LEXINGTON, Ky. --- Having been through the on-again, off-again transfer rumors with Marvin Stone in each of the last two seasons, Kentucky coach Tubby Smith made a decision for his disgruntled big man on Thursday.
Smith announced that Stone, a 6-foot-10 junior center, was being dismissed from the team after failing to return from his Huntsville, Ala., home during the Christmas break. Stone missed two practice sessions before speaking with Smith via telephone on Wednesday.
"He will no longer be a part of the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team," Smith said. "I wasn't getting the signal that he wanted to be here...
"It's unfortunate that it has happened at this point in time, but Marvin is dealing with other issues outside of basketball. We'll release him and he'll be moving on.
Smith chose not to elaborate about Stone's problems, although he was clearly unhappy with losing his starting job earlier this season and averaging only 14 minutes per game. The former McDonald's High School All-American was averaging only 5.3 points and 4.0 rebounds for No. 6 Kentucky (7-2).
Kentucky will grant Stone's release, but it has not been determined whether special restrictions would be placed on him. He would have one year of eligibility remaining at any D-I school beginning in January 2003. He could play 1 1/2 years at any lower-level school.
Stone is the first player dismissed by Smith in his five seasons at Kentucky.