What was shaping up to be one of the best basketball careers at Central Connecticut State took a surprising turn Tuesday night when Kyle Vinales announced he would be transferring from the school for his final two years of eligibility.
“I’ve been thinking about it, me and my family, for a couple of weeks, going back and forth and came to the decision yesterday,” said Vinales Wednesday night.
Around 7:30 p.m. Vinales tweeted his sudden decision.
“I appreciate everyone at CCSU [that’s] supported me [and] helped me over the past 2 years but I am deciding to play my remaining 2 years elsewhere,” tweeted Vinales.
Vinales led the Blue Devils to a 13-17 record in the 2012-13 season (9-9 in the Northeast Conference) and the seventh seed in the conference tournament where the Blue Devils fell to Wagner College 72-50 in the first round. The Detroit native scored a program record 649 points last season and became the 35th player in school history to reach the 1,000 point mark; and the fastest at that. It took him only 52 games to do so.
As a freshman, Vinales was named NEC Rookie of the Year and this past year he had one of the best season’s in CCSU history, averaging 21.6 points per game; named first team all-conference. The high point of the year for Vinales and the Blue Devils home crowd may have been in the waning seconds of what looked to be another loss to in-state rival Quinnipiac. “KV3” took the game into his own hands, dribbled in front of his bench and then with about six seconds left, pulled up from 28 feet and sank a dagger, defeating the Bobcats for the first time in the last nine meetings.
On February 14, Vinales dropped a CCSU Division I record 42 points in a 101-82 loss to Wagner on Staten Island. That marked the seventh time in his career he went over 30 points in a game and the first and only 40 point game he would have for CCSU.
The sophomore, who had said in recent interviews he would not leave New Britain made the surprise announcement to be released from his scholarship at the end of the year, joining Adonis Burbage and redshirt freshman Erik Raleigh on the most recent NCAA transfer list.
“I think everybody was shocked, because throughout the season I never said anything about leaving,” said Vinales, who has nothing but praise for his coach and teammates.
“I always enjoyed playing for Coach D. and all my teammates, that’s why it was so hard. I’m going to miss my teammates and the coaching staff a lot,” said Vinales.
Vinales has not yet decided on a new school and cannot be in contact with other programs until the paperwork to be released from his scholarship is finalized. He will have to sit out a year if he transfers to a Division I program.