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Originally published Friday, April 10, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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UW Basketball | Joe Wolfinger will transfer from Washington

The 7-footer, whose playing time was limited this season, will transfer to a Division II school.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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In a move that had been anticipated since the season ended, Washington men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar said Thursday that reserve center Joe Wolfinger has decided to transfer.

Wolfinger, who has one season of eligibility left, will seek to transfer to a Division II school where he will be able to play immediately.

Wolfinger had said late in the season he didn't plan to be back, citing a lack of playing time. The 7-foot center from Aloha, Ore., played just 94 minutes in 16 games this season, scoring 39 points.

Wolfinger played nine minutes or more in each of the first three games of the season, including 22 minutes in a win over eventual NCAA tournament team Cleveland State, scoring 12 points.

But as Darnell Gant cemented his role in the starting lineup and Matthew Bryan-Amaning returned from injury to become the first big man off the bench, Wolfinger lost his place in the rotation.

"We've been successful with those bigs who have been versatile and very quick on defense," Romar said earlier in the season. "It's nothing against Joe at all. But again, we've played some of the best defense this year since we've been here, and it has something to do with the lineup we have out there."

Wolfinger arrived at Washington in 2005 amid much fanfare, part of the seven-man class that also included Jon Brockman and Martell Webster. He redshirted his first year, then missed the following season with a foot injury.

He had some breakout moments as a sophomore in 2008, but he couldn't recapture that success this season as UW's style of play turned more up-tempo.

His departure clears up a potential scholarship logjam; UW would have been one over the 13-player limit for next season if all players returned with four new players set to arrive in the fall.

UW assistants talk to PSU

Sources indicated that Huskies assistants Cameron Dollar and Jim Shaw had at least informal interviews with Portland State officials Thursday about filling the school's coaching vacancy, created when Ken Bone left for Washington State.

Shaw has a long history playing and coaching in Oregon and was a candidate in 2005 when Bone was hired. Dollar has long been regarded as an up-and-coming assistant, and UW athletic director Scott Woodard confirmed earlier in the week that the Vikings had requested to talk with Dollar. Dollar is also believed a candidate at Seattle University.

Bone, meanwhile, said on KJR AM that he had heard that PSU had also interviewed PSU associate head coach Tyler Geving about stepping up to take over for Bone. Many around the PSU program have regarded Geving as a natural successor to Bone.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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