Duruisseau becomes the latest member from UW's heralded nine-player 2015 recruiting class to leave the Huskies. Only four players remain.
Junior forward Devenir Duruisseau has left the Washington men’s basketball team, coach Mike Hopkins announced Wednesday.
Duruisseau, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, will continue taking classes at UW and is on track to graduate in the spring. Hopkins said he plans transfer in the offseason and will be immediately eligible to play next season.
“The biggest thing was he wanted to focus on academics,” Hopkins said. “We had a great conversation. I respect his decision. Get his degree from UW is the most important thing. He’ll finish that and then he’ll have a year and a half to two years to play.”
In his Husky debut, Duruisseau finished with seven points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench before fouling out of the 2015-16 season opener against Texas. It was a promising start, but he was never able to crack the rotation.
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During his two-year tenure with the Huskies, Duruisseau averaged 1.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and 5.9 minutes while participating in 35 games.
He didn’t play in Washington’s exhibition win over Division II Saint Martin’s and appeared in just one game, logging a minute during an 86-82 win over Belmont.
When Hopkins emptied the bench during last week’s 103-79 blowout loss to Virginia Tech last week, Duruisseau and sophomore guard Bitumba Baruti – who has not played this season – were the only scholarship players who didn’t get in the game.
Duruisseau’s departure weakens Washington’s thin front line, which includes 6-8 junior Noah Dickerson, 6-11 sophomore Sam Timmins and 6-9 freshman Hameir Wright. No other UW player is taller than 6-6.
“Noah has been getting into foul trouble,” Hopkins said. “That’s always been a concern, but I think we have enough guys to fulfill what we have to do and what we have to accomplish to be a good basketball team. That’s unfortunate. That’s a great kid. He’s given us everything. We wish him the best and he’ll always be a part of the Husky family.”
Losing Duruisseau opens a spot on the roster, but Hopkins has no plans to immediately fill the vacancy.
If everyone returns (and that’s a big IF), the Huskies will bring back 11 scholarship players next season. They’ve also signed three recruits (Elijah Hardy, Jamal Bey and Nate Roberts) which will give them 14 players on scholarship in 2017-18. The NCAA limit is 13.
Duruisseau, a three-star recruit, starred at Fishburne Military Academy in Waynesboro, VA where he averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and one steal during his junior season.
The Palmdale, Calif. native originally committed to San Jose State early in 2014 before re-opening his recruiting that summer and drawing interest from Colorado, Arizona State and California.
Duruisseau, a cousin of former UW coach Lorenzo Romar, signed with the Huskies and joined an acclaimed 2015 class that included future NBA first-round draft picks Marquese Chriss and Dejounte Murray as well as Noah Dickerson, Matisse Thybulle, David Crisp, Dominic Green, Auburn transfer Matthew Atewe and junior-college transfer Malik Dime.
Only Dickerson, Thybulle, Crisp and Green remain from the heralded nine-man class that was ranked eighth nationally by ESPN.com.