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April 11, 2006
Downey averaged 11.9 points and 4.3 assists as a freshman last season, Cincinnati's first in the Big East. The Bearcats failed to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years, and finished 21-13 after losing to South Carolina in the quarterfinals of the NIT.
Downey, a high school player of the year in South Carolina, expected to play under Huggins at Cincinnati, but the coach was forced out by the school president shortly before the season began.
Andy Kennedy took over on an interim basis, and Downey indicated during the season that he would be interested in staying if Kennedy got the job. Instead, it went to Mick Cronin of Murray State, another former Huggins assistant. Kennedy has moved on to coach Mississippi.
Downey informed the school on Monday that he intended to transfer at the end of spring quarter. He will have to sit out a season if he transfers to another Division I school.
''Family is important to me, and I would like to take this opportunity to play closer to home, where my family can see me play,'' he said in a statement.
Downey, who is from Chester, S.C., didn't indicate where he hoped to play.