Harthun explains decision to hometown paper

MICHAEL HARTHUN

MICHAEL HARTHUN, whose plans to leave WSU were reported here on Sunday after talking with the sophomore guard's father, has himself now come out publicly to explain the thinking behind his decision to transfer. In an interview with his hometown paper in southern Oregon, Harthun said the choice wasn't easy and that Ken Bone encouraged him to stay. But ultimatley it was a matter of playing time.

"For me, I've always just wanted to be on the court and competing because I love basketball," Harthun told Kris Henry of the Mail Tribune in Medford. "I gave it two years here and in the next couple, I didn't see an opportunity presenting itself with the way I've performed the last two years. I just kinda wanted to get back to playing basketball the way I used to."

Harthun played in 26 games for the Cougars this season -- up from 14 a year ago -- and logged 247 minutes (9.5 per outing) vs. 84 last season. But his role was clearly limited and figured to remain so. His calling card from high school -- deadly accuracy from beyond the arc -- never showed and his footspeed made it a challenge to cover the Pac-10's best. He was 2 of 16 from three-point range this season and 2 of 7 a year ago.

He is one of three Cougar player to announce his departure from the program in search of more playing time. The others, also guards, are freshmen Xavier Thames and Anthony Brown.

None of them has suggested where they might be looking to play next.

"It was definitely a tough decision for me because I didn't want to leave my teammates and the foundation I've built here with friends and everybody around me," Harthun told the Mail Tribune. "I felt really bad leaving the program. I felt like I was letting the program down, but at the same time people told me that I had to do what was best for me in this situation."

CLICK HERE to read more of Harthun's thoughts in the Mail Tribune's report.

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