Petrovic tells Williams he's leaving Maryland COLLEGE BASKETBALL


Nemanja Petrovic, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound sophomore center who was expected to serve in a reserve role for the Maryland basketball team, has informed Terps coach Gary Williams that he plans to transfer.

"He just felt things weren't going well for him, and he decided to transfer," Williams said yesterday. "He's been hurt, so that's part of it. But I'm going to leave things at that."

Petrovic showed some promise before getting hurt early during his freshman season. The former Yugoslav junior player, who came to Maryland via North Penn High School outside Philadelphia, was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the leg in mid-January. He averaged 3.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 10 games.

"He was a question mark [physically]," Williams said of a player who suffered torn knee ligaments and a broken elbow in high school.

"It would have been nice to see what he could do if he had been healthy."

Williams said Petrovic still is enrolled at Maryland, where he is carrying a 3.5 grade-point average as a business major, but "wouldn't be surprised if he winds up at a Philadelphia school."

Petrovic's departure leaves an already small Maryland team without its biggest player, but it does free up a scholarship for Williams, who had only one available for next year's freshman class. Sophomore Mario Lucas and junior Kurtis Shultz now will back up freshman Joe Smith, who is expected to start.

"I think this could help Joe Smith's development," said Williams.

Maryland opens practice Saturday.

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