Welcome to the Pollyanna News Report. We’ve heard so much about college basketball stars as “free agents” recently, I thought I’d take a look at a kid who plans to dance with the partner what brung him, even though is skills could theoretically land him a title shot at a major program if he chose to transfer.
Travis Bader is well known to college hoops aficionados as a deadeye shooter who engaged in thrilling scoring duels with SDSU’s Nate Wolters in the Summit League last season. Bader received his Communications degree from Oakland in 2012, but still has a year of eligibility remaining: the classic graduate transfer opportunity. A reliable shooter like Bader could probably have found a Luke Hancock-like role for a contender, but Bader says he’s staying put.
“Oakland has given me this great opportunity and they saw a great player in me when nobody else did,” Bader told the Oakland Press.
“I’m just really comfortable with the coaches and the players here … I couldn’t imagine leaving my brothers here at Oakland.”
Bader also has a shot at a pretty high-profile record, wherever he plays his final year. He currently holds the Michigan school’s record with 357 made three-pointers. The NCAA career record is 457, held by polarizing former Duke Blue Devil J.J. Redick. Bader has averaged well over 100 triples per season over his past two years in Rochester.
The Golden Grizzlies will play in the Horizon League next year, so Bader’s quest for the 3-point title will come against a host of unfamiliar opponents, though the new in-conference rivalry with Detroit should prove to be intense. However it plays out, Bader’s record chase should be an individual effort worth watching in the upcoming season.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
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 picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. 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.