Columbia star forward Alex Rosenberg withdraws from University, forgoing 2014-15 season


If Columbia basketball had hopes of building off its successful 2013-14 campaign in order to compete with Harvard for the Ivy title, the task has suddenly become much more difficult.

Already expected to miss the bulk of the team's nonconference schedule this season due to injury, Columbia senior forward Alex Rosenberg has withdrawn from the University and will not compete for the Lions during the 2014-15 season, The Columbia Daily Spectator reported Wednesday.

The news, confirmed by Columbia's athletic department, comes less than a month after the Lions announced that two other players -- senior guard Meiko Lyles and sophomore forward Zach En'Wezoh -- had decided to leave the team.

Last season, Rosenberg was one of the primary reasons for the Lions' success, playing a key role in helping Columbia reach a postseason tournament for the first time since 1968.

The Short Hills, N.J., native led the Lions in scoring last season, notching 16.0 points per game to go along with 3.7 rebounds per contest. Rosenberg finished third in the country in free throws attempted in 2013-14 and was named first-team All-Ivy at the end of the season.

In two games against the Quakers last year, Rosenberg averaged 19.5 points while shutting down Penn's frontcourt, particularly in Columbia's 74-55 win in March. Along with then sophomore guards Maodo Lo and Grant Mullins, Rosenberg played an integral part in helping the Lions clinch their first winning season in conference play since 1992-93.

Picked to finish third in the Ivy League this upcoming season, Kyle Smith's squad will have its work cut out for itself. Still, while Rosenberg is forced to miss the entirety of Columbia's schedule due to his withdrawal, he may be eligible to return in 2015-16 for one final season with the Lions.

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