The offseason of turnover for the Colorado State men’s basketball team continues.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, the University announced starting point guard Jon Octeus will transfer away from Fort Collins for his final season of eligibility.
“This was not an easy decision, but upon graduating, I have decided it is in my best interest to explore the opportunity to complete my last year of eligibility at another institution,” Octeus said in the statement. “I appreciate Coach Eustachy’s understanding throughout this process. Thank you to everyone that has supported me through this chapter of my life.”
Octeus, an upcoming senior from Miami, Fla., started all 32 games last season while averaging 13.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in just under 34 minutes per game, ranking third in both of those categories behind All-Mountain West forwards Daniel Bejarano and JJ Avila. Projected again as the starting point guard, Octeus was expected to lead a reloaded Rams team along with Avila, Bejarano, and North Carolina Central transfer Stanton Kidd.
However, Octeus will graduate next month and transfer to another Division I program, where he will be immediately eligible to play. According to a source close to the situation, Octeus has received major interest from UCLA, Missouri, and Cincinnati. UCLA head coach Steve Alford is familiar with Octeus from his days as the head coach of Mountain West rival New Mexico.
Along with the departures of guard David Cohn and forwards Dwight Smith, Marcus Holt and Chane Behanan, news of Octeus’ transfer leaves Colorado State with just 11 scholarship players for the 2014-15 season. While the news of aforementioned players’ decisions to transfer did not come as a surprise, Octeus’ decision to transfer leaves many looking for answers as to why a player considered by many to be one of the best point guards in the league would transfer before his senior season.
“Jon has been a big part of the success we have had at Colorado State over the last two years,” head coach Larry Eustachy said in the statement. “More than just a talented player, he is a leader and a person of character. We wish Jon the best moving forward. He gave CSU two outstanding seasons, but more importantly, he will leave our program with his degree. You can’t ask for much more out of a student-athlete.”
“From a basketball standpoint I feel the loss will be absorbed by returning players stepping up, and a talented collection of newcomers that still has yet to be completed,” added Eustachy. “I have never been more optimistic about going into a season.”
Slated to step into the void left by Octeus are newcomers John Gillon (Arkansas-Little Rock), Jeremiah Paige (Rangeview HS), and returning guard Joe De Ciman. Last week it was reported that former Iowa State Bubu Palo had committed to the Rams, possibly providing another experienced backcourt player should the embattled ex-Cyclone receive a waiver to be eligible for his sixth year next season.
Collegian Sports Editor Keegan Pope can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @kpopecollegian.