Colorado State senior guard John Gillon has been granted his release and will graduate and transfer from CSU, according to multiple sources.
Redshirt freshman forward Toby Van Ry has also been given his release, the school announced in a press release Friday night.
An economics major, Gillon plans to graduate this spring and will immediately be eligible to play one season at a new school. Gillon should attract attention from high-major programs looking for an immediately eligible point guard, similar to Jon Octeus, who left CSU and transferred to Purdue after the 2013-14 season, where he was named All Big-Ten.
“I really appreciate Coach for his help and work with me in helping me become the man I have become, both on and off the court,” Gillon said in a press release from CSU. “Coach and I talked earlier this season and he has changed for the better too, making adjustments in how he has done things. I appreciate the opportunity from the staff to be here and for their dealing with me. I also really appreciate the community and all of their support for me and the team.”
Gillon, who was the Rams’ second-leading scorer at 13.2 points per game this past season, came to CSU after the 2012-13 season from Arkansas-Little Rock and sat out the 2013-14 season because of NCAA transfer rules. The Houston, Texas native was named the Mountain West Sixth Man of the Year in 2014-15 after leading the Rams in assists and averaging nearly eight points per game off of the bench.
“This is a very amicable situation with John’s leaving CSU,” Eustachy said in the release. “In my opinion, John and I will be friends for life. I think from when he came here to where he is now, he has grown both physically and mentally and is a much more mature player and person. The change is good for him to have a fresh start, and I look for him to really be special wherever he goes. This is the nature of what is happening these days and we all will move on.”
Van Ry, a Fort Collins native, redshirted during the 2014-15 season and played sparingly this past year, totaling 19 minutes in nine appearances. He signed with CSU out of Fort Collins High School, where he earned All-Front Range League honors after averaging 18.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as a senior.
He had mostly interest from Division II schools until CSU offered him, and he was eager to play in front of his hometown crowd, especially his family and friends. However, Van Ry was unable to bulk up for much of his time at CSU, and got stuck behind players like Stanton Kidd, JJ Avila, Emmanuel Omogbo and Tiel Daniels.
Van Ry and Gillon are the first players to transfer from CSU this offseason, and the Rams now have five scholarships to fill along with signee Devocio Butler, who signed his National Letter of Intent with the Rams in November. CSU does have depth returning at guard though, with upcoming sophomores Prentiss Nixon and JD Paige returning, along with freshman Anthony Bonner. Senior guard Gian Clavell, who sat out most of the past season due to injury, is waiting to hear back from the NCAA regarding his medical hardship waiver that would allow him to play at CSU next year.
CSU is thin at the forward position though, with only Kimani Jackson, Omogbo and Nico Carvacho returning. The Rams have targeted forwards in their recruiting, getting a commitment from Creighton forward Leon Gilmore III, but Gilmore rescinded his commitment after the departures of assistant coaches Ross Hodge and Leonard Perry.
South Plains Junior College forward Che Bob is visiting this weekend, according to sources, and the Rams will need to secure a commitment from Bob after missing on College of Southern Idaho forward Pape Diatta, who signed with Georgia.
Collegian Senior Sports Reporter Keegan Pope can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope.