COLLEGE PARK -- For the second time since preseason practice began, a reserve on the University of Maryland men's basketball team has left the team with the intention of transferring.
John Walsh, a 6-foot-7 junior forward from West Islip, N.Y., informed Terps coach Gary Williams at a meeting yesterday that he was leaving the team and will transfer after the semester.
Williams said last night that he told Walsh to think about his deci- sion overnight, but added, "I think he's leaving."
Walsh couldn't be reached for comment, and his father, Greg, a former high school basketball coach, said that his son's decision would be made official today.
The decision by Walsh to transfer comes in the wake of an incident Friday night, when he declined to go in at the end of Maryland's 85-79 exhibition loss to the Australian National Team at Cole Field House.
According to those on the bench, Williams had some heated words for Walsh as the team left the floor. Williams declined to discuss the incident after the game, and said later that Walsh hadn't played because he had suffered a punctured eardrum earlier in the week.
"I don't know if it was because of what happened [Friday], but I don't think he should base his decision on one exhibition game," Williams said.
Walsh, who didn't attend practice on Saturday or yesterday, was one of two juniors on a team without seniors. But with the arrival of freshmen Keith Booth, of Dunbar High, and Nick Bosnic, a 6-7 swingman from outside Pittsburgh, Walsh evidently didn't see an opening in Williams' regular rotation.
"I think he felt he'd be ahead of Bosnic and [sophomore] Kurtis Shultz," said Williams. "I'd like to be able to play everybody. But someguys get to play more than others. We're like everybody else in the country."
Walsh was recruited out of a prep school in Connecticut after Lawrence Moten and Donyell Marshall, now all-Big East players at Syracuse and Connecticut, respectively, were rejected by Maryland's admissions office in the spring of 1991.
After showing some promise as a freshman -- Walsh's best game came that year in a 10-point, six-rebound performance during a road win at Florida State -- Walsh underwent back surgery before last season and played sporadically. Appearing in 25 of the team's 28 games, Walsh averaged 2.5 points and 1.4 rebounds in 177 minutes.
The announcement by Walsh follows sophomore center Nemanja Petrovic's decision Oct. 31 to transfer. Petrovic, who is reportedly headed to St. Joseph's, felt he wouldn't get enough playing time behind another highly-touted freshman, Joe Smith.
"I'm disappointed because he was doing well in school and he had set up a major for himself in sports management," Williams said of Walsh. "Given the situation he was in, basketball is not his future, academics is his future."
NOTES: The Terps will play their second exhibition tonight against Verich Reps at 8 before opening up the regular season Friday against Georgetown. One of two Ohio-based teams representing the same company, this group beat Wake Forest TC last week and lost to UNLV over the weekend.