Now that the Final Four is over, and with it the conclusion of another chapter of college hoops: transfer and draft season is upon us. Elevated to the center of the stage: proposals by the Division I Transfer Working Group to improve NCAA transfer policies.
There appears to be a good chance, too, that these new policies could be in place in time to have an impact on the 2018 football season, along with the 2018-19 basketball season.
Sticking with Hoops: Some ACC teams are searching the grad transfer market, looking for aid; while others are going the more traditional approach of trying to land an undergraduate transfer (one that would require a redshirt season).
However, let’s say over the summer we learn that ACC teams can add undergrad transfers without those players having to sit out; who could stand to benefit? (I wonder for some programs if that gap, between now and this summer, though, will deter them from going this route.)
ACC Teams to Keep an Eye On
In basketball, the Wolfpack are interesting for reasons on both sides of the coin. For instance: last month, sophomore center Omer Yurtseven asked for and was granted his full release from the school. Yurtseven is a very good offensive player, and an intriguing NBA prospect; he could jet for the draft.
However, as Joe Giglio of the News & Observer noted last week, Yurtseven could also transfer to another program, and not lose a year of game action. (According to Giglio, Georgetown is the hypothetical leader to land the 7-footer.)
If former NC State forward Omer Yurtseven doesn't go pro, he would be eligible to transfer under the new rule without sitting
— Joe Giglio (@jwgiglio) April 2, 2018
On the flip, Kevin Keatts and NC State are also in the market for a transfer; the Pack has contacted multiple transfer options — undergrad and grad. Obviously, the grad transfer path would provide State with an additional player for next season.
It would be a game-changer, however, if NC State could land an undergrad transfer — with multiple years of eligibility — that could play right away. The departure of Yurtseven, Lennard Freeman and Abdul-Malik Abu creates a minutes vacuum at team’s power positions.
A few weeks ago, I looked at the possibility of North Carolina adding a grad transfer to help at the point guard position. Right now, those minutes will be occupied by either 5-star combo guard Coby White or Seventh Woods. UNC rarely goes down the grad transfer path; Roy Williams may be completely comfortable rolling with those two as his primary ball handlers, too.
This proposed transfer policy could change that, though, right? The Tar Heels, who have an open roster spot, could find a player with ability, experience and years to burn; UNC could let White spend the majority of his team on the wing, hunting for buckets — instead of facilitating from the secondary break.
Similar to the Cameron Johnson situation from a year ago — a rare grad transfer with two years of eligibility — this has to be something that would interest Roy, who currently has an open roster spot for next season.
Life in the one-and-done fast lane, huh? It’s no surprise to see Duke turnover its entire starting lineup from this season; all of those dudes are awesome at basketball, and most will be selected in the first round of the draft — the land of guaranteed millions.
The departure of Gary Trent — a favorite of ours at the ACC Analytics page — creates a void on the wing, though. Duke has all kinds of perimeter talent entering the program next season — thanks to its No. 1 recruiting class. A lack of perimeter shooting hindered Duke this season; we all saw that in the NCAA Tournament loss to Kansas.
This is why the program has targeted Albany sniper Joe Cremo; the 6-foot-4 guard is a grad transfer, and could operate as a Trent facsimile.
Coach K and his staff may also value Cremo’s experience (100 career games), especially with such a young roster. However, if Duke’s specifically in the market for three-point shooting, this new transfer rule could offer up new possibilities.
There’s a flip side to this as well: Could a new rule make it easier for Marques Bolden and/or Javin DeLaurier to consider transferring? Bolden is penciled in as the team’s starting center for next season, I suppose, so maybe he’s happy to stay for at least one more trip around the sun in Durham. DeLaurier, however, may be different; his minutes may once again be pinched with Zion Williamson Duke-bound.
This is an interesting offseason for Virginia basketball; after a dream season, how does a program bounce-back after a loss like that? Devon Hall and Isaiah Wilkins — two program stalwarts — are headed to the professional ranks, which means UVA is out two of its top seven players.
Virginia still returns an excellent backcourt; Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome are both very good, and will only get better. Mamadi Diakite has some nice two-way versatility, too. A lot of things hinge, however, on De’Andre Hunter.
Hunter, the ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year, is recovering from wrist surgery that cost him the NCAA Tournament; he’s also an intriguing NBA prospect. If Hunter decides to leave Charlottesville — and some Internet murmurs have him turning pro — UVA would very quickly be without close to half of its rotation from this season.
If that happened, one would have to think: It’s a serious option for UVA to try and add something via the transfer market — more size, athleticism, scoring.
Syracuse received good news recently when Oshae Brissett announced that he plans to return for his sophomore season. However, transition and indecision are still in the air. 5-star talent Darius Bazley is now longer Carrier Dome-bound; he will head to the G League in 2018.
Program iron man Tyus Battle has yet to publicly declare that he intends to test the NBA Drafter waters, although that doesn’t mean it isn’t in his cards. Syracuse must be prepared for that, too. On top of that, the Orange must also replace Matthew Moyer.
Syracuse transfer Matthew Moyer tells me he plans to visit Texas, Kansas State, and Florida in addition to Xavier (this weekend) and Vanderbilt (early May).
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 11, 2018
This is a team with roster spots available that could absolutely stand to benefit from adding another player or two, regardless of the method.