Much has been made of the high number of transfers which inevitably emerge during the college basketball offseason.
Already we’ve seen Boston College’s Ryan Anderson, a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 14 points and 7 rebounds a game as a junior, transfer to Arizona. Ian Chiles, a former IUPUI star, announced his intention to play for the Tennessee Volunteers.
And Kareem Canty of Marshall, who as a freshman led his squad with 16 points and 5.5 assists, announced a transfer commitment to South Florida before re-committing again, this time to Auburn.
The Transfer Effect
ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman tallies the total transfers for the year at about 625.
While that is a pretty high number, NCAA officials claim that the average transfer rate among D-1 college basketball players, between 13-14 percent, is lower than the national average of undergraduates switching schools, at about 20 percent.
Still, the transfer phenomenon is having a real effect on college basketball.
It’s forcing college coaches to consider leaving a scholarship spot open into the late months of the recruiting season – think March, April or May – rather than tying their hands by offering their last scholarships to highschoolers in the fall.
That has had a real effect on college basketball recruiting, according to CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, who said the majority of the coaches he talked to were seriously scouting transfers.
Unless they won over their top high school targets in the initial recruiting period, those coaches were stockpiling scholarships – after all, adding a transfer has the added bonus of getting a guy who already has Division I experience, has already adapted to the college atmosphere and has already been coached up by fellow coaches who can speak to the player’s character.
Of course, some top-flight schools haven’t needed to reach into the transfer pool.
Kentucky’s John Calipari, for example, can get pretty much any recruit he lays his eyes on. North Carolina and Kansas don't have any trouble recruiting straight from school either.
However, even a school as storied as Duke, has got in on the game.
Seth Curry, for example, who averaged 17.5 points per game on 46 percent shooting during the 2012-13 campaign. He transferred from Liberty College, where he was a 20-ppg scorer.
Then there’s Rodney Hood, who was drafted by the Utah Jazz in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft, after playing for the Blue Devils and, before that, Mississippi State.
The School Search
The lasting lesson of this is that getting scholarships is getting harder for high school players. Not only do they have to compete against their own recruiting class. Now they have to compete against hundreds of transfers.
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