Two Buffs hoopsters leave team

Colorado women's basketball coach Ceal Barry announced Monday that two players have asked for and been granted releases from their scholarships. Junior-to-be Amber Metoyer and sophomore-to-be Emily Waner are leaving the Buffs.

"I'm extremely saddened and disappointed by Emily and Amber's decisions," said Barry in a press release.

Waner said in a statement she released to the media that she's leaving Colorado in order to pursue playing collegiately with her younger sister, Abby, who will be a senior at ThunderRidge High School in Denver next fall. Abby Waner is one of the most sought after recruits in the 2005 class. According to Emily Waner's statement, Abby "recently ruled out CU and is looking to play out of state."

"This is one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make," Emily Waner's statement continued. "But my dream has always been to play in college with my sister, and we hope to make that happen."

Abby Waner is being recruited by many top programs, including national champion UConn. She has taken at least one unofficial visit to the women's basketball pwerhouse program, and rumors had been circulating the past couple weeks that both the Waner sisters wanted to play there.

"Once I am officially released from the CU roster, (Abby and I) can pursue programs willing to offer us the opportunity to play together," Emily Waner's statement read. "I have to go with my heart and put my family first. I have many loyalties to CU, Coach Barry and my teammates, but when it came down to it, being with my sister clearly surfaced as the most important."

Metoyer could not be reached for comment.

Both Waner and Metoyer were big contributors last season and were expected to be focal points of the Buffaloes on both ends of the floor next year.

Both played in all 30 games in 2003-04, and helped lead the Buffs to a third-place finish in the Big 12 Conference. Waner averaged 7.1 points and 25.9 minutes per game as a true freshman, starting eight contests. She was on her way to becoming one of the most prolific 3-point shooter in program history as well, and was set to take over the starting duties at point guard next season.

Metoyer, a crowd favorite the past two seasons after prepping at Boulder's Fairview High School, started seven games as a sophomore and averaged 6.0 points, 4.9 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per game last season. A fierce physical player, Metoyer was expected to start at power forward next season.

Barry had no more comments, citing a policy not to comment on personnel matters.

Waner's high school coach at ThunderRidge in Denver, Ron Burgin, was an assistant on the CU staff this past season. He recently left Barry's staff, however, in order to pursue a head-coaching job.

With the two players' departure, four Buffs have left the program in the past 14 months, including Syreeta Stafford in the middle of the 2002-03 season, and Melissa Hobbs last fall. Four underclassmen transferred out of Barry's program following the 1998-99 season The team went 10-19 the following season.

As it stands, the Buffs will have just nine scholarship players next season -- including two incoming recruits -- unless Barry's staff can sign a junior college player to come in. One of those nine is Whitney Law, who is coming off a knee surgery that ended her year last November. Another, Cecily Jones, battled through multiple knee injuries over the past two years.

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