Breaking News: UCLA Center Joshua Smith Leaves Program

Matt WagnerCorrespondent IINovember 29, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20:  Joshua Smith #2 of the UCLA Bruins takes a shot in the first half against the Georgia Bulldogs during the Legends Classic on November 20,2012 at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

UCLA center Joshua Smith, who has been significantly affected by conditioning issues throughout his career, has announced his decision to leave the program. 

Smith's career started out promising as the No. 4 center in the country (rated by Rivals.com), received Pac-10 All Freshman recognition and averaged a solid 11 points and six rebounds per game in his first season.

However, it has been all downhill this season as Smith has averaged just five points and four rebounds in 14 minutes a game, compared to 22 minutes per game in his freshman year. 

Smith left the team due to "personal reasons," according to ESPN

"I have made the decision to leave the program for personal reasons. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCLA and am grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to me here."

Smith is the second player to leave the team this season, as junior Tyler Lamb announced his intentions to transfer on Monday. 

It has been a tumultuous season for the Bruins this season as UCLA is 4-2 and fell to lowly Big West team Cal Poly on Monday. As a result of the Cal Poly defeat, as well as a loss to Georgetown earlier this year, the UCLA has fallen from the No. 11 team in the nation to out of the Associated Press Top 25 Rankings.

UCLA head coach Ben Howland, who has been at the helm of the program since 2003, is on the hot seat due to the Cal Poly loss and could be fired soon if the season does not turn around. 

At this time, it is unknown if Smith will transfer.

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