The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Two guards down

Men’s basketball head coach Norm Roberts made recent reports official when he announced Monday that guards Mike Cavataio and Larry Wright would be transferring from the University at the end of the academic semester. They are the eight and ninth players to transfer during Roberts’ tenure as coach.

Wright, a fan favorite, averaged 18.9 minutes a game last season and led the Red Storm with 52 three-pointers and a 40.2 percentage from behind the arc (Matt Duell shot 100 percent but took only one shot).

But during the middle of the season he learned of a family health issue, his mother was having problems with her back. Towards the end of the season Wright decided that a transfer closer to his Michigan home would be his probable course.

According to Wright, he told Roberts of his decision about three weeks after the season ended. Roberts agreed that Wright’s choice was justified.

“This is not something that doesn’t happen all the time around the country,” Roberts said. “If a guy wants to be closer to his family, closer to his mom, we understand that.”

However, recent reports and blogging speculation have said that the health issue was not Wright’s deciding factor, but instead a desire for a more important position on a roster elsewhere. But Wright and Roberts confirmed that the main reason for Wright’s departure was as claimed.

“I want to play more of course, but the main reason was my mother,” Wright said.

Roberts dismissed the reports, saying that he had phone conversations with Wright’s mother in which she told him of Wright and his family’s desire for him to be closer to home. “People can allude to whatever they want to,” Roberts said, “but I’m on the phone with mom.”

Replacing Wright’s shooting will be an issue for the Red Storm next season as the sophomore was third on the team in total points and points per game. Roberts said that the task was not something that he felt would be accomplished by one player alone. He said he expects better shooting from his whole roster to do so.

Wright’s exit means that for the second year in a row the Red Storm have lost their best three-point shooter to transfer. Avery Patterson, who departed after one season with the Storm, hit 72 three-pointers in 2006-07. It also means that every member of Roberts’ third recruiting class is no longer on his roster.

Cavataio is transferring from the University after just one season in the red and white. He played in 17 games in his freshman campaign and averaged 1.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in those appearances. Roberts said that Cavataio came to him about a week ago to tell him about his decision to look for another opportunity.

Cavatatio, a Queens native and former CHSAA star, played just 100 total minutes last year and wants to move to a school where he would garner a more prominent role. “I don’t hold kids back,” Roberts said.

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