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Omar Thielemans to leave Arizona, will transfer

The freshman’s UA career is over before it started

Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics

Omar Thielemans’ Arizona Wildcats career is over before it started.

The UA announced Wednesday that the freshman forward has left the program and will transfer.

“Omar is a great young man, and we wish him the best going forward,” head coach Sean Miller said in a statement.

The writing was on the wall Sunday after Thielemans was not at the Red-Blue Game and Miller said afterward that his absence was a “longer-term thing.”

Thielemans, an obscure prospect who was not on the radar of most recruiting services, was not expected to have a prominent role in 2018-19, and Miller called him a “developmental player” at local media day, still making the transition from FIBA.

The Belgian played for BC Ostend before enrolling at the UA, and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.

His departure opens up a scholarship the Wildcats can use in the 2019 recruiting cycle. Miller said at media day that he expects Arizona to sign five or six players in the class.

The Wildcats currently have three commits, meaning they should be adding at least two more to the mix, though perhaps Thielemans’ exit changes the calculus a bit.