Quinten Payne's stay in Muncie, Ind. didn't last long. Ball State officially confirmed Thursday afternoon that Payne, a freshman guard, has been granted his release and is transferring.
Originally committed to Loyola last year he was let out of his National Letter of Intent and signed with the Cardinals. This past season, as a true freshman, Payne appeared in 29 games, averaging 1.8 points and 11.9 minutes per contest.
It marks the end to a brief relationship and is another blow to a program coming off one of its worst seasons ever. Ball State went 5-25 (2-16 MAC) under first-year head coach James Whitford, beating just three Division I programs on the year. Fellow freshman Mark Alstork is also transferring and has been granted a release according to the university.
"We want to thank Mark and Quinten for their time here at Ball State," head coach James Whitford said in a statement. "They did an excellent job representing our university, both on and off the court. We support their decisions to find new schools, and we wish them the best going forward."
"It just wasn't really the right fit for me," Payne told Ben Breiner of the Muncie Star Press. "I didn't see myself really growing with what was there, had to make a decision just as a basketball player, pick the right place for me."
Ball State has now lost five members from its 2013-2014 roster. Key players Majok Majok, Chris Bond and Jesse Berry—all seniors—ran out of eligibility and now two key freshman have left the program. Ball State now has three open scholarships to fill in addition to the four recruits already signed to LOI's. Whitford's
The only returning starters are freshman Zavier Turner and Franko House and the bench has taken a significant hit. The team will be among the youngest in the MAC next season and could be in for another long year.