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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama basketball announced Friday it will be without two of its players from last season, as junior forward Nick King and sophomore forward Brandon Austin will transfer from the program.
Crimson Tide head coach Avery Johnson addressed both transfers in a university release, stating he talked with both players about their decisions on Wednesday and wishes them the best in the future.
King averaged 3.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game last season, playing in just seven games before his season was cut short by a lung infection he developed after the team’s trip to Las Vegas in November. The condition caused him to lose more than 10 pounds in roughly the span of a week. His season-high game came against St. Louis, where he scored nine points and pulled down four rebounds.
King transferred to Alabama from Memphis following the 2015 season. He sat out the following year due to NCAA transfer rules. He would be eligible to play at any school next season as a graduate transfer.
“I want to take thank the University of Alabama for helping complete my goals of becoming a better player and also a better person,” King said, according to the release. “The university took a kid leaving his hometown for the first time and taught me ways on to handle myself as a young adult. I want to give a special thanks to the men's basketball staff who put in extra time to work on my physical and mental strengths. I felt like I made a great decision by coming here. I've become a much better player since I've stepped foot on campus and I have made a decision I thought was best for my future as a graduating senior.”
Austin averaged .7 points and .7 rebounds last season appearing in six games. He missed most of the with a non-surgical back injury but returned in the SEC Tournament where he played six minutes off the bench against Mississippi State. Coming to Alabama in 2015 from Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala., Austin averaged 1.5 points and .9 rebounds his freshman season.
“I would like to thank all of the Alabama fans who supported me the past two seasons,” Austin said, according to the release. “I would also like to thank our coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play, as well as my teammates. I felt like it was in my best interest to move on and play elsewhere.”
The transfers leave Alabama with 12 players on scholarship for next season. The NCAA limit is 13.
The Tuscaloosa News was the first to report on the news.