Isaiah Washington Transfers Out of Iona Months After Rick Pitino is Hired

Photo: Anthony Sorbellini -

Anyone could’ve seen this one coming. Former Gophers point guard Isaiah Washington has decided to transfer from the University of Iona, only nine weeks after Rick Pitino (Gopher’s HC Richard’s father) accepted the vacant head coaching position.

Washington, the co-founder of JellyFam, transferred from the University of Minnesota after his sophomore year. With the Gophers, he averaged 8.7 and 4.3 points per game in his sophomore and freshman years, respectively. You may remember his double-double against North Florida his freshman year.

But after his playing time diminished his sophomore year (16 minutes compared to 20 minutes his freshman year) and his grandmother not in the best of health, Washington transferred to Iona and then head coach Tim Cluess

In his lone year at Iona, Washington averaged 11.4 points, 4.0 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game, including an excellent effort vs. Monmouth in which he recorded a season-high 25 points.

Bad blood with the Pitino family

All good things must come to an end though, and for Washington that happened to be head coach Tim Cluess resigning after the season, due to health concerns

The elder Pitino hasn’t been Isaiah Washington’s biggest fan. He made this comment back when Washington played at Minnesota. What a small world…

“I like his team this year. I’m not crazy about the point guard position… Now, if Washington can mature out of the social media world and into the real basketball world of how to get it done, then they’ve got great promise. If not, he’s just got to find a different point guard and move in a different direction.” – Rick Pitino

The Jellyfam leader took to social media to show how he felt about the Rick Pitino hire at Iona. He quickly deleted the tweet. According to Washington’s longtime advisor Roosevelt Byers, that wasn’t the reason at the forefront of his transfer.

“At the end of the day, we appreciate what Iona has done, and Iona giving Isiah Washington the opportunity,” Byers said. “As you saw out there, he became comfortable toward the end and played pretty well. He proved from Minnesota from what he averaged there to this year, almost 12 (points), five (rebounds), and four (assists), this kid has a lot left in his tank.”

With Washington’s grandmother thankfully recovered and healthy, he figures to explore all options. There’s currently no information on where Washington will transfer, but coming out of high school, he received offers from Rutgers, Providence, Seton Hall, and VCU just to name a few.

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