Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory has been one of the busier coaches on the transfer market this spring, and Friday he received a third commitment from a player looking for a new home. Nick Jacobs, a 6-foot-8 forward who played his first three seasons at Alabama, announced his decision to transfer to Georgia Tech according to multiple outlets. Jacobs picked the Yellow Jackets over fellow ACC school Miami.
Jacobs started ten of the 25 games in which he played last season, posting averages of 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Jacobs’ season was cut short by the decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from the program in mid-February, as he did not return to the program after playing in the Crimson Tide’s loss to South Carolina on February 15.
In mid-May it was announced that Jacobs would be transferring, leading to his selection of Georgia Tech on Friday. He’ll have to sit out the 2014-15 season per NCAA transfer rules, with the 2015-16 campaign serving as his senior season.
Jacobs joins another SEC transfer in former Ole Miss center DeMarco Cox (who is eligible to play immediately) and former USF point guard Josh Heath as transfers who have joined Gregory program’s this spring. In total six players will join the Georgia Tech program, with incoming 6-foot-10 freshmen Ben Lammers and Abdoulaye Gueye being important additions due to their size. The third freshman joining the program is guard Tadric Jackson.
Alabama junior forward Nick Jacobs missed the last seven games of the season, taking a leave of absence from the program. In mid-May, he made the decision to start new at a different school, electing to transfer for his final year.
On Wednesday morning, Jacobs has narrowed down his options to a pair of ACC schools. According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, Jacobs is expected to choice from Miami and Georgia Tech.
The 6-foot-8 Jacobs averaged 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game for the Crimson Tide before stepping aside from the remainder of the season on February 19. He’ll have to sit out next season, per NCAA transfer rules and eligible for one season.
Miami will have to replace three of its top four rebounders from 2013-2014, but 7-footer Tonye Jekiri, who grabbed the second most boards per game this season for the Hurricanes, just completed his sophomore season. Georgia Tech is looking to fill the void left by Robert Carter, who transferred after two seasons. The Yellow Jackets have reportedly been pursuing former Maryland forward Charles Mitchell, who has two years remaining.
Mitchell announced he would be leaving Alabama on May 13.
Following a stretch in which Alabama dropped seven of nine games in the middle of SEC play, it was announced by head coach Anthony Grant that junior forward Nick Jacobs was taking a leave of absence from the program. Grant’s words cast some doubt as to whether or not Jacobs would play another game in an Alabama uniform, and sure enough the forward did not return to the team before the end of the season.
And on Tuesday it was announced by the school that Jacobs has been released from his scholarship and will no longer be a member of the program. Jacobs will have one season of eligibility remaining at his next school.
“We want to thank Nick for his contributions to our program the past three seasons,” Grant said in the school release. “We wish him success with the next chapter of his career.”
Jacobs averaged 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 25 contests last season, and for his career the 6-foot-8 forward posted averages of 7.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Alabama returns leading rebounder Rodney Cooper (7.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and fellow forwards Shannon Hale (8.8, 3.6) and Jimmie Taylor (3.0, 3.3) from last season’s team, which finished with a 13-19 record (7-11 SEC).
As part of its incoming recruiting class Alabama will add freshmen Jeff Garrett and Riley Norris in the front court, and they’ll also have the services of Longwood transfer Michael Kessens. Kessens averaged 13.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in his lone season at Longwood, where he earned Big South All-Freshman Team honors.
The Alabama Crimson Tide have lost five of their last six games, most recently dropping a one-point decision at South Carolina on Saturday afternoon. Trevor Releford scored 27 points and grabbed four rebounds to lead the way for Alabama, which is now 10-15 overall and 4-8 in SEC play.
Also playing in that game was junior forward Nick Jacobs, who tallied just two points and one rebound in 14 minutes of action. Jacobs, averaging 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game this season, has started ten of the 25 games he’s played in. However when he’ll play next is unknown, as the school announced on Wednesday that Jacobs has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team.
“Nick and I met early this week regarding a pattern of behavior and inconsistencies with his responsibilities as a student-athlete,” Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said in the release. “When addressed with these off-the-court issues, he requested a leave of absence, which I granted. He and I both feel it is in his best interest to step away from the team for the immediate future. We will continue to provide Nick the support and assistance he needs to reassess his priorities and focus on his well-being.”
Jacobs is one of four players averaging between 7.8 and 8.4 points per game for the Crimson Tide, who have just two double-digit scorers (Releford and Retin Obasohan). From a rebounding standpoint guard Rodney Cooper leads the team with an average of 5.1 rebounds per game, with six other players averaging between 3.0 and 3.8 rebounds per contest.
Rebounding’s been an issue for Alabama this season, as they rank tenth in the SEC in defensive rebounding percentage and 11th in offensive rebounding percentage. The Crimson Tide play at Texas A&M on Thursday night.