Only a day after praising point guard Matt Carlino as an "impact player" who played "a terrific season" for BYU in 2013-14, Cougar head coach Dave Rose on Tuesday announced that Carlino has elected to leave BYU and continue his career as a graduate transfer.
Carlino plans to graduate from BYU in June with a bachelor's degree in recreation management and youth leadership; NCAA rules permit student-athletes who have graduated to transfer without the penalty of sitting out a season.
In a press release distributed by BYU, Carlino said "I'm grateful for the opportunity Coach Rose and his staff have given me."
"I'm also grateful for my teammates, professors and advisors for making my time at BYU such a great experience and for helping me grow so much as a person. Thank you to the fans that have given me so much support. I feel very blessed that I was able to represent BYU."
"We're really grateful for Matt's contribution to the success of our program over the last three years," Rose said. "We wish Matt and his family the very best in their future endeavors. Matt was a great teammate and will be missed by the coaching staff and players."
Rose learned of Carlino's transfer plans during an end-of-season interview early Tuesday. On Monday, Rose met with various media members and discussed Carlino in glowing terms, telling me that "Matt had a terrific season in a role that I don't think he really projected, and neither did we."
"He was so good in (the sixth-man role), and I think his numbers were great, but besides his numbers, it was his effect on winning and losing. He had so many big games where he was such an impact player coming off the bench. Hopefully he can find himself really confident and comfortable in that role."
The Arcadia, Ariz. native transferred to BYU from UCLA during the 2010-11 season; he became eligible to play for BYU in December of 2011.
Carlino played the second half of the 2011-12 season and the 2012-13 campaign as the team's starting point guard. The 2013-14 season saw Kyle Collinsworth emerge as the preferred starter at the point, and Carlino was moved to the bench starting with the third game of the WCC schedule. Carlino then played as a reserve until starting for BYU in its season-ending 2014 NCAA tournament loss to Oregon, as the replacement for an injured Collinsworth.
Carlino's departure does resolve a potential scholarship crunch for BYU, as 14 players were projected on the 2014-15 roster, with only 13 scholarships available.
Carlino ends his BYU career 27th in scoring, with 1,201 points; his 427 assists rank 7th all-time, while his 161 steals are 6th-most at BYU.
Carlino's steals-per-game average of 1.68 is 2nd all-time at BYU, and his assists-per-game rate of 4.55 ranks 3rd. He ranks 5th in three-pointers attempted and 6th in three-pointers made.
Carlino averaged 12.2 points and 4.6 assists as a freshman in 2010-11, while earning All-WCC honorable mention honors.
As a sophomore in 2012-13, Carlino averaged 11.5 points, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals.
During his junior season of 2013-14, Carlino averaged a career-best 13.7 points to go with 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals; he was named an All-WCC honorable mention honoree.