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Are coaches to blame for the soaring transfer rate in college basketball?

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With the focus on college basketball recruiting and the high transfer rate this off-season, every side of the issue has begun to point fingers, either at AAU, high school, college, or any other factor that could support one’s case.

But The Daily’s Dan Wolken, in a column Monday, turned the spotlight to the people who many have been quick to forgive, when it comes to finding a cause: college coaches.

“More often than not, coaches know whether the players they’re recruiting have a chance to make an impact right away,” Wolken writes.

“But none of that matters in the actual recruiting process because the stakes are so high and the business is so competitive. A coach can either be honest about where a player fits or sell an unrealistic vision and worry about keeping the kid happy later.”

It’s an unfortunate view of the recruiting process, and not all coaches do it, but it certainly happens.

Not to begin to defend coaches, as they have plenty who will come to their defense anyway, but when it boils down to it, the careers of these coaches depend on the decisions of 17- and 18-year-old kids.

A string of a few years where recruits flock elsewhere and it could spell the end for a coach.

Does that happen at your job?

That in no way should legitimize or encourage deception, though. It points out a need for more support on the side of the players, with a circle of people who have the recruit’s true interest at heart.

But not every player has that luxury, so if coaches don’t change, the system may not either.

Read the rest of Wolken’s column here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Stanford loses key veteran guard to stress fracture

Marcus Allen
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Stanford guard Marcus Allen will be out indefinitely after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced on Monday evening.

“We want to make sure Marcus is fully healthy before returning to the court,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said in a statement. “Marcus played at a high level during our summer exhibition competition in Italy, where he was one of our leading scorers. We will certainly miss him as we continue to prepare for the season, but we are fortunate that this happened now and he will be back before he knows it.”

The loss of Allen is a potentially brutal blow in an already-thin back court. The 6-foot-3 Allen started 23 games as a sophomore last season, averaging 6.4 points and 3.5 boards. But he averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 boards as the Cardinal made a run to the NIT championship and looked poised to be able to replace the departed Chasson Randle’s production this year.

What’s worse is that without Allen, Stanford does not return a single player in their back court that averaged more than 11.5 minutes. Sophomore Robert Cartwright looks poised to step into the starting point guard role, but neither Dorian Pickens nor Christian Sanders looked like they were ready for that kind of role in the Pac-12 last season. Dawkins does return Malcolm Allen, Marcus’ twin brother, who sat out last season with a broken wrist.

The good news is that Stanford’s front court is strong enough to carry the Cardinal until Marcus is healthy. Rosco Allen, Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey will be able to hold their own against any front line in the Pac-12, while Grant Verhoeven and freshman Josh Sharma will provide adequate depth.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.