Joshua Smith has left the UCLA Bruins on Wednesday, despite the coaching staff's push to make him reconsider. Tracy Pierson of BruinReportOnline broke the news and reported that Smith didn't appear at Tuesday's practice.
Smith informed UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero of his intentions Wednesday, and UCLA confirmed the news later in the afternoon, issuing a release that said he is leaving for personal reasons. The school granted his release.
"I have made the decision to leave the program for personal reasons," Smith said in the statement. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCLA and am grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to me here."
Los Angeles Times reporter Baxter Holmes said a source told him of the news yesterday and that Smith missed practice because of weight issues.
Struggles with weight have been the theme for the 6'10, 305-pound junior, whose numbers have gotten worse through his two-plus seasons on Ben Howland's team. Smith was averaging 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this year in just 13.5 minutes per game.
Smith leaves UCLA with a career high of 24 points against the Washington Huskies in February. He played in 17.2 minutes per game his sophomore season and 21.7 a night during his freshman campaign.
Smith is the second transfer for Howland's team in the past week. Wing Tyler Lamb announced his transfer on Sunday.