Michigan's first departure comes as a bit of a surprise as Jon Horford has decided to play out his eligibility elsewhere.
"Jon has been an integral part of our many accomplishments over the last four years," said Beilein. "He brought great enthusiasm, leadership and work ethic to our program. Jon is a wonderful young man, who has a very bright future ahead of him. With his graduation this May, he will have the opportunity to play immediately at another Division I program. We will be rooting for him every step of the way."
Horford was likely going to have a serious role on next year's team as the only returning five outside of possibly Mitch McGary. The Wolverines will be getting Mark Donnal off a redshirt and adding freshman Ricky Doyle, but the optimal scenario was to work Donnal in as a 4/5 tweener and redshirt Doyle to put him on the same track as Donnal. Michigan may still be able to get away with a Doyle redshirt, but that would require McGary and possibly Robinson III both returning for another year.
On another note, it is sad to see Horford leaving to play elsewhere. Last season was certainly Jordan Morgan's swan song, but in the wake of McGary's injury, Horford took a big step forward and actually played at the same level as Morgan for Michigan's long winning streak. He was also a fun player to watch as he could both contest shots and was good for one improbable post up move every game or so. I had high hopes that Horford, like Morgan this year, would get a redemptive fifth year in maize and blue. Horford has seen a lot as a Michigan basketball player, and while he wasn't as central in Michigan's recent four year run of success, he was still a part of the team.
"My time at Michigan has been the most beneficial period of my life in terms of athletic development and overall enlightenment," said Horford. "The bonds created over the last four years are everlasting, and the memories made are truly priceless. As on all journeys, new paths must be taken and intuition must be trusted. I leave Michigan with nothing but love in my heart."
Best of luck to Jon Horford. It was a helluva ride, and I'm glad you were a part of it.