LARAMIE — Wyoming is down another player. This time for good.
Forward Lwal Dung is no longer with the team as he looks to get a start on a professional basketball career, Wyoming coach Allen Edwards said Monday. Dung was one of eight newcomers and three junior college transfers on the Cowboys’ roster this season.
It’s possible Dung, a native of Australia, will finish the academic semester at UW, though Edwards said Dung has not made a final decision on his immediate plans. But the 6-foot-7, 180-pounder ultimately wants to return home to start his pro career sooner rather than later.
“His situation is homesick, wanting to play professional basketball and feeling like he could better accomplish that by starting that right away,” Edwards said.
Edwards cited homesickness as the reason Dung wasn’t available for Wyoming’s game against Northern Colorado on Saturday. Edwards said after the Cowboys’ 86-78 loss that he was giving Dung the weekend to figure out what he wanted to do.
“In any case, we’ll support whatever he wants,” Edwards said then.
Dung averaged less than nine minutes in the four games he played in this season, scoring 1.8 points, grabbing 1.3 rebounds and dishing out 0.3 assists per game. He played a season-high 18 minutes against Boston College in the Fort Myers Tip-Off.
Wyoming is the fourth school in four years for Dung, who attended high school in Adelaide, Australia. He went to Tallahassee County (Florida) Community College as a freshman before averaging 12.1 points and seven rebounds last season at Neosho County Community College in Kansas.
His departure is the latest blow to the Cowboys’ frontcourt depth, though Wyoming is starting to piece some of it back together. Senior forward Jordan Naughton has yet to play in the regular season with a partially torn ACL but is on track to return in time for the start of Mountain West play in January. Hunter Thompson missed five games going through concussion protocol before returning against Evansville on Wednesday.
The 6-10, 235-pound Thompson has scored 15 points in each of his first two games back. Hunter Maldonado continues to get treatment on his back to deal with lingering spasms that have caused him to miss two games.