LAWRENCE — On Tuesday night, freshman guard Rio Adams announced his intention to leave KU and transfer to a new school. One day later, Adams said he would be looking for a destination closer to his hometown of Seattle.
“I feel like going home and playing closer is better for me and my family,” Adams said in a statement released by KU. “This was definitely a family decision and it was a decision I wanted to do that would be best for my situation.”
Kansas coach Bill Self, who confirmed Adams' impending departure on Tuesday, said he had met with Adams and both parties agreed that a transfer was in the best interest of everyone.
“Anrio and I met about his future, both academically and athletically, and we believe it is in his best interest to look into potential opportunities that may exist closer to home,” Self said. “Anrio is a very talented kid. We’ve enjoyed him being here.”
Adams becomes the third member of Kansas' 2012 recruiting class to leave campus since last August. Milton Doyle, a guard from Chicago, left in August, while Zach Peters, a forward from Plano, Texas, was plagued by injuries and left after the first semester.
Adams, meanwhile, struggled to crack the KU rotation during his freshman season, and he vented his frustrations on his Twitter account before a Big 12 Conference game at Oklahoma State. But Adams also became known for his animated and exuberant bench celebrations during KU victories.
“He was a good teammate and I know frustration can set in when you don’t play a lot,” Self said. “But he kept a good attitude and we should all support him in whatever decision he makes. I know our staff is 100 percent in support of him doing what’s best for his life.”
Adams added that he had enjoyed his time at Kansas.
“I’ve definitely grown and matured from it,” Adams said. “There were a lot of great moments and downfalls that made me better. I appreciated the team, the coaching staff and the fans a lot. This was an experience that I will probably never be able to see again. I’m happy I was able to play with this team and be part of something great.”
If Adams would have stayed, he would have been challenged by a talented group of backcourt players in the Jayhawks’ 2013 recruiting class. Conner Frankamp, a combo guard from Wichita, will join shooting guard Wayne Selden and wing Brannen Greene in the KU’s incoming freshman class. All three are ranked in the top 35 of Rivals.com’s national rankings. Frank Mason, a point guard from Massanutten Military Academy (Va.), is also ranked in Rivals' Top 150 rankings.
Adams’ departure leaves Kansas with two open scholarships in the 2013 class. And that could soon become three if freshman guard Ben McLemore leaves early for the NBA. That would give Self plenty of flexibility to add some spring signees or transfers.
KU is still in the running for top overall recruit Andrew Wiggins, who will play with Selden in the McDonald’s All-American Game on Wednesday night. Wiggins is still considering KU, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State, but has given no indication as to when he will make his choice.