Boston University senior forward Jake O’Brien has asked for and been granted his release, a university spokesman confirmed on Thursday.
The America East Rookie of the Year in 2009, when he averaged 12.5 points and 4.6 rebounds a game for the Terriers, O’Brien has missed most of the past two seasons with recurring foot injuries.
A Weymouth, Mass., native and Boston College High School product, O’Brien broke the navicular bone in his left foot in a game against UMass in December 2010 and missed the remainder of the 2010-11 season after having surgery. He reinjured the foot prior to the 2011-12 season, and again sat out after having a second surgery on the foot.
CBS Sports’ Jeff Goodman first reported the news on Wednesday, saying O’Brien will seek to transfer to a school with a chance to play in the NCAA tournament next season. BU is ineligible for the America East championship in 2012-13, since the school announced its intention to join the Patriot League beginning in 2013-14, making an NCAA berth unlikely.
The 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward would be eligible to play immediately after transferring, because of the NCAA’s hardship rule.
O’Brien’s departure means the Terriers enter the 2012-13 season with no seniors on the roster. Instead, the Terriers will have to rely on a trio of juniors led by point guard D.J. Irving, the team’s second-leading scorer in 2011-12.
In coach Joe Jones’ first season in charge, the Terriers finished 16-16 (including 12-4 in AE) and lost in the quarterfinals of the AE tourney to Hartford.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.