Sheay Longstaff, who joined the UMaine women’s basketball team last summer as a junior college transfer, has left the team.
Longstaff, who had junior eligibility, did not appear in an official game for the Bears after she suffered a knee injury during the team’s four-game exhibition tour of Canada in August.
The 5-9 shooting guard from Topeka, Kan., who came to Maine from Coffeyville Junior College in Kansas, underwent minor knee surgery in September and had been trying to work her way back.
“It was tough for Sheay, she did suffer that injury when we went to Canada,” said UMaine coach Cindy Blodgett, who explained Longstaff had come to her a couple of weeks ago to discuss her future.
“She’s going to move on and she’s not going to continue to play basketball anywhere,” she added.
Longstaff, who was a 3-point shooting specialist, apparently decided while rehabilitating the injury that she didn’t want to continue playing.
Blodgett admitted having been hesitant to offer a scholarship to Longstaff late in the recruiting process earlier this year, but thought it would be worth the risk if UMaine could acquire a consistent perimeter shooting presence.
“She can shoot the ball,” Blodgett said. “I do think she would have helped us in that regard.”
Longstaff could not be reached for comment.
Longstaff averaged 9.6 points, made 71 of 180 3-point attempts (39 percent) and shot 77 percent from the foul line last season as a sophomore at Coffeyville.
Longstaff’s departure leaves UMaine with 13 players, 12 of whom are on scholarship.
Turcotte coming off knee surgery
UMaine football running back Jared Turcotte is recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Turcotte missed five games, including the last four, during his junior season because of recurring problems with the knee. He had it operated on about two weeks ago, according to a report in the Portland Press Herald.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder rushed for 452 yards on 99 carries in six games this fall, averaging 75.3 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry. He scored three touchdowns.
Turcotte also caught 13 passes for 89 yards.
UMaine coach Jack Cosgrove said Turcotte is expected to make a relatively quick recovery from the surgery and should be able to participate fully in the Bears’ winter workouts and spring practices.
Turcotte told the PPH the focus will be to minimize wear and tear on the knee during practice and preparation so he can be healthier and more effective during games.
Turcotte, a former Fitzpatrick Trophy winner at Lewiston High School, missed the entire 2009 season after having surgery to repair two sports hernias in his lower abdomen. He was named an All-American after his redshirt freshman campaign in 2008.