Earl Pettis, a graduate of Neumann-Goretti High who played at Rutgers for two seasons, said yesterday he is transferring to La Salle.

Pettis, a 6-foot-5 swingman, was granted his release by Rutgers earlier this week. He played in 31 games last season, with 20 starts, and averaged 4.6 points and 2.5 rebounds.

"I like coach [John] Giannini and the coaching staff," Pettis said. "I want to be a part of the program and help it. I think Coach cares about his players, and I like his style of play."

Pettis said he was "unhappy" at Rutgers.

"I didn't like the way I was being used," he said. "Plus, I was a little bit homesick, so I figured I'd come home and start over."

Pettis, who averaged 13.2 points in his senior year at Neumann-Goretti before spending a year at the Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C., will have to sit out next season under NCAA transfer rules.

Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or jjuliano@phillynews.com.