the university. It's a great school. T.J. just feels like he would like to try and play at a higher level."

Tim McConnell did not say what schools his son would consider.

"Right now, we have no idea," he said. "But we're going to look around and explore some options with some programs that we think might need a point guard."

McConnell (6 feet 1, 185 pounds) was the Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year in 2011 and he was a third-team all-conference selection this season. He was third in the country in steals at 2.8 a game and led the Atlantic 10 Conference in assist/turnover ratio (2.1-1). He was second in the conference in 3-point shooting (45 percent) and third in assists (5.5 a game). He averaged 11.4 points this season.

McConnell plans to finish out the spring semester at Duquesne.

But McConnell isn't the only player who is leaving Duquesne. Sophomore guard Mike Talley also has asked to be released and will transfer. On his Twitter account, Talley said, ""No more Duq bbal for me. Best of luck to the rest of my teammates."

Talley confirmed Tuesday night with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he was leaving.

Talley, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound guard, averaged 7.2 points in just over 20 minutes a game this season and was slated for a bigger role next year with the departure of senior Eric Evans.

He has not yet settled on a school to transfer to.

A call to Everhart was not immediately returned.

Freshman Danny Herrara tweeted on Tuesday night: "my duq bball days are over."


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