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December 29, 2009

Hinkle leaves team, plans to transfer

Vanderbilt reserve guard Charles Hinkle has decided to leave the Commodore basketball team and plans to transfer prior to the start of the spring semester. Commodore head coach Kevin Stallings announced the redshirt sophomore's intentions following the team's practice on Tuesday.

A native of Los Alamitos, California, the 6-foot-5 guard played in 10 games for the Commodores this season, averaging 1.4 points and 0.5 rebounds in 4.8 minutes of play. Used primarily as a defensive substitution for much of the season, Hinkle scored four points in the Commodores 99-59 blowout of Mercer prior to the Christmas break. He returned to campus recently and practiced with the team on Monday but did not practice with the team on Tuesday.

Stallings had stated in previous couple weeks that the Commodore bench would get shorter and that players would see their playing time diminish. Hinkle figured to be one of those players.

Hinkle was a late addition to the 2007 signing class and used a redshirt year during his true freshman season that winter. He played in 25 games for the Commodores last season, averaging two points and 0.9 rebounds in 8.4 minutes per contest. A five point, three rebound effort against Drake in the semifinal of the Cancun Challenge was perhaps the highlight of his first year on the court for the Commodores. With several players either sick, injured or ineligible, Hinkle logged a career-high 31 minutes, making several hustle plays that seemed to inspire his teammates. The depleted Commodores would win the tournament a day later.

"Charles is a great kid with an outstanding work ethic who comes from a good family, and we wish him the best," Stallings said in a release by the program on Tuesday. "We will do whatever we can to help Charles in his future basketball endeavors."

Hinkle came to the Vanderbilt program after spending a year at the Hebron Academy in Maine. There he averaged 16.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, catching the attention of several Division 1 schools during holiday tournaments with his hustle and perimeter offense. He chose Vanderbilt over offers from UAB, George Mason and St.Bonaventure. Iowa State was also close to offering before he decided on the Commodores.

Hinkle graduated from Los Alamitos High School in 2006, averaging 10 points and five boards as a senior. The two-time All-Sunset League performer led the Griffins to their first-ever sectional championship in 2006 and a semifinal finish in the California state playoffs.

Hinkle was pursuing a degree in Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt.

He is expected to transfer closer to a school closer his home in California.

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