George Washington men's basketball freshman guard Miguel Cartagena has requested and been granted his release to transfer from the program, the school announced on Thursday.
The 6-foot Cartagena is the second member of the 2013-14 roster that reached the NCAA Tournament to leave the program this week. Earlier GW announced sophomore forward Paris Maragkos would be moving on.
Neither departure comes as a surprise. Cartagena averaged 1.0 points, 1.0 assists and 6.5 minutes over 32 games for GW in 2013-14. He posted season-highs with seven assists and 33 minutes against Dayton on Feb 1 in his lone start of the season in replace of injured starter Joe McDonald.
However the native of Puerto Rico received few minutes over GW's final nine games even with the absence of guard Kethan Savage limiting coach Mike Lonergan's rotation options.
Though starter Maurice Creek is graduating this spring, available minutes figure to be tight in 2014-15. McDonald returns as the Colonials starting point guard. Incoming freshman Paul Jorgensen, part of the five-player recruiting class, projects as the primary backup.
"We appreciate the contributions Miguel made to our team this past season and wish him well," Lonergan said.
The combination of transfers means the program has gained two scholarships. That's not a bad scenario seeing as Lonergan can look to add another high school recruit or a graduate transfer as he did last season with guard Maurice Creek. Players with a fifth-year of eligibility are able to transfer from one school and immediately play for another.
Names of those players are starting to leak out from schools across the country, a situation Lonergan and his staff will surely keep tabs on. Creek transferred from Indiana and not only became GW's leading scorer, but the missing piece for the team's NCAA Tournament push.
Keeping the scholarship open is another option. Forward John Kopriva will be the only scholarship senior on the roster next season. Adding a veteran big man to replace senior Isaiah Armwood and a perimeter shooting stand as the roster's biggest needs.