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May 10, 2011Sophomore guard Corey Hawkins has informed Arizona State coaches of his plans to transfer from the school.
"I'm just looking for a fresh start really," Hawkins said. "It's nothing against Arizona State or the coaches. It's a very good program, great team, great coaches. They did a lot for me. It's not that I felt like I didn't fit in, it's just that I didn't feel it was the best place for me."
Hawkins averaged 2.0 points and 1.7 rebounds in 8.2 minutes but saw increased opportunities late in the season including 29 minutes in a 71-69 win over Washington State Feb. 19. On March 5 in the season finale, Hawkins hit 5-of-7 shots from the field and scored 13 points against Oregon State.
Including Hawkins, seven ASU players have now transferred in the last three years. His departure is particularly surprising in light of his larger role late last season and the graduation of starting guard Ty Abbott, which will unlock a lot of minutes.
Hawkins was considered to to be one of only two reasonably good perimeter shooters returning to the team next season, the other being sophomore Chanse Creekmur. He said the addition of junior college guard Chris Colvin in the spring wasn't a deciding factor.
"It was really hard because it is a great program, great coach, the scene is wonderful," Hawkins said. "It's something I thought about for a little while and have to stick to my guns, Now I'm just trying to figure out where is the best place. Somewhere that probably plays a little more freely, a little more run-and-gun."
Hawkins, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, arrived at ASU as the Arizona high school career points leader after scoring 3,164 points at 3A Goodyear Estrella Foothills.
Since Herb Sendek took over at ASU, eight of the 21 players he has signed to Letters of Intent have transferred, including seven of the 14 signed in the 2008, 09 and 10 classes.
Including George Odufuwa and Christian Polk -- players signed by Rob Evans but enrolled under Sendek -- the Sun Devils had have 10 of their most recent 23 scholarship additions leave the program. None stayed for two seasons with the exception of Polk and Taylor Rohde.
The departure of Hawkins will leave ASU with 12 scholarship players in the fall, one shy of the maximum allowable number. It will also lead to additional questions regarding what type of offensive system Sendek will employ next season. He's shown a tendency to rely heavily on the 3-pont shot but returning members of his team made a combined 40 of 153 (26.1 percent) from the distance last season, with only Creekmur making at least one-third of his attempts (20 of 60).
In light of Hawkins' transfer, it's even more clear ASU will be forced to rely heavily next season on incoming guards Colvin and highly touted freshman point guard Jahii Carson, as well as sophomore Keala King, as they will be the only three true guards on the roster.