Three years after sweet-shooting Taylor King was named California's high school player of the year as a senior, the three-time all-state forward's basketball career may be over.
Villanova announced Monday night that King has "voluntarily withdrawn" from the basketball program but will remain enrolled at the school. King's father, Steve, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment, but a source told ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil on Monday that King is dealing with "personal issues."
King's departure comes three months after he sat out Villanova's regular season finale against West Virginia for what coach Jay Wright deemed a "teaching point" at the time. The 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore logged only two minutes in the Wildcats' opening-round Big East tournament loss to West Virginia, but returned to more normal playing time in the team's two NCAA tournament games.
A formidable long-range shooter who was Villanova's second-leading rebounder despite coming off the bench, King has been in the spotlight since before he even entered high school. He originally announced he'd attend UCLA he summer after eighth grade, sparking criticism amongst recruiting analysts who questioned whether a kid should select a college before he his first high school game.
King reneged on that commitment two years later and chose Duke, but his stint in Durham lasted only one year. He averaged 5.5 points and 2.0 rebounds as a freshman at Duke, but transferred to Villanova after logging six or fewer minutes in the Blue Devils' final six games.
The departure of King means Villanova will have to replace one of its top reserves from last season's 25-win team in addition to All-American Scottie Reynolds and fellow guard Reggie Redding.
Still with Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes and Antonio Pena headlining a strong group of returnees, Villanova appears to have the talent to withstand this loss.