Flye, Smith leaving Lobo women's basketball - Albuquerque Journal

Flye, Smith leaving Lobo women’s basketball

N’Dea Flye (3), shown in action against Texas Tech last Dec. 6, said on Twitter that she is leaving the UNM women’s basketball program. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

The roster makeover continues for the UNM women’s basketball team.

Guards N’Dea Flye and Jasmine Smith, both of whom recently completed their freshman seasons, intend to transfer to other schools for 2018-19. Flye announced her intention to transfer via Twitter on Tuesday, and Lobos coach Mike Bradbury confirmed Smith also plans to leave the program.

Flye was a starter for most of her freshman campaign, averaging 6.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Smith appeared in 30 of UNM’s 36 games but her playing time dwindled late in the season. She averaged 3.1 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

UNM opened individual workouts for returning players this week, and Bradbury said the players’ departures became official Monday. He said both had been under discussion for more than a week.

Jasmine Smith (10) takes off on a fast break with UNLV’s Alyssa Anderson (20) following close behind in action on January. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

Flye thanked UNM “for a great freshman year,” in her Twitter announcement. She also thanked her teammates and quoted scripture in the tweet, which included, “I’d like to announce that I’ll be transferring from UNM and re-opening my recruitment.”

Bradbury said the decision for Flye to depart “was best for N’Dea and best for the team if we part ways,” he said.

Smith’s decision was driven by playing time and a desire to be closer to home, Bradbury said. Smith is from Houston.

“Jazz wants to play closer to home,” Bradbury said. “She told me last week she was thinking about transferring and I asked her to consider it over the weekend. This is her choice and I respect it.”

The Journal reached out to both players via social media for comment, but neither immediately responded.

The departures leave UNM with three open scholarships for next season going into the NCAA’s spring signing period, which begins today. Rising junior Mykiel Burleson also is leaving and has committed to Division II Texas A&M Commerce, where she’ll be eligible to play this season.

Roster turnover, while not entirely expected, has become part of the NCAA landscape, Bradbury said.

“There were over 1,000 transfers in Division I women’s basketball last year,” he said. “It happens and you just hope it works out for the best.”

With three underclassmen leaving, the Lobos figure to have three scholarships available. The Lobos lost four seniors from its 25-11 campaign in 2017-18. They had one scholarship open last season and will add Kansas transfer Aisia Robertson (already on scholarship), junior college transfer Ni’Asia McIntosh and four incoming freshmen.

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