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Iowa Basketball Guard Christian Williams to Transfer

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Iowa’s point guard depth just got mighty thin.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Maryland Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Per a release from the University of Iowa, point guard Christian Williams will transfer from Iowa.

Here’s the release in full:

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery announced on Thursday that junior Christian Williams has asked for and been granted a release from his scholarship. Williams will finish out his academic requirements this semester before transferring.

“Christian informed me today of his decision,” said McCaffery. “Christian is a terrific young man with tremendous character. We are disappointed that Christian will no longer be a Hawkeye, but the players and coaches wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Williams (6-foot-5, 200 pounds) played in 54 games the last two seasons at point guard for the Hawkeyes. Last year, the native of Decatur, Illinois, averaged 2.4 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 0.8 steals in 34 games.

“After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I have asked for my release from the University of Iowa. I would like to finish my athletic and academic goals closer to home. I would like to thank coach McCaffery and my teammates for their understanding and support with this decision.”

While this isn’t a complete surprise, Williams still averaged 12.8 minutes per game last season for the Hawkeyes and had some solid moments. He often struggled to score, however, and it was fairly clear within the first couple games last season that Jordan Bohannon was going to be the starter.

Though to play closer to home? Williams is from Decatur, Illinois, which is just over 3.5 hours from Iowa City.

Anyways, this leaves Iowa a bit thin at point guard, though perhaps leaves the door open for Connor McCaffery to burn his redshirt and get some playing time. It honestly seems like the most likely course of action.

Take this Fran quote about point guard depth from the team’s Media Day as you will:

We have plenty of candidates. Christian Williams is playing well; Brady Ellingson is playing well there; Connor is planning on redshirting. I mean, obviously if we had to play him we could. He's really a terrific player at that position, so we'll see. We've got plenty of options. I'm not worried about it at all.

If anything, the timing of his announcement is a tad strange, though it will likely allow him to play in the second half of next season. It also comes just a single day before Iowa’s exhibition opener against William Jewell College.

While not ideal timing, it’s hard to say just how much of an impact Williams would have had this season. He did have his moments as a solid on-ball defender, but again, his lack of scoring ability didn’t exactly help him get on the court.

54 games, though? It really felt like a lot less than that.