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Sophomore Wally Ellenson leaves Minnesota, will focus on track and field

Minnesota sophomore Wally Ellenson has left the basketball program.

Gopher basketball coach Richard Pitino says the team respects Ellenson's decision. The university announced his decision Tuesday.

Ellenson, a native of Rice Lake, Wis., appeared in nine games for Minnesota this season, totaling 16 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and a steal. During his freshman season, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard overcame a broken left hand suffered early in the season to play nine games as a reserve.

Ellenson plans to remain on the Gophers' track and field team. Last year, Ellenson placed eighth in the high jump at the NCAA outdoor championships.