UCLA guard Matt Carlino to transfer

UCLA freshman guard Matt Carlino has left the team and will transfer at the end of the quarter, coach Ben Howland said Friday.

Carlino has not yet played in a regular-season game and will still have four years of eligibility remaining.

Carlino said in a statement that he had not yet determined his schools of interest and thanked Howland for the opportunity at UCLA.

"I believe a new destination would be much healthier for me both personally and athletically," Carlino said. "I sincerely apologize to all those, especially those closest to me, who may find my decision disappointing, and I want to wish all of my coaches and teammates at UCLA best of luck going forward."

Howland said playing time was a factor in Carlino's decision. He suffered a concussion in early November and missed the first three games of the season because of it, but still hasn't gotten any action even though he's been cleared to play the past four games.

"It really caught me off guard because I wasn't expecting this," Howland said. "I didn't see him being down or lowly this whole time, so it was a surprise. I understand why it's hard after you're used to being the star of your high school team, which most of these kids are."

Carlino, who graduated high school early so he could enroll at UCLA this season, averaged 13.4 points and 4.3 assists in leading Bloomington South High to a 23-1 record and into the Indiana 4A State Regional finals. He was a point guard in high school but was going to play shooting guard for the Bruins. His departure leaves the Bruins (3-4) with only nine eligible scholarship players.

"It's obviously disappointing because it leaves us short-handed," Howland said. "Where it will hurt us is if we come down with a significant injury."

Peter Yoon covers UCLA for ESPNLosAngeles.com.