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Bison starting point guard Kabellis decides to transfer

Khy Kabellis of North Dakota State University looks to pass against four Oral Roberts players during the Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2016, game at the Scheels Center. Dave Wallis / Forum News Service

FARGO—The North Dakota State men's basketball program took a punch in the gut of sorts on Thursday, April 20, with the announcement that starting point guard Khy Kabellis intends to transfer. The decision took everybody by surprise, including the head coach.

Dave Richman said it was a "pretty short conversation" between he and Kabellis.

"Disappointment," he said. "He made a decision that was in the best interest for himself. We're disappointed, but we look forward to moving forward with a group of committed guys."

Richman said there were no signs that Kabellis was even thinking of leaving up until this week. He let his returning players know shortly before the athletic department released a statement of Kabellis' decision late Thursday afternoon.

"They didn't have much comment," Richman said of his players. "I believe that with the eight we have right now and four coming in that we have committed guys who understand what the program is about. They're excited to move forward with what we have, and they're not concerned with what we don't have."

Kabellis was a rock last season, rarely coming off the court. He averaged 11.2 points and was virtually tied for the team lead in minutes played, averaging 33.2 in a 40-minute game. He started all 30 games.

As a freshman, he was second on the team in minutes and averaged 8.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. He was especially electric in the 2016 Summit League tournament semifinals when he had 19 points in a win over top-seeded Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne. His career high of 25 points came this season against IPFW.

His departure means the Bison will either hand the reins to freshman Cameron Hunter, who redshirted this past season, or have shooting guards Paul Miller or Jared Samuelson play some point. NDSU still has at least two open scholarships "that we'll certainly poke around with," Richman said.

"Does it change us a little bit? Certainly," Richman said. "But our goals and expectations won't change."

Richman didn't know where Kabellis intends to transfer. He is from Escondido, Calif.

NDSU has two new guards for next season in junior college transfer Chris Quayle from Central Wyoming College and freshman Tyree Eady from Middleton, Wis.

Kabellis posted this on his Twitter account:

"I want to thank NDSU for all the great memories these past two years! I met a lot of great people and formed a ton of lifelong relationships. My family and I have decided that it would be best for me to transfer and further my education elsewhere. I'm very thankful for being able to be a part of the (Bison) family and wish everyone here nothing but the best."

Jeff Kolpack

Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.

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