Utes dismiss leading scorer

2012-01-19T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T16:07:31Z Utes dismiss leading scorerPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 19, 2012 12:00 am  • 

A loser in 13 of its 17 games this season, Utah hardly needed another problem.

But Wednesday, the Utes dismissed their leading scorer, Josh "Jiggy" Watkins, for a violation of team rules.

When the Utes take their home floor tonight against the Arizona Wildcats, they'll likely have freshman Kareem Storey at point guard instead of the senior.

In a statement, coach Larry Krystkowiak said Watkins' dismissal was necessary.

The coach had imposed a team-wide "zero tolerance" policy earlier this year.

"The integrity of our program as a whole cannot be sacrificed for any individual," he said. "The well-being of our program will always come first.

"This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.

"I really wish Josh well, and I hope he remains at Utah to finish his degree."

Watkins averaged 15.6 points per game, fourth-most in the Pac-12, and was fourth in the league with 4.81 assists per game.

In 11 games this year, he was either the leading scorer or tied for the team high.

Watkins, a senior who transferred from Howard College after the 2009-10 season, started all but one game this year. He was suspended Dec. 7 against Cal State-Fullerton after being late for a 7:45 a.m. practice.

The Utes then lost to the Titans 81-50, their most lopsided defeat in the history of the 43-year-old Huntsman Center.

Watkins' college career is ostensibly over.

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