CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Three student athletes at Southeast Missouri State University are no longer a part of the Redhawks basketball team.
Head coach Rick Ray announced late Friday night that guards Marcus Wallace and J.T. Jones, and guard/forward Ladarius Coleman are no longer on the team.
"Our program was unfortunately not a good fit and I want these young men to have the best opportunity to be successful," said Ray. "I think Marcus, Ladarius and J.T. are all fine young men, and wish them the best."
Wallace averaged 7.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in eight games and two starts this season, while Coleman followed with 6.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in six contests.
Jones, a walk-on, averaged 3.4 points and 2.4 boards in five games and three starts.
Heartland Sports Director Todd Richards sat down with Rick Ray on Monday. Watch the full video here.
Read the transcript to the interview below:
Richards: The question is of course that three of the players, Marcus Wallace, Ladarius Coleman, J.T. Jones no longer with the team. It all transpired heading in to the weekend. Why are they no longer on the team?Richards:
Ray: It's just simply a case of relationships not working out. I think in all situations where you got good people on both sides, sometimes things just don't work out. It's just best for both parties to move on. The thing I like to say is both young men are going to be able to be on scholarship period for this semester. We'll also going to keep them on scholarship for next semester. And obviously J.T. Jones, the young man that was a non-scholarship guy. He's obviously still admitted to the Southeast Missouri State.
Richards: You've been around the coaching business for a while. Did you feel that this was the timing that it should be done?
Ray: I think it's fair when things are not working out, you just want to make sure to allow somebody to be happy. With the way the rules are, these young men can actually transfer at the semester, sit out two semesters and actually start playing basketball after the winter break.
Richards: One of the questions that I've been getting is a lot about Marcus Wallace for example, played about 30 minutes versus Memphis. I think it was 16 points. And then just another and one game later he was gone.
Ray: Yea, he had a good game that game and that's actually a talented young man. Well, like I said sometimes things just don't work out in that manner. And so I thought it was best for us to move on.
Richards: And then going from here, how do you deal with this issue with you team? Do you feel like it's something that you have to address and continue to address along with future recruits?
Ray: Well, no, I thinks it's a situation where our guys on the team obviously have some relationships with those guys. Some of the guys live together. You travel together. So there's that friendship that's been broken there, but we talk with our guys about this. It's going to continue to be an ongoing conversations about this. But I think if you look at the landscape of college basketball. Kids transferring. Kids not being part of a team. It's pretty much par for the course now.
Richards: And do you feel like this is something you'll have to address publicly that you'll have to talk with folks around here, people that are trying to understand it?
Ray: I think what happens on our team is a family situation. I don't think that's something we want to air our dirty laundry. I don't think people should be privy to that information. I don't think that's fair to those young men.