Roburt Sallie, a junior guard for the University of Memphis, has announced that he will not return to Memphis to finish out his final year of eligibility. "I am grateful for my two years in Memphis, and no matter where I go on from here, Memphis and Tiger basketball fans will hold a special place in my heart," said Sallie. He plans to either pursue a career in Europe or to finish his final year of NCAA eligibility at a school that is closer to his home in Sacramento, California. He would be eligible to play immediately assuming that he graduates in August as planned.
Sallie played with the Tigers for two seasons after transferring from Laurenberg Prep in North Carolina. He started in 21 of the 70 games he played for Memphis. During that time, he averaged 8.2 points and 1.2 steals. He also had a field goal percentage of 43.2%, but was slightly more effective from beyond the arc at 43.8%. Coach Pastner had this to say regarding Sallie's decision, "Tiger Nation should be appreciative of what Roburt did while wearing the Blue and Gray. Roburt gave his all in his two years here, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have coached him."
The game most Tiger fans will remember him for is the one against Cal St Northridge in the first round of the 2009 NCAA tournament. During this game, he hit ten three pointers, the second most three pointers ever made in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
There are likely several factors involved in his decision to leave, the most obvious being his age. If he returned, he would play next season as a 25 year old. Also, he is graduating in August. There is also the fact that his playing time would likely decrease thanks to the stellar recruiting class that Pastner has assembled. Possibly most influential, however, is the fact that his father is battling cancer. If he does return to college, he will certainly be closer to his father.
Sallie contributed a lot to the University of Memphis, and he will be missed.