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Freshman Jordan Neff leaves FGCU to attend school closer to Georgia home

Aug 7, 2013, 8:42 PM EDT

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A few months before the FGCU Eagles went on their NCAA tournament run that captivated fans throughout the country, 6-7 forward Jordan Neff signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Atlantic Sun school.

Having led North Cobb (Ga.) High School to a 26-5 record, the Kennesaw native was a newcomer many were excited about even with the change in head coach from Andy Enfield (now at USC) to Joe Dooley. However, plans have changed.

On Wednesday afternoon the school announced that Neff has decided to leave the program, citing family concerns as the reason for his departure. Neff, who averaged 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game last season, will attend Gordon State College (Ga.) according to the Naples (Fla.) Daily News.

“I’d like to thank coach Dooley, the staff and my teammates for helping me improve on and off the floor the past few months,” Neff said in the release announcing his decision. “While this is a difficult decision for me to make, I know that at this time it is the right one for not only me but also my family. I wish my teammates and FGCU all the best this year.”

While the loss of a valuable commit is never celebrated, FGCU won’t be crippled by Neff’s departure. The Eagles lost just two seniors from last season’s team (guard Sherwood Brown and forward Eddie Murray), and with four starters returning there’s more than enough experience for coach Dooley to work with.

There’s also the addition of Marquette transfer Jamail Jones, who’s now eligible to play after sitting out the 2012-13 season per NCAA transfer rules. With Neff’s decision to leave the program FGCU will add just one freshman this year, 6-7 forward Logan Hovey, with three Division I transfers sitting out the 2013-14 campaign.