December 31, 2013 10:40:36 AM
Matthew Stevens - [email protected]
STARKVILLE -- Dre Applewhite is the latest player to leave the Mississippi State men's basketball program early.
MSU coach Rick Ray announced Monday that Applewhite, a redshirt freshman guard from Memphis, will transfer to another school and won't play for the Bulldogs for the remainder of the 2013-14 season.
Applewhite had started the last six games over sophomore Fred Thomas and was averaging 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 17.5 minutes in 12 games. No reasons were given as to why Applewhite made the decision following the fall semester.
"Transfers have unfortunately become common in college basketball," Ray said in a MSU release. "We wish Dre well."
More than 425 players transferred to and from Division I men's college basketball programs for the 2013-14 season. Applewhite is the 10th player to leave or to be dismissed from the MSU program with eligibility remaining. Without Applewhite, MSU will have eight active scholarship players for the remainder of the season.
Last season, Applewhite, a three-star prospect by several recruiting services, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee that required season-ending surgery. This season, Applewhite was providing quality minutes for the Bulldogs (9-3) at three positions.
Applewhite chose MSU over Western Kentucky and Arkansas State two years ago when Ray and his new MSU staff were formulating a recruiting class. He helped lead Central High School to the Class 3A State title game as a senior season, when he averaged 21.3 points and 11.1 rebounds a game.
En route to the state tilt, Applewhite was tabbed Regional MVP and garnered All-Tournament team accolades. He was also named to the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Best of the Prep and the Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State teams.
MSU will play host to Maryland Eastern Shore at 7 p.m. Thursday at Humphrey Coliseum.
Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter