RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Courtney Alexander, suspended indefinitely from the Virginia basketball team after he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend, said Thursday he will not return to the Cavaliers.

Alexander led Virginia in scoring last season at 14.8 points per game.

``It's not in the university's best interest or Courtney Alexander's best interest to go back to UVa,'' Alexander said from his home in Durham, N.C.

The junior forward denied a radio report that he would attend the University of Connecticut and said he will choose from a list that also includes Syracuse, Kansas, UCLA and Georgetown.

``Right now, I'm open. ... I'm looking at different schools. It's more of me finding the best possible school for me and my future. As far as the UConn rumor, there's other schools I'm interested in,'' he said.

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, in a statement to the Hartford Courant, said Alexander has contacted the Huskies about the possibility of a transfer.

``We have received an inquiry ... and we have talked to him,'' Calhoun said. ``That's all I can tell you.''

Cavaliers coach Jeff Jones, who banned Alexander from all team activities the day after he was arrested, declined to discuss Alexander's departure.

``Until this whole thing is played out, I won't have any public comment,'' Jones said.

The university did release a statement Thursday saying it had granted Alexander permission to contact schools to which he might be interested in transferring. Such permission is required by the NCAA.

Wherever Alexander transfers, he will be ineligible to play at any Division I school until the fall of 1998, according to NCAA rules.

Alexander was arrested July 18 after his girlfriend, Joiel Coleman, 21, told police that Alexander hit, choked and kicked her in the ribs at their Charlottesville apartment. Coleman is the mother of Alexander's infant child.

Alexander was charged with assault and battery. A court hearing is scheduled Aug. 25 in Albemarle County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Coleman, however, is willing to withdraw the charge, Alexander's attorney claimed in a document he filed with the court on Aug. 11. Prosecutors, however, are not obligated to drop the charge.

Alexander would not comment on why he decided to leave Virginia before the criminal case is resolved.

The 6-foot-6 forward started 42 of 53 games since he joined Virginia two seasons ago.

The team will survive without Alexander, said sophomore center Colin Ducharme.

``I don't know if we're hampered at all. I really think we're going to come out and have a good year,'' Ducharme said. ``I hope Courtney does well at whatever school he goes to. I look forward to playing against him.''