"I have had conversations with both Tyler and his father from the time we knew we would have a coaching change," said Barta. "Both expressed a sincere appreciation for Iowa, but also hinted toward a desire for Tyler to continue his career closer to home. I'm disappointed with his final decision, but we do ultimately want what's best for him."
Smith (6-7, 210) is a native of Pulaski, TN who joined the Iowa program after one year at Hargrave, VA Military Academy. He started 29 of 31 games last season, leading the team in rebounding (4.9) and steals (45) while ranking second in scoring (14.9) and assists (111). He was named to the Big Ten Conference all-Freshman team and earned third team all-Big Ten recognition.
Lickliter also noted that family was the reason given by Smith for the request. "He said he has very much missed being around his father for the past two years," said Lickliter, of his conversation with Smith. "He expressed his appreciation to the University of Iowa and Hawkeye fans and wished the program nothing but success."