The latest numbers on the transfer epidemic

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The summer of the transfer.

That’s what the seven months between Kentucky cutting down the nets in New Orleans and the 2012-2013 season kicking off in November has turned into.

It began when Bo Ryan tried to block former player Jarrod Uthoff from transferring to 26 different schools back in April and has continued to snowball as nearly 450 Division I college basketball players have transferred.

The transfer epidemic has raised a number of questions — Should schools be allowed to block where a kid wants to transfer? Is forcing them to sit out a year fair? Should the eligibility waivers that allow immediate play be given out? — but before we get into how to solve a problem, we need to know just how big the problem is.

And according USA Today, this year’s transfer rate was 10.9%. Perhaps more telling, however, is the fact that 40% of freshmen basketball players never make it to the end of their sophomore season. Just 2% leave to play pro ball, meaning that about 27% of incoming freshmen end up leaving school for something other than a professional contract of another scholarship.

Frankly, that’s a bigger issue in my eyes. The kids that end up leaving school without another place to either a) play while getting paid or b) play while getting their education paid for are the ones we should be concerned about.

“The number that causes me alarm isn’t that 10.7 or 10.9 (%) or whatever the number is in men’s basketball,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said. “It’s that 40% of men’s basketball student-athletes aren’t at their original school by the end of their sophomore year because they’ve transferred, they’ve dropped out, they’ve moved on. So we’ve got a significant lack of persistence (in the sport). And we know that kind of movement, one way or another, is really detrimental to kids getting an education.”

Transfers are going to happen. With more teams entering Division I, expectations for every player talented to earn a scholarship growing, and the patience to wait for a chance to get into the rotation diminishing, they aren’t going to be slowing down anytime soon.

But at least those kids are staying in school. At least they are continuing towards their degree.

And at the end of the day, isn’t the stated goal of the NCAA to get kids educate through excellence in sports?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.