Coach: Guard Oglesby leaving Clemson

Updated: May 27, 2009, 6:03 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Clemson sophomore guard Terrence Oglesby stunned head coach Oliver Purnell Tuesday by telling him that he was leaving the Tigers' program, signing with an agent and heading to play in Europe, Purnell told ESPN.com.

Oglesby didn't declare for the NBA draft but will forego the final two seasons of his eligibility by becoming a pro in Europe. Oglesby, who has a duel citizenship with a Norwegian passport, can play as a European instead of an American.

The news was first reported by boyshoopscout.com earlier Tuesday.

Oglesby averaged a third-best 13.2 points a game last season for the Tigers.

"It's true that Terrence is leaving Clemson and the expectation that he's signing with someone in Europe," Purnell said. "It hasn't been finalized yet or he hasn't gotten an agent. But he felt there were opportunities out there for him in either Spain or Italy."

Oglesby, who made 38.8 percent of his 3s, was considered one of the game changers if he got on a roll and hit a flurry of 3s.

Oglesby's father, Tony, played basketball in Europe. Terrence was born in Norway and played for that country in the FIBA under-20 championships in 2008.

Oglesby said in a statement released by the school that he had played internationally in the past and got the chance to play professionally in Europe. He enjoyed his time at Clemson. "My decision is based solely on chasing the dream of being a professional basketball player," he said.

Oglesby played overseas last summer to be seen for a possible future contract, but it came sooner rather than later. Oglesby leaves Clemson on a bit of a downer. He was ejected for a flagrant elbow in an NCAA tournament first-round loss to Michigan. Oglesby played only 13 minutes and shot a mortal 1 of 8 from the field. Oglesby was in tears in the postgame locker room, visibly upset about letting his team down. At the time, in Kansas City, he vowed that he would make it up to his teammates next season after he couldn't help the Tigers in the three-point loss.

"We lose shooting but we hope to be better defensively," said Purnell. "I was surprised by the European thing."

The Tigers could have lost leading scorer Trevor Booker to the draft, but he decided to return and not test the draft process. Booker is trying out for the World University Games team heading to Serbia this summer, which is coached by Wisconsin's Bo Ryan. Losing Oglesby means the Tigers will be without their top two scoring guards as second-leading scorer K.C. Rivers was a senior.

Oglesby is the second underclassman within a week to sign with a European team instead of trying the NBA draft. Florida's Nick Calathes decided to sign with a Greek professional team, according to a source, instead of waiting for the NBA draft. Calathes did, though, declare for the draft, unlike Oglesby.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com