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Posted on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 11:34 p.m.

Colton Christian explains his decision to leave the Michigan basketball program

By Nick Baumgardner

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein extended banquet invitations to all three recent transfers.

Christian, Colton (Crop).jpg

Colton Christian

But only one, former forward Colton Christian, opted to accept.

Christian was on hand Tuesday at the William Davidson Player Development Center to celebrate Michigan's 2011-12 season. And, despite his choice to leave the team, says he holds no bad feelings toward Michigan.

"We all have mutual respect for each other," Christian said. "They invited all of us to come back and I just thought it was the right thing to do."

Christian was one of three players, along with Evan Smotrycz and Carlton Brundidge, that decided to transfer last month.


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The 6-foot-6 forward appeared in 47 games during his Wolverine career, averaging 4.3 minutes per game.

In the end, he said he chose to leave with hopes of finding more playing time elsewhere.

"(I wanted to) play more," he said. "I love the coaching staff and the players here, but (I'd like to) play more and they understood how I felt."

Christian said he plans to wait until the current semester is over to make a decision about where he'll play next.

He said he's heard from roughly 10 schools about a possible transfer, mostly mid- to high-mid-major programs. He opted not to name any specific programs, though.

Christian was brought on stage and recognized by Beilein with the team's other sophomores, and was even given a special mention by senior Stu Douglass during his farewell speech.

He's moving on in life, and will do so with no regrets.

"I just want to get more playing time, just really go somewhere that I feel that I can make an impact on the court," he said. "I felt like I helped the team a lot in practice here, but I'd like to take the next step and go play some more."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Susie Q

Thu, Apr 12, 2012 : 12:44 a.m.

Colton Christian's good character and maturity are certainly on full display here. Very classy departure. He was forthright in his desire for more playing time and in his love for the game. Best of luck to him. He is certainly a "Michigan Man", even if he is leaving.


Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

Class act Colton! Class act!


Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

Fair enough. Good luck, Colton.


Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

I really respect this player for showing up to the team banquet despite certain internal feelings of nervousness about his upcoming transfer. And then to face the media and answer honestly---this speaks of the player's character and team first attitude. He was part of the B10 championship and he celebrated with his team, even if he is leaving. Brundidge? Of course he didn't show up. Based on his comments, he was too selfish, and he probably thought he deserved the MVP or something. Smot? Too bad he didn't follow Christian's lead and show up to support his team and celebrate his important part of a championship. Must be some bad blood between him and the coach is my guess.


Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

Beilein probably challenged Smot a lot because he believed in the kids talent, and Smot probably saw the challenges as "meanness." I see it in my college students, who believe that my asking for them to keep working at their ideas as being "too hard on [them]." Brundidge is a shame, too. Both should be happy to be pushed to excellence by the coaches, and to grow up to be men -- not petulant boys. Some kids can't see long term goals of those teaching/coaching them. I respect Christian's love of the game enough that he wants to simply play while he's young. That's a valid reason for a guy who knows he's not a star. I do think he played solid defense and could have been more help had Beilein given him more time.