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Here is a look at the Hawkeyes' 2017-18 hoops opponents. Tyler Davis/The Register

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IOWA CITY, Ia. — The Iowa Iowa men's basketball team has lost its backup point guard on the eve of the season.

Christian Williams, a junior, told coach Fran McCaffery on Thursday that he plans to transfer closer to his hometown of Decatur, Illinois, the university announced in a news release.

Iowa opens exhibition play at 7 p.m. Friday against William Jewell College.

 

 

 

McCaffery granted Williams a release from his scholarship. Williams plans to finish out his academic requirements this semester before finding a new college,  the university said.

Williams was the starting point guard when the season began last fall but lost that role six games in to freshman Jordan Bohannon. A terrific defender at 6-foot-5, Williams struggled as a shooter and averaged 2.4 points and 1.6 assists while playing in all 34 games.

His departure leaves McCaffery with few options behind Bohannon. Junior Brady Ellingson, normally a shooting guard, played some at the point last year.

It also raises the possibility that McCaffery will turn to his oldest son, Connor, the Des Moines Register player of the year last season at Iowa City West who was planning to redshirt this season. Connor McCaffery also intends on playing baseball at Iowa this spring and is not currently on scholarship.

Williams told the Register at the Hawkeyes' media day last week that he was working on his outside shooting so he could get more playing time on the wing this season, knowing that Bohannon had a lock on the point guard spot.

"I just kind of see myself as a combo guard, not specifically at one position because I can do a little bit of everything," Williams said. "I"m kind of an all-around guard that you can throw anywhere."

“Christian is a terrific young man with tremendous character," McCaffery said in the university news release. "We are disappointed that Christian will no longer be a Hawkeye, but the players and coaches wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

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