Key to transfer from NIU, others exploring options

Redshirt-junior Jaylen Key runs down the court after inbounding during the Huskies' 77-75 Jan. 22 win over the 14th-ranked Buffalo Bulls.

DeKALB — Men’s basketball redshirt-junior forward Jaylen Key plans to leave the men’s basketball program and transfer from NIU.

Key doesn't know his next move but said he stands behind his decision.

"I just made the decision I felt was best for me," Key said.

Sources close to the team indicated that four other players may be considering their transfer options.

Key has been a fixture for NIU since the 2015-16 season when the Huskies went 21-13 for their best record since the 1995-96 campaign.

The Milwaukee native started in 26 of 34 games his first year and averaged 5.6 points and 3.6 rebounds on 45 percent shooting.

The following season, Key started 25 of 32 games, tallying career-high averages of 8 points, 4.3 rebounds on 48.8 shooting from the field.

Key redshirted the 2017-18 season due to a torn labrum and dislocated shoulder he suffered in June 2017.

He started the first three games of the 2018-19 season before being replaced by senior forward Lacey James in the starting lineup.

Key’s minutes played and scoring averaged decreased every month of the season starting in December, averaging 15.8 minutes in non-conference play and 10.2 minutes in Mid-American Conference games.