Guard Kellie McCann-Smith leaves Washington basketball program
Kellie McCann-Smith, a junior guard, is leaving the Washington women's basketball program for personal reasons. McCann-Smith transferred before the 2011-12 season from Nebraska to Washington to be closer to her family in Asotin and help care for her ill father.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Oregon State @ UW, 6 p.m.
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Washington will host Oregon State on Friday down one player, again.
Junior guard Kellie McCann-Smith left the program on Thursday due to personal reasons. McCann-Smith missed the team's nonconference schedule because of the same personal reason and hadn't appeared in a game since her return Jan. 1 due to not being in basketball shape, according to UW coach Kevin McGuff.
McCann-Smith appeared in 34 games in 2011-12, starting three and averaging four points.
"Kellie is a terrific young woman and I wish her all the best," McGuff said in a statement released by the school.
McCann-Smith, a guard from Asotin — a small town near the Idaho border — transferred from Nebraska to UW after the 2010-11 season to help her family care for her ill stepfather. Steve Smith, a 40-year cancer survivor, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997 and suffers from other ailments.
McGuff was hoping to add depth to his bench with the return of McCann-Smith, but he might have found another quality reserve in freshman Heather Corral. She played a season-high 17 minutes in a win at Washington State on Sunday, finishing with nine points on 3-for-4 shooting, all from three-point range.
"She's really talented, and I've almost been waiting for a game like this where she really breaks out," McGuff said.
Corral's play was key because sophomore point guard Jazmine Davis suffered a head injury midway through the second half and was held out as a precautionary measure. Washington (12-5, 4-2 Pac-12) was down four points when Davis left the game but rallied to win, 79-72.
Davis, the team's leading scorer, didn't return to practice this week. She was examined again Thursday and will be a game-time decision to play Friday.
The victory over WSU was the Huskies' fourth game in 10 days and McGuff welcomed this week's rest heading into the Oregon State matchup.
"We need it. That was a really busy week for us," McGuff said. "With Jaz getting dinged in the head, it'll be good for her, too."
Oregon State (9-9, 3-3) has played strong defensively this season. The Beavers have held 16 of 18 opponents under 40 percent shooting, and they average 6.2 blocks, seventh-best in the nation.
Freshman guard Jamie Weisner leads OSU in scoring (12.3).
• All-session passes for the Pac-12 tournament at KeyArena are on sale for $50. Courtside and reserved seating are still available for the tournament at KeyArena from March 7-10. For a limited time the conference is also selling "Flex Books" for $32 that include four vouchers good for one session each.