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Villanova Guard Transfers to UCI : Basketball: Lloyd Mumford, dismissed from Wildcats for a ‘violation of team philosophy,’ will play for Coach Rod Baker, a longtime family friend.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Lloyd Mumford, a former backup guard at Villanova, says he is transferring to UC Irvine to join the basketball program.

Mumford, a 6-foot point guard, played in 24 games for Villanova last season, averaging 3.2 points and totaling 33 assists. He will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out next season as required by NCAA regulations. Mumford was a redshirt freshman last season, after missing the previous season with a broken leg.

"(Mumford) is strong, quick, can score and has great leadership abilities,” Irvine Coach Rod Baker said. “I’ve known the kid for a long time.”

Mumford was dismissed from the Villanova team this month after being arrested July 11 on suspicion of breaking into two suburban Philadelphia houses, although nothing was taken from either home. After Mumford claimed he was only looking for a girlfriend’s house, a judge dismissed charges of criminal trespass and criminal mischief on Aug. 6, finding him guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and imposing a fine.

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Villanova dismissed him before the trial, citing “violation of team philosophy.”

“I was disappointed,” Mumford said. “I was in a tough situation. My coach made his decision five or six days before the trial.”

Mumford said he chose Irvine over Cleveland State and Loyola Marymount “because it was the best place for me,” and because he has known Baker, a family friend, since childhood.

Mumford is the second transfer and the third new player to join Irvine’s program since Baker, a former Seton Hall assistant, was named coach last spring. Two players with remaining eligibility have left the school.

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The other player who has announced he is transferring to Irvine is shooting guard Keith Walker, who left California after last season. Walker, a former Brea-Olinda star, was Orange County’s leading scorer as a high school senior. Zuri Williams, a guard from Oakland Bishop O’Dowd High, signed a letter of intent, joining Elzie Love of Perris High School, who signed before Baker was hired.

Dylan Rigdon, a former Mater Dei player who would have been the leading returning scorer from Irvine’s 11-19 team, has transferred to Arizona, and Rick Swanwick, a reserve center from Trabuco Hills, has said he will play at Rancho Santiago College.


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