By Elaine Stockdale
Missouri’s Kyley Simmons replaced starting point guard Lianna Doty after Doty fouled out late in the second half on Feb. 3, 2013 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
Sophomore Kyley Simmons will be transferring from Missouri due to personal reasons. The news was announced yesterday by Missouri women’s basketball head coach Robin Pingeton.
Simmons was starting point guard for the Tigers last season, but shared the role this year with freshman point guard Lianna Doty.
Simmons started in 27 of 32 games for Missouri and averaged 24.5 minutes per game this year. She also managed a total of 82 assists to 48 turnovers and 37 steals.
Simmons shed light on her decision to leave in a statement released yesterday by the Missouri women’s basketball team.
“Missouri has been great for me these past two years, and it’s a difficult decision to leave,” Simmons said in the statement. “My family and I agree that it is in my best interest to continue my education and career elsewhere.”
In her freshman year, during the 2011-12 season, Simmons was named on the All-Big 12 Freshman Team. She started in all 31 games, averaging 36 minutes per game. Simmons had 111 assists and 89 turnovers as a freshman,
In February, Doty spoke about Simmons importance to the team and how Simmons helped her development.
“We’ve linked arms on everything we do, so it’s been really good having her (Simmons) there,” Doty said in February. “When she talks to me, I listen to her, when I’m talking she’s the one right next to me.”
Doty replaced Simmons as starting point guard in the Tigers third game this season. As a result Pingeton started working on developing Simmons into a shooting guard throughout the season. However, in the limited time Simmons played juggling to grasp that role and fill in at the point for Doty, she didn’t quite fulfill the requirements. She shot 33 percent overall and averaged 29 percent for 3-pointers.
“We are sorry to see Kyley leave,” Pingeton said in a statement. “She was part of our first recruiting class here at Mizzou and we will miss her. We wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors.”
Simmons transfer leaves the point guard role solely to Doty. Doty had troubles late in the season with high turnover rates – she averaged 4.7 per game this season and fouled out in eight games. This may have led to her absence as starting point guard in the final seven games of the season.
But despite the troubles, Doty made the 2012-13 SEC All Freshman team this year and was fifth overall season leader in the SEC for assists (151).
Overall, Simmons recorded 193 assists in her two-year career with Missouri.
Pingeton said through a spokesman, “She (Simmons) will forever hold a very special place in all of our hearts. Although we were a bit surprised by her decision, we understand and respect that she has chosen to make a change for personal reasons.”