Bryce Webster Granted Basketball Release

As first reported by GoldenSports.Net, Bryce Webster, a 6-9, 240-pound sophomore center from Mendota Heights (MN) St. Thomas Academy, will not play this upcoming season. Minnesota men's basketball coach Tubby Smith announced Thursday he has granted Webster's request to be released from his scholarship.

Bryce Webster averaged 1.2 points and 1.7 rebounds per game in 9.3 minutes of play for the Gophers as they finished 9-22 this past season.

"Bryce has asked for his release and we have granted that request," Minnesota men's basketball coach Tubby Smith said. "We understand his desire to leave the program and we wish him the best of luck the rest of his career."

The loss of Webster leaves the 2007-08 Gopher squad undersized as they have just three players at 6-foot-9. However, it will open up another scholarship for coach Smith and his staff to offer.

Webster shot 41.9% from the field and 64.3% from the line. He started seven of 28 games last year and averaged 9.3 minutes per game. In hindsight, Webster would likely have been better served redshirting last season and working on his strength and acclimating himself as a freshman.

Webster was considered the top big man in the state of Minnesota as a senior and attended the NBA Players Association Camp and the Nike All-American Camp for two straight years.

Webster was considering Boston College, Marquette, Minnesota and Notre Dame before committing to Minnesota in August of 2005.

Webster was named to the 2005 and 2006 Associated Press All-State First Team and was the 2006 Minneapolis Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year. He led his team to the 2006 State Tournament and was named to the 2005 and 2006 Star Tribune All-Metro First Team. Webster was chosen to the All-Classic Suburban Conference First Team in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Webster averaged 21.6 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks as a senior and 21.8 points and 12.1 rebounds as a junior. He averaged 18.5 points and 10.0 rebounds as a sophomore.

Webster was the first commitment for Minnesota for the 2006-07 season.

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