David Huertas Leaving Ole Miss Basketball Team

Kurt WirthCorrespondent IApril 14, 2009

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 12:  David Huertas #33 of The Ole Miss Rebels looks to pass the ball around  Michael Porter #13 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 12, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

In a surprising announcement, Ole Miss junior guard David Huertas—one of the SEC’s best scorers—is leaving the Rebels to pursue a pro career in his native Puerto Rico.

Huertas averaged 18.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, and shot an outstanding 80.6 percent from the charity stripe along with starting 28 of 30 games he participated in for 2008-09. He was clearly the Rebels’ leader heading into the 2009-10 season.

What makes this particularly shocking, however, is the outlook for Ole Miss. Barring Andy Kennedy being fired over a pending court case, this team brings back nearly everyone from a team that overachieved despite massive amounts of injuries. Ole Miss would have been favored to challenge MSU for the divisional title.

This loss, coupled with the transfer of sophomore Malcolm White, who averaged 7.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game along with starting 27 of the 31 games he played this season, leaves a squad expected to return nearly everyone now hurting in the depth department.

Tough offseason thus far for the Rebels.