March 30, 1998
CLEMSON, SC -Clemson head basketball coach Rick Barnes announced Monday that junior forwards Tony Christie and Iker Iturbe will not return for the 1998-99 season. Both players had one year of eligibility remaining.
Barnes said Iturbe has opted to graduate this summer and turn professional in his native Spain. Iturbe just finished his fourth season at Clemson. He red-shirted 1995-96 due to injury. Christie has announced that he plans to transfer to another school. He will have to sit out next season if he goes to a Division I school, then play in 1999-2000.
Christie started 25 of Clemson’s 32 games last season and averaged 8.0 points per game. He led the Tigers in three-point shooting percentage with a .415 mark on 54-130 three-point goals, fourth in the ACC. He became just the sixth forward in Clemson history to make at least 50 three-point goals in a season. His top contest was a 19-point outing at Florida State when he made 5-10 three-point goals.
Iturbe started 25 of Clemson’s 31 games last season and averaged 5.8 points per game. He also pulled down 2.6 rebounds and shot 47 percent from the field in 17 minutes per game. He scored a career high 19 points on 8-9 shooting in Clemson’s two-point loss to Duke in the ACC Tournament. He finished his career with 176 assists in 91 career games. He had a 6.1 career scoring average.
“Iker wants to go ahead and graduate this summer and then turn professional,” said Barnes of his second signee as Clemson coach back in 1994. “There is a rule change in the Spanish pro league that will reduce the number of foreign players on each team and thereby open up more jobs for players from Spain. He is ready to return home after seven years in this country and turn pro.
“Tony has been thinking about transferring for some time. He would like to transfer to a school closer to his home (Hartford, CT). We talked at length over the weekend and that is what he wants to do.
“Both players have meant a lot to this program and I wish them both the best.”
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