Freshman Will Transfer From Saint Louis

Coach Rick Majerus and the Saint Louis University basketball program will be losing one of the members of its talented freshmen class at the end of this semester.

Sources close to Ruben Cotto have told that the freshman guard has decided to leave the Billikens and transfer at the end of the semester.

Ruben Cotto (SLU Photo)

Cotto had appeared in all seven of SLU's games as a reserve and was expected to compete for a starting spot as a sophomore after the graduation of senior guards Kevin Lisch and Tommie Liddell III.

He was averaging 12.4 minutes per game, which ranked eighth on the team, and his 3.9 points per game ranked him sixth on the team. He was shooting 33 percent from the field (nine of 27), 27.8 percent from 3-point range (five of 18) and 80 percent from the free throw line (four of five). He was credited with seven assists (against nine turnovers), seven rebounds and five steals.

Cotto scored 10 points, with two 3-pointers, in 24 minutes off the bench against Nebraska. In the Billikens' last game, against Savannah State, he had six points, on two 3-pointers, to go along with three assists and two steals in 22 minutes.

The talented 6-foot combo guard signed with the Billikens in the spring after also considering La Salle and interest from other schools.

Cotto, a native of Puerto Rico, played at La Salle High School in Florida as a sophomore and junior before transferring to Alton (Ill) High School for his senior year.

There, he averaged 22.3 points, 5 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 3.2 assists per game and made 72 of 199 3-point attempts (36.2 percent) as Alton went 24-7. He was a St. Louis Post-Dispatch first-team All-Metro selection as well as a Southwestern Conference all-conference first-team pick.

"We are excited because it is not often you find yourself as physical and strong of a player who is athletic, skilled and yet genuinely tough," Majerus said in a press release at the time of Cotto's signing. "He is tenacious on both sides of the ball, which is indicative of his heart, character and temperament. The skill set is there, but best of all the psychological profile is one of a winner with Ruben. He is a real competitor and plays a man's game."

Ruben Cotto tries to drive past Femi John in an all-star game last spring

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