NCAA Men's Final Four - Practice

Are changes coming to the current transfer model?

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In recent years transfers have become a topic of conversation in college basketball, primarily due to the increased number of players who have received waivers that allow them to play immediately. But also of importance is the way in which players choose a new school, as many need their options to be cleared by the program they’re leaving.

This has caused issues, with the cases of Todd O’Brien (transferred from Saint Joseph’s to UAB), Jarrod Uthoff (Wisconsin to Iowa) and Sheldon Jeter (Vanderbilt to Polk State College) immediately coming to mind. There may be some change in this area, as the NCAA is discussing the possibility of giving players more power when it comes to determining their destination according to

“It would be a situation where a kid would provide notice that he’s transferring and wants to talk to these five schools, for example,” Kevin Lennon, the NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs, told “Schools can’t say, we’re giving you permission but not to these five schools. It’s in the student’s control more.”

It’s likely that some will be against the proposed legislation, arguing that such a move could result in even more “chaos” (for those who choose to use words such as “epidemic” when discussing the current transfer rate) since the players would have a little more freedom when it comes to where they’ll transfer to. But athletic scholarships are one-year renewable, and while many will state during the recruiting process that they’ll honor all four (or five) years that doesn’t always happen.

It’s difficult to say that the proposed move would lead to even more players deciding to transfer, as that’s a decision that in most cases isn’t made overnight. But once that decision is made, why not make the process as simple as possible? Making it incredibly difficult isn’t guaranteed to dissuade others from transferring; if anything, doing so could adversely affect a program on the recruiting trail.

There are still hurdles to be cleared with the proposal, most notably the need to persuade NCAA members this spring. But in the end, making sure the transfer process goes smoothly can only benefit both the schools and the players.

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.

LSU looking into starting lineup options

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - MARCH 7:  Head Coach Johnny Jones of the LSU Tigers watches his team play during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 7, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Tigers defeated the Razorbacks 81-78.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.

While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.

Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?

Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.

Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.