Ole Miss forward leaving team to take care of his daughter

Jeff Eisenberg

Whether it's a lack of playing time, the desire to showcases themselves in a more high-profile program or a disagreement with a coach, players have found all kinds of reasons to transfer to a new school.

Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway has a more valid excuse than most.

Holloway, the Rebels' third-leading scorer and leading rebounder last season, announced Friday that he intends to transfer to a school closer to his family in Columbia, S.C. so he can better help take care of his six-month-old daughter. The sophomore started 30 of the team's 34 games last season, averaging 10.1 points and 7.6 boards.

"This is a very difficult decision for me," Holloway said in a statement. "I've had a great two years here at Ole Miss. I'm sad to be leaving my Ole Miss family here, but I have to be a mature adult and take responsibility for my daughter and my family in South Carolina."

The loss of Holloway is another blow to an Ole Miss basketball program that has endured a rough offseason thus far. The Rebels were expected to improve from this past season when they narrowly missed the NCAA tournament, but guard Eniel Polynice already announced he's leaving a year early to pursue pro basketball and second-leading scorer Terrico White is still deciding whether to remain in the NBA draft or not.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy told the Clarion Ledger that he "didn't see (Holloway's transfer) coming," but empathizes with the sophomore's family obligations. Kennedy first learned Holloway might leave when his mother called Wednesday to alert him of the possibility.

"It's a sign of his continued maturation," Kennedy said. "He's got a responsibility much bigger than grabbing rebounds and scoring baskets."