Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 4/9/12
MINNEAPOLIS Gophers sophomore guard Chip Armelin has been granted his release from the program, the University of Minnesota announced Monday. He will remain on campus as a student for the remainder of the semester, however. Armelin, a Louisiana native, averaged 5.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per game this season and played in all 38 of Minnesota's games. But his playing time diminished significantly in the postseason, especially the NIT. He played just three minutes in the Gophers' opening-round NIT game against La Salle, seven minutes against Miami, four minutes against Middle Tennessee and five minutes in an overtime win against Washington. As a freshman last year, Armelin averaged 11.1 minutes per game and scored 4.4 points while grabbing 1.4 rebounds a game. "Chip has been a valuable part of our program for the past two seasons," Gophers head coach Tubby Smith said in a statement. "He has done everything we have asked of him and we are grateful for his contributions to this program on and off of the court. We are sad that he has elected to leave but certainly want to wish him the very best." Armelin's departure will free up a scholarship next season, which could be used for Trevor Mbakwe if he opts to return for his sixth season. Mbakwe was granted a sixth year of eligibility last month by the NCAA, but it remains unclear whether the star forward will want to play another season or opt to turn pro. Mbakwe tweeted on Sunday night: "Unfinished Business. I can't go out like this." But he later clarified what looked like an announcement on his future by tweeting that it was "(n)ot official yet." Mbakwe missed almost all of the 2011-12 season when he tore his ACL on Nov. 27. He was the Gophers' leading scorer and the Big Ten's leading rebounder during his junior season last year. Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter
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