OU's Je'lon Hornbeak to Transfer

Tuesday, April 15th 2014, 6:13 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma men's basketball coach Lon Kruger announced today that sophomore guard Je'lon Hornbeak has decided to transfer.

Hornbeak played in 61 games during his two seasons as a Sooner, averaging 5.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 20.5 minutes a contest.

"It is always disappointing when a player leaves a program," said Kruger, "but we all wish the very best for Je'lon."

Hornbeak, from Arlington, Texas, started 29 of OU's 32 games as a freshman in 2013-14 when he averaged 5.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists. As a sophomore this past year, he came off the bench in all 29 of his games and averaged 5.1 points, 1.8 boards and 2.6 assists to help the Sooners to a second-place Big 12 finish.

Hornbeak missed OU's last four pre-conference games this year with a broken bone in his left foot. He played his best basketball at the end of the season, averaging 6.8 points and 3.4 assists while shooting 52.5 percent from the field over the final 10 games.

"I met with Coach Kruger and he was understanding of my desire for a fresh start," said the 6-4, 184-pound Hornbeak. "I appreciate (assistant) Coach (Lew) Hill recruiting me, and all my teammates. That bond is strong. All the coaches are trying to help me get to wherever I want to go. I'm thankful for that. Everyone has been good to me."

Hornbeak, who indicated he will go through the recruiting process again, said he'll look back at his time at OU fondly.

"The last two years I had two sets of great teammates," said Hornbeak. "We really set the bar for the incoming freshmen (next year). Now it's their job to keep raising that bar.

"I know the team is going to do well next year. We've already got a little preseason ranking, and I'm happy that we were able to achieve this for the program and the school. I wish everyone good luck going forward. I'll be watching and cheering them on."

Kruger said the team will look to add a player during the late signing period, which begins Wednesday.

"We learned about this decision this morning, and even though it's late in the recruiting game we'll try to add a player at his position," said Kruger.

"We have an outstanding group returning next season and several talented new players coming in. We're excited to start the process of building on the success we've experienced the last two years."

The Sooners will return four starters from last year's 23-10 team that was a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.