Changing Places: Pac-12 Incoming Transfers Could Face Unwanted Delays
Stay at home.
On paper at least, that doesn't apply to today's college basketball players. They've been switching schools faster than grocery stores sell toilet paper.
The motivation for some is to play immediately at a new school of their choice as a graduate transfer, usually taking on a higher level of competition.
Or, as in the case of Wake Forest's Olivier Sarr, which is discussed by Sports Illustrated national writer Pat Forde in the video, the lure was to receive the opportunity to get a one-time waiver to play right away as an underclassmen.
Unfortunately for all of the transient players betting on 2020-21 eligibility, it likely won't happen because of the ongoing pandemic. NCAA officials are squeamish about mass exoduses at schools laid low by the virus. Players like the 7-foot Sarr, barring unforeseen circumstances or rulings, will have to sit out the coming season.
In the Pac-12, this development has placed several teams in somewhat of a manpower limbo. The following is a breakdown of the new transfers joining each conference team in the past two months and what their playing possibilities involve:
The Wildcats landed arguably the best transfer in the Pac-12, enticing Terrell Brown to pass up his final season at Seattle University and come play in Tucson. Brown, a 6-foot-1 senior guard from Seattle's Garfield High School and Shoreline Community College, averaged 20.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists for the Redhawks last season. As a grad, he will play right away.
Bobby Hurley's Sun Devils had seven players leave for early draft entry or other schools. Replacements are not immediately coming right away. Transfer guards Luther Muhammad from Ohio State and Holland Woods of Portland State, unless the transfer rules get a late reprieve, will have to sit out until the 2021-22 season.
The Bears welcome two new transfers, senior guard Ryan Betley of Pennsylvania and sophomore forward Jarred Hyder of Fresno State. The 6-5 Bentley, a three-year starter and 11.5-point scorer, will provide help right away. Hyde, however, must wait a year to tip if off on game day.
The Buffaloes had five players leave for the NBA or a new school. In return, they welcomed grad transfer Jeriah Horne from Tulsa. Last season, the 6-7 senior forward averaged 11.1 points and 5.2 rebounds for a 21-10 Tulsa team.
The Ducks had modest transfer turnover, embracing two while losing one. Grad transfer Amari Hardy, a 6-2 senior guard, from UNLV will play right away. He averaged 14.5 points per game last season. St. Peter's Aaron Estrada, the other new face, a 6-4 guard and the MAAC Rookie of the Year, will have to sit out a year.
In Corvallis, the Beavers added 6-7 junior Warith Alatishe from Nicholls State, a 10.9 scorer and 8.3 rebounder, but he'll need to wait a season before he can play.
The Cardinal lost two players to grad transfers, but the Palo Alto, California, school didn't add any new transfers to the roster at this time.
Johnny Juzang, a 6-6 sophomore guard, left Kentucky and returned to his hometown. He should help the Bruins in time, but it won't be this year. He's sitting out as a transfer.
The Trojans went for a quick fix, bringing in four new transfers, all but one able to play immediately. The newcomers are Isaiah White, a 6-7 senior guard and a 14.5-point scorer from Utah Valley; 6-9 senior Chevez Goodwin, a 6-9 senior from Wofford and an 11.9 scorer; and Tahj Eaddy, a 6-2 senior guard and 9.1 scorer from Santa Clara. The fourth player, Joshua Morgan, a 6-11 sophomore from Long Beach State, will have to sit out.
The Utes chose not to add any transfers at this time. They lost 7-4 sophomore center Matthew van Komen to St. Louis.
The Huskies basically traded Elijah Hardy for Erik Stevenson, losing their underachieving point guard to Portland State while picking up a shooter from Wichita State. A local product from Lacey, Washington, Stevenson won't play on game night until next season.
The Cougars didn't add any new transfers, but they lost one, 6-7 junior forward Daron Henson, to Seattle University.