(Burlington, VT) – Vermont junior wing Brendan Bald, the 2011 America East Defensive Player of the Year, has left the Catamounts basketball team, but will stay in school to complete his degree.
“Brendan has decided not to play basketball his senior year and to focus on his academics,” said Vermont head coach John Becker in a press release earlier today. “He is not transferring and will stay at UVM his senior year. I want to thank Brendan for all his hard work and contributions to the men’s basketball program. He will always be a Catamount and I wish him the best in the future.”
“I have decided not to play basketball my senior year so that I can focus my time on my academics,” said Bald in a statement released by the Catamounts. “I plan on graduating a semester early and studying for the LSAT’s this fall. It is my hope to enter law school and pursue a career in law. I am thankful for my three years of being a member of the UVM basketball team and I thank the coaches, fans, and alumni for their support. I have created memories I will never forget. It is in my best interest to step away from the game of basketball and I wish the team and the coaches nothing but the best in the future.”
Bald enjoyed a breakout season as sophomore during the 2010-2011 season, averaging 11.3 points in 28.2 minutes per game, shooting an eye-popping 41 percent from behind the arc while being named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, as well as earning a place on the All-Defensive and All-Conference Third teams.
Despite being named a captain last season, Bald’s game regressed significantly, as the junior’s minutes and production dropped dramatically. Bald’s averages dipped to 7.6 points and 23.9 minutes per game, and his three-point percentage fell to 26.4 percent.
Beyond sheer numbers, Bald seemed to lose his energy and edge on the court; shying away from contact on the offensive end while playing without his usual aggression on the defensive end.
Behind closed doors, the word was that Bald had lost his love of the game. According to several sources, Bald informed the coaching staff on Wednesday of is decision to leave the team and end his playing career – it was no a mutual decision, but Bald’s alone. However, the coaching staff was not surprised.
The Catamounts now have an open scholarship to use. While there is already speculation about landing a high-impact transfer, the coaching staff is still deciding which direction they will head.