Sophomore forward Emmanuel Akot is transferring from the Arizona Wildcats, according to Evan Daniels of 247Sports.
Akot has already left the team, but will finish the spring semester at the UA, per Daniels. The Canadian will likely have to sit out the 2019-20 season before having two years of eligibility at his new school.
Akot was averaging 3.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 19.4 minutes this season, starting at power forward in 11 of 17 games.
The former five-star recruit especially struggled offensively, shooting just 39 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3 this season. He never scored more than seven points in a game.
While Akot’s decision to transfer is not surprising — he would have had trouble earning playing time on a more talented Arizona team next season — the timing means Arizona’s depth will be depleted for the rest of the 2018-19 campaign.
The Wildcats are now down to Chase Jeter, Ryan Luther and Ira Lee in the frontcourt, a potentially concerning development for a team that sprinted out to a 4-0 start to Pac-12 play.
Luther was starting at power forward before being usurped by Akot, but Lee has been playing well lately and has a case to be inserted into the starting five alongside Jeter, who has arguably been UA’s best player this season.
Arizona could add former walk-on Jake DesJardins to the rotation or pull the redshirt from Cornell transfer Stone Gettings to add depth to its frontcourt, but the latter would be a short-sighted way to burn his final year of eligibility. Besides, UA coach Sean Miller said earlier in the season that there is “no chance” Gettings will play this season.
The 6-foot-8 forward started practicing with the Wildcats a couple weeks ago after graduating from Cornell in December.
Akot is the second player to transfer from Arizona this season. Freshman forward Omar Thielemans left the program before the season, eventually landing at Wright State.