Could immediately-eligible transfers be disappearing soon?


College basketball’s free agency period could be coming to an end.

According to a report from Andy Katz of ESPN.com, the National Association of Basketball Coaches board of directors met last week, and among the rule changes that were discussed were transfers that are allowed to become eligible immediately without having to sit out a season.

There was just a single dissenting vote in the room.

The way the current system is structured, there are two ways that a transfer can gain immediate eligibility: A) If the player graduates from school in less than four years and still has a season of eligibility remaining, he is either eligible for the graduate transfer exception or can apply for the graduate transfer waiver, which will grant him immediate eligibility; or B) If the player is transferring within 100 miles of an ill relative he can receive a waiver to play immediately.

(There are a couple of other situations that could gain a transfer immediate eligibility — Trey Zeigler was allowed to play at Pittsburgh immediately after transferring out of the school where his father was fired, and there is some scuttlebutt that the players that have left Rutgers this spring will be able to play immediately — but that is on a case-by-case basis.)

We’ve seen an uptick in transfers in recent years, particularly those of big name players. Just in the last two days, Evan Gordon left Arizona State (his second school) to transfer closer to home; Deandre Kane left Marshall and transferred to Pitt; and Mike Moser announced that he would be transferring to Oregon, which will be the third team that he plays for. All three of those guys will be eligible to play immediately. That says nothing of Trae Golden, who left Tennessee and may be eligible immediately, or Trey Zeigler, who transferred out of Pitt and to TCU after being declared immediately eligible to play at Pitt last season after transferring out of Central Michigan.

I can understand why the coaches will be frustrated by all of these transfers, especially when many of them spring up after teams illegally tamper with players already at a school. The rules are well-intentioned, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are being taken advantage of.

“The rule in most cases is not being used as intended and is clearly adding to the widespread free agency in college basketball,” Arizona State coach Herb Sendek told ESPN.com.

I don’t necessarily believe that it’s the right move to get rid of them, however. I honestly don’t think that there should be any restrictions on the players transferring out of one school and into another, unless these coaches also have no problem sitting out one season every time they transfer … err, change jobs. And you never know, maybe having some incentive to actually treat your players like human beings will help us avoid situations like this. And this.

But, hey, I’m not the one that makes the rules.

These coaches are.

And they don’t necessarily have their player’s best interest in mind.

Ask the NBA Draft deadline.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.