Vinny Zollo is back on the recruiting trail.
Zollo, who just completed his freshman campaign at Western Kentucky University, was granted his release this week by Hilltoppers coach Ray Harper and plans to transfer to another school next season. Zollo said Friday he spent the past two weeks evaluating his future.
“It was a long process that took about a week and a half,” he said.
Zollo said the whirlwind of change within the athletics department impacted his decision. The Hilltoppers changed coaches in the middle of the season and currently are looking for a new athletics director. Harper was given the job permanently
“When you have things like that go on, you have to step back and see what’s best for you,” he said. “The best thing was to take a step back and see what’s best for me, which was for me to move on and find a new place to go.”
The former George Rogers Clark High School standout evaluated his collegiate career after the Hilltoppers lost to eventual national champion Kentucky in the NCAA¿Tournament at the KFC¿Yum! Center in Louisville last month. The Hilltoppers made a successful run in the postseason and captured the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Western received the league’s automatic berth to the Big Dance, where it defeated Mississippi Valley State in the opening round of the tournament.
As a freshman, Zollo averaged 3.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. He played in each of the team’s 35 games and made 14 appearances as a starter. Zollo’s final game at Western was an 81-66 loss to Kentucky in Louisville. He dished out two assists and didn’t score in 13 minutes of action.
Zollo made a verbal commitment to play at Kentucky, but a coaching change from Billy Gillispie to John Calipari before his junior season at Clark forced Zollo to reopen his commitment to the Wildcats.
As for his future, Zollo said he’s keeping an open mind on his future destination.
“I’m going to try to determine the best place for me and where I need to be,” he said. “My main concentration (over the past few weeks) has been whether or not I was going to be at Western Kentucky.
I have four weeks left (at Western) and start taking some visits. It’s a decision that I’m going to have a lot of help with. Leaving (Western Kentucky) is the best decision for me.”