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New Mexico’s Elijah Brown announces intention to transfer

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The Lobos star will not be playing his final season in the Mountain West.

NCAA Basketball: New Mexico at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

New Mexico guard Elijah Brown announced Monday afternoon of his intent to perform a graduate transfer from the University of New Mexico, posting a goodbye message to the Lobo fanbase on his Twitter account.

The Orange County, California native signed to play for the Butler Bulldogs in January of 2013, months before he played his first collegiate game. He was rated as a 3-star recruit by ESPN, also receiving offers from Arizona State and Saint Mary’s among others.

After a season with Butler, where he scored 6.8 points per game but played a rather minimal role for his initial expectations, Brown transferred to New Mexico and sat out a season per NCAA rules.

With the Lobos, Brown immediately became a vital portion of the UNM attack, finishing second in the conference in points per game, third in three-point percentage and 33rd in the entire country in usage percentage, also leading his team.

Brown, the son of former Cleveland Cavalier head coach Mike Brown, ranked first in the MWCConnection Preseason Top 25 rankings for the ‘16-17 season and once again finished second in the conference in points per game. After a few bouts with sportsmanship issues this season, Brown was issued a one-game suspension by the league for next season, and it was soon rumored afterwards that he may decide to transfer from the university.

This is the second major transfer for New Mexico head coach Craig Neal in as many seasons. His son Cullen Neal, a consistent starter in his first three years at NM, left the program after a handful of instances of death threats and other complications with teammates and the New Mexico fanbase.

Craig Neal said in a statement that “(Brown) has matured and developed over the last three years, which led him to being one of the top Mountain West players the last two seasons.”

Brown joins key forwards Tim Williams and Obij Aget as vital departures for the Lobos as it embraces Craig Neal’s fifth season with the team.