MEN'S HOOPS: Dinger's Done

By at December 17, 2010 | 11:02 PM | Print

The whispers became reality Friday afternoon for the Nebraska men's basketball program, as sophomore forward Christian Standhardinger officially announced his departure from NU after spending last two weeks on academic suspension.

While Standhardinger ended the academic semester “on a high note,” head coach Doc Sadler said, the 6-foot-8 German import will still explore a transfer to a different school and, if there's no good fit, a spot on a professional team overseas.

"It was not an easy decision for me," Standhardinger said. "I feel bad that I will not be a part of the team, and I like, and more importantly, respect all of my teammates. I will always cheer and pull for them and hope they reach their goal of getting to the NCAA Tournament. I'm just a young man who is trying to make the right decision to be able to eventually provide and take care of my family.”

Said Sadler: "I've enjoyed coaching Christian. He brought tremendous energy and competitiveness to the court, and has really worked hard academically to finish the semester on a high note. That is a credit to him and it has not been easy, but he showed how important academics were to him. I wish him the very best."

Standhardinger, one of Sadler's most promising recruits, took a long road to Lincoln, sitting out last fall because of a NCAA ruling. In his career debut at Texas A&M in January 2010, he scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. But his minutes fluctuated throughout the Big 12 Conference season, as Sadler said Standhardinger had to adjust to an American game.

Only once in his entire Husker career did Standhardinger log more than 30 minutes in a game for the Huskers – scoring 25 points and grabbing eight rebounds in a 78-74 loss to Iowa State. In the following game, he played just 15 minutes vs. Texas Tech in a 83-79 win. For the year, he averaged 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds. Extrapolated out to 30 minutes per game, however, and Standhardinger would have averaged 16 points and 7.5 rebounds.

In an interview with the Lincoln Journal-Star, Standhardinger said he considering transferring after last season, but did not “after a long talk with Doc.”

In 2011, Standhardinger averaged just 18 minutes per game despite being one of the team's leading scorers (9.5) and rebounders (5.5) through six games. Sadler suspended Standhardinger for academic issues shortly thereafter, and said he'd reexamine playing status at the end of the semester.

Standhardinger told the LJS he got discouraged over a lack of playing time and a family illness, and thus slacked off in class. He recovered by the end of the semester.

"I'm just leaving because of one reason, and that is because basketballwise, me and the program didn't fit,” Standhardinger told the LJS. “Me and the philosophy of Doc didn't fit."

Nine of Sadler's 23 recruits have left the program during the last four seasons. Another, guard Ray Gallegos, left, but returned.

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