Lavender Picks Xavier

Columbus Brookhaven product Andrew Lavender signed with Oklahoma out of high school, but he decided to transfer after last season. The point guard was said for a while to be considering Ohio State, but things didn't happen between the two, Lavender has decided to attend Xavier. Kyle Lamb has the report.

The popular cliché that you can't go home again rings true for many athletes. In this case, it's true for Oklahoma sophomore point guard Andrew Lavender.

But while he's not going back home, he's going to be awfully close.

Today, Bucknuts and JJ Huddle have learned that Lavender, a 5-7 guard who played his high school ball at Columbus Brookhaven, is transferring to Xavier University to play college basketball for the Musketeers.

We have confirmed this latest development, which happened late Thursday afternoon, with Lavender's father Tony.

"He committed today and he's really excited," the elder Lavender said early Thursday evening. "We've been looking at some schools since he's been out of Oklahoma, and we just decided to go with Xavier."

"They are a good situation for Drew academically, first of all, and he decided that he would really like to go there," he added.

This past season as a sophomore for the Sooners, Lavender averaged 9.7 points and 3.3 assists a game despite having a brief stretch shortly after midseason where he lost his starting job as the team's point guard. He rebounded, however, to get the job back and led the Sooners to a strong second half in the Big 12 conference.

The rumors began towards the end of the season that Lavender was seeking a transfer, and some people reported that Ohio State was one of the top choices he was considering. However, once Oklahoma finally gave permission to seek a transfer, nothing materialized on either end of the situation for Lavender and Ohio State.

Lavender's father said that Andrew chose the Musketeers over Michigan, Kent State, West Virginia, and Seton Hall among others.

Although it wasn't the only factor, coming back to home was something important for Lavender, who chose Oklahoma with his friend and high school teammate, Brandon Foust, their senior years at Brookhaven High School.

"That's always something meaningful for a kid to come back close to his family, but academics and other things were important in this decision too," Lavender said. "I think he wanted to look at the school, style of play, and some other things, but being close to home is always a plus."

It will be a quick transition period for Lavender as he begins summer classes on Monday at Xavier. Lavender will have to sit out the 2005-2006 season and then will retain two years of eligibility starting in the 2006-2007 season.

"He's going to be anxious to get back in the classroom and everything," Lavender said. "He's been working out regularly and working on his game to come back for his junior year when he's eligible. He will walk in and play right away, so that's definitely exciting."

The entire family was ready to move on, so naturally this is a thrilling conclusion to a long process of going back and forth.

Xavier is a good fit for Lavender according to his father.

"Their program and academics down there were just phenomenal," Lavender said of Xavier's situation. "We were really impressed with the situation, and we can't be more happy."

For Andrew Lavender, Xavier is now home.

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