Auburn Basketball: Willy Kouassi and Bernard Morena to Transfer

Brandon MillerContributor IMarch 19, 2012

Photo Credit: The Birmingham News
Photo Credit: The Birmingham News

Reports have been released that freshmen Willy Kouassi and Bernard Morena were granted full release from the Auburn basketball team and are expected to transfer.

Darien Knox, the players' coach and guardian, confirmed the news this afternoon.

Kouassi, who spent most of the season on the bench playing behind centers Rob Chubb and Adrian Forbes, averaged 1.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in 25 games this year.

He received more playing time down the stretch of SEC play, mainly because of his work ethic, which head coach Tony Barbee complimented throughout the season.

"He's a fighter and he's been fighting in practice," Barbee said during the season.

However, being relatively new to the game, Barbee also called Kouassi a "blank canvas" several games into the season.

Morena, who was injured before the season started, took a redshirt this past season and will have four years of college eligibility left.

Both players are native to the Ivory Coast and played together in high school at Central Park Christian in Birmingham.

With five signees joining the team next fall and only three seniors leaving, the departure of Kouassi and Morena isn't overly surprising.

Guard Varez Ward, who is currently under investigation by the FBI for point shaving, is not expected to return to the team, which will leave one scholarship open.