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January 31, 2011Sophomore Wally Judge has left the Kansas State basketball team, Wildcat head coach Frank Martin announced on Monday. The former McDonald's All-American and highest touted recruit on the current roster alerted his head coach of his intentions prior to a Monday afternoon practice and will now look for a new place to play out the his final two years of basketball eligibility.
"He said he's not happy, and I kind of saw it coming because of some of his emotional situations," Martin said of Judge. "He just has not been enjoying it. He thinks its time for a change."
Martin offered no specific explanation for the reasons behind the forward's departure, only to say that the East Coast-born Judge simply wasn't happy in his current situation. The fourth-year head coach indicated that he left the door open for Judge's possible return, but did not expect for such a thing to take place.
"If he's not happy, why do something if you're not enjoying it? It is what it is," Martin said. "He's been here for a year and a half. It's been a struggle all year. You can't make me stay somewhere where I'm not happy. Wally obviously wasn't happy and he made a decision.
"I wish him nothing but the best."
Judge's friend and former K-State teammate Rodney McGruder, who played both high school and AAU basketball along side the departed Wildcat, declined all comment on the situation, calling the matter "personal."
Senior guard Jacob Pullen, on the other hand, chimed in on the issue, even if he offered limited insight as to what sparked the split.
"I walked into practice this morning and he wasn't here," Pullen said, "I don't know what happened with that or what's going on. Frank talked to us after practice about it. I just wish him the best. To each his own."
Calls placed to Judge's mother and high school coach were not returned. Curtis Malone, the president of the DC Assault organization, the program with which Judge played his AAU basketball, was available for
"Wally just thought about it and wanted to move into a different direction," Malone said. "I think he and (Martin) had their differences here and there throughout the year. All that made him want to make a change and try something different."
According to Malone, Judge will finish the current academic semester at K-State while he puts together a list of schools to visit in an effort to choose a transfer destination.
As a freshman a year ago, Judge appeared in 36 games and averaged just more than three points per contest. So far this year, a season in which he sat out a three-game stretch due to what Martin dubbed "personal reasons", Judge has averaged 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Judge's departure comes following a disappointing, 2-5 start to Big 12 play and just weeks after that of junior college transfer Freddy Asprilla, who reportedly left the team during an intense workout earlier this month.