Wade leaves team

Point guard will not return to University of Wisconsin basketball team

MADISON – Boo Wade's brief return to the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team ended Thursday, when the school announced that the junior point guard was leaving the team, this time permanently, for personal reasons.

According a press release, Wade will not attend classes at the university in the second semester and will not return to the UW basketball team in the future.

"I'd like to thank my teammates and coaches for their support but I feel it is best for me to take a step back from school and basketball and work some things out," Wade said in a prepared statement.

After taking a leave of absence for nearly two months, Wade had returned to the Badgers Dec. 22 and practiced with the team until Thursday. He played in one game this season, scoring one point in nine minutes Dec. 27 versus Western Carolina. He sat on the bench but did not play in the Badgers next two games, including their win at Purdue Wednesday night.

Wade, who played his high school basketball at Milwaukee Vincent, did not practice with the team Thursday. Asked about the 6-foot-3 point guard following that afternoon's session, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan offered few details other than to say that Wade was discussing personal issues with assistant coach Rob Jeter.

"Whatever the things in his personal life that he's got to take care of, that's information that's private," Ryan said about three hours before the press release was filed on UWBadgers.com

Wade played 63 games in his UW career, with his 28 starts all coming last season. He was expected to take over the Badgers' point guard duties this season after Devin Harris leapt to the NBA following his junior season.

However, Wade took an indefinite leave of absence Oct. 25, also for undisclosed personal reasons, less than two weeks after the start of formal practices. His recent but short-lived return lasted two weeks.

"We thought Boo could address some personal issues while continuing to play," Ryan said in the press release. "He has now decided that the best thing for him is to get away from school and basketball, and I support that decision completely."

As a true freshman Wade was one of the Badgers' top reserves, averaging 3.3 points per game in 20.2 minutes per game. He averaged 6.8 points per game last season while tallying 31 steals, 79 assists and 103 rebounds.

Wade was suspended for two games last season after a Feb. 4, 2004 arrest on misdemeanor battery charges, after he was accused of choking an ex-girlfriend. He plead no contest in April and had the battery charge reduced to disorderly conduct. Wade also plead no contest to a bail jumping charge and was placed in the state of Wisconsin's First Offender's Program.

Widely considered Wisconsin's best returning perimeter defender and ball handler before the season, Wade could have bolstered the Badgers' depth in the backcourt had he worked his way back into UW's regular rotation.

Senior Sharif Chambliss, however, has adjusted well to the point guard position and is averaging 9.4 points and 3.4 assists per game. He boasts a 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio this season and has 23 assists and five turnovers in UW's last four games.

Freshman Kammron Taylor was the Badgers' starting point guard for the first four games of the season but has sense adapted to being a reserve. He is averaging 5.8 points per game while shooting 75 percent from the free threw line.

Wade's departure leaves Wisconsin with 11 scholarship players. The Badgers will now have five scholarships available for the class of 2005 but they signed three players to letters of intent during the early signing period in August: forwards Marcus Landry and Joe Krabbenhoft and guard Mickey Perry. Kevin Gullickson, a forward from Stillwater, Minn., is expected to walk on in the fall.

It had been expected that the Badgers would bank one scholarship for use in the class of 2006. This second unused scholarship could also be set aside for future use or Wisconsin could still try to sign another player, likely a guard. One possibility is Chester, Pa. shooting guard Noel Wilmore.

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