Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger confirmed Thursday morning forward Dante Buford will be transferring from the program.
Buford played in 26 games last season and started in four, averaging 3.8 points per game and 1.5 rebounds.
Kruger also confirmed point guard Darrion Strong-Moore is leaving the program as well. Strong-Moore announced his decision two weeks ago.
“Conversation with both Darrion and Dante,” Kruger said. “Both have expressed an interest in finding another school where they have a bigger role. Both handled it great. We understood.
“We’ll help them in any way they ask us to in terms of making calls or in helping them identify a next school. Both terrific young people that will do well at the next stop.”
With Buford and Strong-Moore not returning, it does open up two scholarships for OU at the moment. Although OU found a late addition last year with point guard Jordan Shepherd in the high school ranks, Kruger said that won’t necessarily be the case here.
“We’re open to it,” Kruger said. “Not that we’re having to add someone. That fifth-year graduate transfer has kind of become a recruiting season in itself. Everyone is looking over that list and seeing who might be available.”
OU did host former Rice star Egor Koulechov last weekend. Koulechov averaged more than 18 points and nine rebounds last season. He is set to visit Florida this weekend and reports Thursday surfaced of Koulechov visiting Iowa State next weekend.
Koulechov would be the ideal replacement for Buford, while the addition of five-star point guard Trae Young will ease the burden left by Strong-Moore’s departure.
Buford and Strong-Moore will both have to sit out one year and will have one year of Division I eligibility at whatever schools they end up choosing.