Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - These days, it is an accomplishment for a
college basketball player to play four years for the same school.
If there were no NCAA sanctions which stripped programs of scholarships
currently imposed, there would be roughly 4,536 scholarships available in
Division I basketball. Almost 10 percent of the player pool from last season
has elected to take their talents elsewhere, whether the move be upward,
sideways or downward.
One program may have lost a chance to make a trip to the Final Four because of
a player's departure. Arizona State has an elite one-two punch returning in
Jahii Carson and Jordan Bachynski, both of whom are arguably the best players
at their respective positions heading into next season. The Sun Devils reached
the second round of the NIT in 2013 and figured to be a contender for the
Pac-12 title in 2014 before Evan Gordon left for Indiana.
Gordon will be able to play immediately for the Hoosiers, but he arrives in
Bloomington under much different circumstances than his older brother Eric,
who is a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. The younger Gordon is going to
instantly become the primary scorer for IU, while he meshes with Yogi Ferrell
in the backcourt. However, he may end up regretting the return home as ASU is
built to win now and the Hoosiers are in rebuilding mode.
RJ Mahurin made an interesting decision out of the Sycamore State in the
spring as he released a statement announcing his departure from Indiana State
for Indiana Wesleyan, a member of the NAIA. Mahurin started 25 games for the
feisty Sycamores last season as a junior and would figure to be the starting
power forward once again after leading the team with 42 makes from beyond the
arc. The 6-foot-8 shooter noted the chance to play with his younger brother
Lane, who is going to be a freshman at IWU, was too important for him to pass
up. The Mahurin brothers give IWU an excellent chance of challenging for a
national title, but ISU is left with another starting spot to fill.
Tulane also has some shoes to fill after losing its first and second leading
scorers, Josh Davis and Ricky Tarrant, respectively. Davis can play
immediately next season for San Diego State. The 6-8, 215-pound forward was
one of the biggest recruiting targets among transfers thanks to his double-
double average of 17.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest in 2012-13.
Tarrant was one of the most promising young guards in Conference USA, even
winning the league's Freshman of the Year award in 2011-12. He will be forced
to sit out 2013-14 before he returns as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Coach Anthony Grant was lucky to find such an ideal replacement for Trevor
Lacey (11.3 ppg, 3.2 apg), who will play for NC State in the ACC after a one-
Maine and Niagara both took a big hit this offseason. Justin Edwards was a
flat out scoring machine for the Black Bears during his first two years with
the program. The 6-3 guard led the American East in scoring last season with
16.7 points per game as the main aspect of the team's offense. Maine finished
just 11-19, despite Edwards's stellar play. He hopes to gain greater exposure
while wearing a Kansas State jersey in 2014-15, but only time will tell if he
is granted as bright of a green light.
Juan'ya Green pumped in 16.5 points per game as a sophomore in 2012-13 for a
Niagara Purple Eagles team that won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
regular season crown outright. The Purple Eagles were upset in the MAAC
Tournament by Iona and suffered an early exit of the NIT after being handled
by Maryland. The great year out of Niagara yielded some job offers for Joe
Mihalich, who left the program as the all-time winningest coach in MAAC
history to take over the same position at Hofstra. Mihalich will have Green on
his roster as he attempts to rebuild the Pride from its current state.
There has also been movement at the top. Trey Ziegler was a mid-major star at
Central Michigan but left to play for Jamie Dixon at Pitt after his father,
Ernie, was relieved of his duties as the Chippewas' head coach. Zeigler had a
forgettable run with the Panthers as he averaged only 4.4 ppg in a reduced
role. The 6-5 combo guard will have to sit out a season before he can step
onto the hardwood wearing a third uniform. Ziegler chose TCU as his final
destination, which makes sense as he will be a key player on a team within one
of the elite conferences.
Rodney Purvis had scholarship offers from NC State, Connecticut, Memphis and
Ohio State after an outstanding high school career that put him on the 2012
list of McDonald's All-Americans. Purvis had some bright moments during his
lone year with the Wolfpack, including a 21-point showing versus Boston
College, but struggled figuring out his role on a team that was stacked with
talent. Purvis didn't want to spend another three seasons looking for a way to
fit and bolted for UConn, where he hopes former NBA guard Kevin Ollie will
enhance his chances of making the next step.
Purvis wasn't the only former McDonald's All-American to depart his school.
Kyle Wiltjer, who owns an NCAA Championship ring, left Kentucky to become a
Gonzaga Bulldog. Wiltjer will have two years to focus on getting better
instead of having to fight for playing time with John Calipari's endless
supply of high profile recruits.
Other notable transfers to keep an eye on include: Angel Rodriguez (Miami-
Florida), Katin Reinhardt (USC), Trae Golden (Georgia Tech), DeAndre Kane
(Iowa State), Eli Carter (Rutgers), Tarik Black (Memphis), Sheldon McClellan
(Miami-Florida), DeMario Mayfield (Morehead State), Julien Lewis (Fresno
State), Aaron Cosby (Illinois), Joshua Smith (Georgetown), Tyler Lamb (Long
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