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UCLA basketball: Starting center Drew Gordon leaves team

December 1, 2009 |  2:09 pm

UCLA center Drew Gordon has left the UCLA basketball team and will transfer at the end of the quarter.

Fabforum Gordon was a starter averaging 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 23-plus minutes a game

Coach Ben Howland declined to give a specific reason, explaining that it resulted from a series of conversations with the player over the past weeks.

"This is not a spur-of-the-moment thing," Howland said.

The announcement, made at the coach's weekly press conference on the UCLA campus, follows a disappointing holiday weekend for the Bruins, who lost all three of their games at the 76 Classic in Anaheim.

Freshman Reeves Nelson will fill some of the gap created by Gordon's departure.

"He has a lot to learn and he knows this," Howland said. "This is going to increase his playing time dramatically."

-- David Wharton

Photo: Drew Gordon. Credit: Stephen Dunn, Getty Images.