It appears University of Cincinnati guard Zach Harvey may have played his last game in a Bearcats uniform.
For the first time since Harvey announced he was opting out of the remainder of the season due to the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cincinnati coach John Brannen on Friday publicly addressed the sophomore's decision to leave the team.
"I wanted to make sure that it's understood that that young man has gone through a lot," Brannen said. "I fully support his decision and I feel like he's had tremendous growth within this program. I'm really excited for whatever the future lies with him."
Harvey announced via Twitter on Tuesday night that he will no longer play for the Bearcats this season after averaging 6.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in 16.3 minutes in 12 games.
"I want to thank my teammates, the coaching staff and the fans here for the constant support during this time," he said. "This past month has been very difficult with Covid shutdowns, quarantines, and isolation. With that being said, I have decided to utilize the Covid Opt-Out option for this season. Thank you for your understanding."
The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Harvey is the fourth Cincinnati player to opt out, joining freshman guard Gabe Madsen, junior forward Mamoudou Diarra and graduate transfer Rapolas Ivanauskas. Diarra has since opted back in, while Ivanauskas joined BC Rytas, a professional club in Lithuania.
As of Thursday afternoon, Harvey had not entered the NCAA transfer portal and was still listed on UC's roster on the school's official website.
A former four-star recruit from the state of Kansas, Harvey played in 26 games last season, averaging 1.8 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 8.6 minutes. Harvey had the best game of his career on Jan. 10, scoring a career-high 19 points, including four 3-pointers, in 26 minutes in an 82-76 loss at Wichita State.
"It's just a blessing to be here and obviously be in my home state," Harvey said after the defeat. "It felt really good having my family in the building. Unfortunately, it was an L (loss). But I'm just happy to be home, for sure."
The Bearcats (7-7, 5-4 American Athletic Conference) then went on a 25-day layoff due to COVID-19 protocols. Harvey missed UC's first two games following the pause.
Harvey had zero points in 11 minutes in a 69-68 home win Sunday against Central Florida.
Cincinnati, which has won four straight, is scheduled to play at No. 6 Houston (17-3, 11-3) this Sunday. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. on ESPN.