Tai Strickland’s stay with the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team was a short one.
Strickland, a point guard who appeared in 16 games as a true freshman, is leaving the program after one season. The Florida native announced on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that he was transferring.
“Thank you to my teammates, my brothers, for everything y’all have done for me,” Strickland wrote. “I’ll always root for your success. I also want to thank Coach (Greg) Gard and staff for giving me this opportunity, but at this time I have decided to transfer from Wisconsin and continue my career elsewhere.”
Strickland politely declined further comment when reached on his cell phone by the State Journal.
“Our coaching staff had several conversations with Tai following the season,” Gard said in a statement. “As we discussed his future, finding a new opportunity was important to Tai. Our program is thankful to Tai for what he gave our team this season and we wish him future success both on and off the court.”
The UW coaching staff was excited when they added Strickland, who chose the Badgers over finalists Minnesota and Rutgers, as the final member of a three-man 2018 recruiting class last spring. The other two members of that class, Taylor Currie and Joe Hedstrom, both redshirted.
Strickland appeared to be in line for a spot in the rotation once backup point guard Trevor Anderson was lost to a season-ending knee injury in late November.
But Strickland ended up playing only 50 minutes, and 17 of those came in a non-conference game against Savannah State in mid-December. He appeared in only nine games, for a total of 11 minutes, against Big Ten opponents.
Both of UW’s starting guards, juniors-to-be D’Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison, will return next season. Davison played point guard as a freshman and moved to that spot this season when Trice was on the bench.
That would have left Strickland competing for playing time off the bench.
Strickland is the fourth player in the last two years to leave UW with eligibility remaining. Jordan Hill left as a graduate transfer following the 2016-17 season, Andy Van Vliet transferred to William & Mary after the 2017-18 season and Alex Illikainen left the program early in the 2018-19 season.