Maryland forward Charles Mitchell has been granted permission to transfer from the program and will seek to move closer to home to tend to his ill grandmother, the school announced in a release on Thursday afternoon.
“I feel terrible for Charles and his family," Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement. "Although we will miss Charles, we understand and support his decision to move closer to his home so he can help support and be there for his family. I appreciate Charles’ commitment to our program and he will always be a part of our family.”
Mitchell averaged 6.5 points and 6.3 rebounds last season for Maryland in close to 19 minutes per game. He becomes the fifth player to transfer out of the program since the end of the 2013-14 season. He follows Roddy Peters, Nick Faust, Shaquille Cleare, and Seth Allen.
Peters has reportedly committed to play for South Florida. Faust is still looking for a destination after the school he originally committed to, Oregon State, fired head coach Craig Robinson. Cleare is headed to Texas. Allen will play for Virginia Tech.
In a statement from the school, Mitchell thanked Turgeon and the coaching staff but expressed his need to return closer to his home state of Georgia to be with his ailing grandmother.
"Knowing that she raised me and is still a very big part of my life, I decided to move closer to home," he said. "It’s important for me to be there for my grandmother and to help support my family. I didn’t want to leave, but I have to put my family first.
"I really enjoyed playing with my teammates and I’ve had a lot of great memories over the last two seasons. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and wish Maryland nothing but success in the future.”
Maryland now has four low-post players on scholarship for the 2014-15 season, following the signing Thursday of international forward Michal Cekovsky. Minus Mitchell, Cekovsky joins Trayvon Reed, Damonte Dodd, and Jonathan Graham.
Those four will will be added to Evan Smotrycz and Jake Layman to round out the frontcourt.