Spencer Laurie, a sophomore guard for the Missouri men’s basketball team, has decided to transfer at the end of the spring semester, the Missouri athletic department announced Thursday.
“Spencer has epitomized what being a student-athlete and teammate is all about,” Missouri coach Quin Snyder said in a release. “I appreciate all of the contributions he has made while he has been here and the attitude he brought to the court each and every day. We wish him nothing but the best.”
According the athletic department, Laurie has not yet determined where he will transfer, but it seems likely he will seek a situation that allows him more playing time than he has had with the Tigers.
Among the probable candidates is Southwest Missouri State. Laurie is a Springfield native, and his younger brother, Shane Laurie, was recruited to play for the Bears next season. Laurie is also a good friend and former high-school teammate of SMS forward Deven Mitchell.
Laurie, who played in seven games for the Tigers in the 2004-05 season, tore tissue in his knee during a practice in December. He was also sidelined early in the year after twisting his right ankle. He sought a medical redshirt after the season to restore his year of eligibility. The NCAA has yet to rule on his request.
“Mizzou is a special place to me, and I have had a very positive experience during my time here,” Laurie said in a release. “I thank Coach Snyder and his staff for the opportunities I have had the last two years and wish them the best of luck in the future.”
In Laurie’s absence, freshman Jason Horton emerged as Missouri’s primary point guard. Having played 30.6 minutes per game this season, Horton would likely have taken most of the minutes at point guard away from Laurie next season. Horton dished out 103 assists and committed 73 turnovers. Laurie averaged 10 minutes, handing out 12 assists and committing 10 turnovers.
Spencer Laurie is the nephew of Bill and Nancy Laurie, longtime Columbia residents and heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune. The Lauries donated $25 million toward the construction of Mizzou Arena, the largest amount given to the Missouri athletic department.
Bill Laurie owns the St. Louis Blues professional hockey team and the team’s venue, Savvis Center.