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UB's Shannon Evans says desire to play at higher level prompts decision to transfer

University at Buffalo star guard Shannon Evans said today he’s seeking to transfer to another school and is waiting to get his release from UB.

Evans, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, was a second-team all-Mid-American Conference pick this season. He averaged 15.4 points a game, seventh best in the conference. He also ranked third in assists at 4.6 a game, third in free-throw percentage, second in steals and third in minutes played.

Evans was very close with former UB coach Bobby Hurley, who left for Arizona State. However, Evans said the big reason he wants to leave is he thinks he can play at a higher level.

“I want to be able to show NBA scouts and overseas scouts that I belong,” Evans said. “It’s more of a personal decision.”

Evans said he has been wrestling with the decision on his future for a couple weeks.

“I was on the fence about everything,” he said. “The fact that my best friend, my father figure, coach Hurley, left that hit home with me. I’m not mad at him for that. But I’ve been on the fence. I’ve had mixed emotions. I talked to my family."

Evans’ decision first was reported by the website Big4Talk.com.

Evans said he's a fan of new coach Nate Oats, who served as Hurley’s right-hand man the past two seasons.

“I love coach Oats,” he said. “He’s a great guy, a great coach, this is nothing bad towards him. I think he’ll do great. He’ll do big things here.”
But Evans said he tried to talk to UB Athletics Director Danny White Monday but was put off by the passing encounter.

“I wanted to talk to Danny White today,” Evans said. “I saw him. He said, ‘I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do this. Talk to Nate Oats, I told him everything.’ . . . It’s like he was in a rush.”

Evans said Oats informed him that UB would allow him to transfer but would block a move by Evans to go to Arizona State, Virginia Commonwealth, Old Dominion or another MAC school. Evans is a native of Suffolk, Va.

“They’re basically going to block all the schools I want to talk to,” Evans said. “I just feel like they don’t want my best interests and what’s best for me personally, and I really don’t like that. I feel like if I want my release, OK, any MAC school, I understand. But they shouldn’t block me from any school in a higher conference than Buffalo.”

“That’s giving me a chance to potentially play in the NBA one day, and I want to have that opportunity,” Evans said. “It hit me real hard today. That’s when I decided I’m not going to stay.”

Evans' joyful style on the court made him a crowd favorite this season.

"I really want to give a lot of love to the Buffalo fans," he said. "I feel like they adopted me and I feel like I’m a Buffalonian at heart. The community supported me from Day One. Our student section, True Blue, did a tremendous job of embracing me. But it’s moreso a personal decision, and a decision for my future."

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