University of Arkansas head basketball coach Stan Heath had an impromptu press conference before tonight's Razorback basketball banquet at the Northwest Arkansas Holiday Inn.
He did so to inform the press that sophomores Wen Mukubu and Kendrick Davis would no longer will a part of the Razorback basketball program.
"I guess there is a lot of speculation going on and let's just clear the air," Heath said. "Wen Mukubu and Kendrick Davis will not return to our Razorback team.
"We appreciate their efforts and appreciate their contributions over the last two years and at this time we will assist them in pursing other options," Heath added. "Both young men have been a part of our program and helped us and we wish them nothing but the best."
Asked if this was the player's idea or the coaches, Heath hedged a bit.
"We had mutual conversations and I am just going to leave it at that," Heath said. "We talked right after we got back from our trip (to the SEC Tournament) on Friday.
"I am not going to go into a lot of explanations or details," Heath continued. "My concern right now is to help them find a situation that is good for them. Again this isn't a negative against them and I don't want them to leave on a negative note. I just what is best for them and to help them and that is really about it."
There had been speculation that more players might not be back for one reason or the other, but Heath said right now those are the only two he doesn't see being Razorbacks next season.
Heath had individual meetings with all of his players on Monday.
¯I've had conversations with everybody else on my team," Heath said. "The rest of our team, all signals are to be together and getting ready for next season.˜
Mukubu, who was a star on the football field and track as well as on the basketball court in high school in Miami, has talked about joining the Arkansas football team.
Sources indicate that because of SEC rules, he couldn't go through spring practice, but still would like to play.
"That could be a possibility," Heath said. "Both Kendrick, Wen and I need to have further discussions, maybe sorting out the way things go. Things are unclear as to exactly what is going to happen next. But obviously I'm not the football coach and I don't make those kind of decisions."
Mukubu, who averaged 1.2 points and like Davis started three games this season, said that his hope is to play football now at Arkansas, but he has no assurances he would have a scholarship.
"It's still an option," Mukubu said. ""We're just going ot have to sit down this week, me, Coach Heath and Coach Nutt, and talk about it. It's still an option for me.˜
But no scholarship would mean he would leave according to Mukubu.
"Definitely, definitely," Mukubu said. "If that options not available I'm thinking about going somewhere else."
Davis, who averaged 5.4 points in an average of 12.3 minutes of playing time this season and had games of 19 points against Jacksonville and South Carolina, said he and Heath had decided that it was time for him to move on.
¯After the game was over we came to the conclusion that this is not the best place for me," Davis said. "I decided I'm gonna move on."
Davis, who played in 25 of 28 games, said he has an idea where be might end up, but didn't want to discuss it.
¯I have a feeling where I'm going to go, but I'm not going to talk much about that," Davis said. "But I have some places in mind.˜
Heath said he will now try to help both young men get in the right situation for them.
¯We want both of those young men to find situations that are great for them," Heath said. "They'll get nothing but positive feedback from our program toward any program that they're looking at and we'll assist them in any way we can."
Heath said his individual meetings were productive on Monday.
¯My main thing is to get our heads pointed in the right direction, to make sure everyone knows the train is moving," Heath said. "We can't have one foot in, one foot out. Both feet have to be in. If somebody doesn't have both feet in we have to look at some other options. That was my main thing."
Heath said there will be some more meetings about the future.
"We'll continue to have meetings individually, not necessarily in a business manner but just to build that relationship, to build that strength and our chemistry," Heath said.
Davis, Mukubu no longer with UA hoops program
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