De La Rosa

Kent State center Adonis De La Rosa warms up before the Flashes conference matchup against Bowling Green on February 3, 2018. The Flashes lost to Bowling Green 70-62

The Kent State men's basketball team's interior depth suffered a sizable blow Tuesday, as 7-foot center Adonis De La Rosa received his release from the program, multiple sources close to the program confirmed to KentWired.

De La Rosa, a native of the Bronx, started in 32 of Kent State's 34 games in the 2017-18 season and averaged 11.8 points per game, a mark good for third on the team. De La Rosa had a tumultuous run before coming to Kent State, spending a year at St. John's before attending Williston State College in North Dakota. 

Multiple sources also confirmed to KentWired that the team was notified of De La Rosa's release on Sunday, and it has begun to plan for life without the big man. 

De La Rosa's size made him one of the most formidable centers in the Mid-American Conference. De La Rosa recorded a total of 49 blocks in his two seasons with the Flashes, and he made life difficult in the paint for opposing centers on a regular basis.

De La Rosa spent his first season playing under the tutelage of Kent State center Jimmy Hall, and finished the year averaging 3.7 points per game. De La Rosa still had the occasional flash of potential in relief of Hall, such as when he forced four charges against Buffalo in the MAC tournament two seasons ago. 

De La Rosa injured his leg in the waning minutes of Kent State's loss to Buffalo in the MAC tournament this March, and had successful surgery on his knee in March.

With De La Rosa's departure, the Flashes now lack a traditional "center" on their roster. Six-foot-eight forward Philip Whittington could be an option to fill De La Rosa's spot in the middle. Whittington sat out last season after transferring from the University of South Carolina Upstate. Six-foot-nine forward Danny Pippen could also plug into De La Rosa's spot because of his ability to shoot from the outside. He finished the season shooting 35 percent from three on 93 attempts, and he concluded the year averaging 6.8 rebounds per game. 

When reached by KentWired, a member of the athletic department said they were "unable to comment."

De La Rosa has one year of college eligibility remaining.

UPDATE: De La Rosa confirmed to Cameron Hoover that he intends to transfer from Kent State basketball. In what he called an official statement, De La Rosa said he is excited to expand his talents beyond the Kent State basketball program, and he is "anxious to see what his next step will hold."

A source within the athletic department added that, as of right now, De La Rosa "has not received any official release from the [Kent State men's basketball] program." 

Henry Palattella is the editor-in-chief. Contact him at hpalatte@kent.edu.

Cameron Hoover is the managing editor. Contact him at choove14@kent.edu.

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