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Tuesday, January 9, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Lopez Leaving UW Basketball Program

Seattle Times Staff Reporter

Alex Lopez, who was part of a five-man 1994-95 recruiting class that is the foundation for this year's University of Washington men's basketball team, has decided to transfer, Coach Bob Bender said today.

Lopez, a 6-foot-9 sophomore forward, has had little playing time with the Huskies. He averaged just eight minutes and 1.5 points per game last season and has averaged about the same this season.

He has been the ninth or 10th UW player into games this season, having been displaced by freshman 7-footers Patrick Femerling and Todd MacCulloch and 6-9 senior Mike Amos.

Lopez was part of the same recruiting class as MacCulloch and 6-8 forward Mark Sanford, the Huskies' leading scorer and rebounder. Also in that class were Jason Hartman, a key reserve this season, and Roberto Bergerson, who transferred out last spring.

Bender said Lopez is "one of best kids I've had in my program, a hard-working kid. Playing time is important to him. He hasn't played as consistently as he would like. . . ."

Bender said "this is best for him, to make a clean break at this time," because it will allow other schools time to clear a scholarship for Lopez.

Copyright (c) 1996 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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