So it turns out that Shaqquan Aaron is transferring out of Louisville after all, sources confirmed to NBCSports.com.
A week after Aaron, who had been rumored to be on the move, and the school announced that he would be returning, Aaron has decided that he wants to transfer elsewhere.
Scout.com was the first to report the news.
Aaron played in 22 games after sitting out the first nine dude to an issue with his NCAA ineligibility, but he averaged less than eight minutes per game. He scored 11 points in a win over Wake Forest, but managed just 18 points the rest of the season.
“He came in late, he’s got a bad body, he’s not thrilled with the weight room,” Pitino said in a press conference last month after Louisville’s season ended. “He needs a makeover.”
Aaron was a top 30 recruit from Seattle’s famed Rainier Beach program.
What if today was college basketball’s trade deadline?
In honor of today’s NBA trade deadline, where far too many people will spend the day obsessing over where Goran Dragic, Enes Kanter and Reggie Jackson will end up, we give you college basketball’s deadline deals.
If teams at the collegiate level were allowed to swap players, what are some moves that could help turn pretenders into contenders, or contenders into favorites? Here are six trades that would fill holes on the roster of both teams:
1. North Carolina’s Isaiah Hicks for Cal’s Jordan Mathews
UNC makes this trade because: The Tar Heels have plenty of bodies up front. What they need is another player on their perimeter that can knock down jumpers. Mathews is shooting 45.0 percent from three on the season, meaning he is a guy that would allow Marcus Paige to play on the ball more.
Cal makes this trade because: They need help on the interior. Badly. Losing Mathews is not exactly ideal, but with Jabari Bird on the perimeter as well, they have the depth to be able to make a change. The Bears are not as far out of the bubble picture as you might think, and adding this piece for the stretch run could be the difference.
2. Ohio State’s Kam Williams for Texas’ Prince Ibeh
OSU makes this trade because: Ibeh is as big, as physical and as athletic as any front court player in the country. He can block shots, he can run the floor and he can go blow-for-blow in the post with anyone. Texas can spare him because he plays essentially the same role as Cameron Ridley, who is worlds better offensively, but Ohio State would make use of him as the shot-blocking presence that allows them to extend their defense.
Texas makes this trade because: One of the issues for Texas this season is that they have too many big bodies and not enough scoring pop in their back court. Williams is a streaky shooter, but he’s a guy with a reputation for being a big-time scorer that can provide scoring pop off the bench or from a starting role.
3. Washington’s Nigel Williams-Goss for Louisville’s Shaqquan Aaron
Washington makes this trade because: This season is a bust for Washington, who watched as their chances to make the NCAA tournament disappeared when Robert Upshaw got the boot. They need to start over, and what better was to do that than by bringing in a former top 30 recruit from Seattle. Aaron was lambasted by Pitino after the loss to Syracuse on Wednesday, meaning he may be out the door already. Why not try and get something in return?
Louisville makes this trade because: The biggest issue for Louisville this season? They don’t have a lead guard on their roster that makes everyone else better. Terry Rozier is extremely talented, but he’s a scorer first, second and third. Chris Jones is an elite defender, but he’s a gunner that wants to be Russ Smith. Nigel Williams-Goss is not an ideal fit defensively for Rick Pitino, but he’s one of the nation’s most underrated point guards, a guy that will get easy shots for some of his new, offensively-challenged teammates.
4. BYU’s Skyler Halford for San Diego State’s Angelo Chol
BYU makes this trade because: The Cougars need some physicality in the paint, and Chol will provide that. He’s not really a low-post scoring threat, but he blocks shots, he rebounds, he plays hard and he’ll provide a big, physical body in the paint to help deal with guys like Brad Waldow and Gonzaga’s front line. He can be to BYU what Jameel McKay is to Iowa State.
SDSU makes this trade because: The Aztecs cannot score. They lack elite shooting and they don’t have enough playmakers on their roster to help breakdown a defense. Halford is a knock-down jump shooter and a better creator than he gets credit for, and he’s an expendable piece for the Cougars given how many talented perimeter players are on that roster.
5. Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas for Kansas’ Svi Mykhailiuk
Syracuse makes this trade because: The Orange literally are not playing for anything this season beyond pride, thanks to the ludicrous decision that the school made to self-impose a postseason ban for this year. That means that Christmas, a senior having an all-american caliber season, is a valuable piece. Mykhailiuk is a freshman, but he’s only 17 years old. He’s long, he’s athletic and he can shoot, meaning he’ll fit in the Orange zone, and he needs at least one, maybe two more years in college before he’s ready to go pro.
Kansas makes this trade because: The one thing the Jayhawks are missing this season is a true low-post scoring threat, and that’s precisely what Christmas is. He’d take the pressure off of their perimeter players, and while giving up Mykhailiuk means giving up a terrific prospect, it would make Kansas a real national title contender versus being a streaky shooting team with a shot at the Final Four.
6. Indiana’s Stanford Robinson for Louisiana’s Shawn Long
Indiana makes this trade because: Indiana has been forced to play small-ball this season because of their lack of size in the paint. They spread the floor, they jack up threes and they are as entertaining as any team in the country when those threes are going down. But they’re also the worst power conference team on the defensive end of the floor, and Long should help that. He’s a 6-foot-9 shot-blocker that can score on the block and has three-point range.
Louisiana makes this trade because: Losing Long hurts, but adding Robinson might end up being more valuable. Remember, this is the program that turned Elfrid Payton into a lottery pick, and while Robinson is a different player than Payton, the former top 30 recruit can still be a dynamic slasher from the wing. He’s fallen out of favor at Indiana, averaging just 11 minutes.
Louisville freshman finally gets suspension ruling from NCAA
Louisville freshman wing Shaqquan Aaron has finally heard from the NCAA, as he’ll sit out the first nine games and repay money owed for benefits related to housing, according to a release from the school. A 6-foot-7 native of Seattle, Aaron will also do community service hours to fulfill his reinstatement.
The NCAA determined that Aaron’s family received extra benefits related to housing, so he lost 30 percent of his season. He can make his long-awaited season debut on Dec. 20 when Louisville plays at Western Kentucky.
Aaron could be a nice piece to have on the wing, as he’s been practicing with the team all throughout this waiting process. He was a four-star player and the No. 30 overall prospect in the 2014 class, according to Rivals, and Aaron can really get rolling as a scorer or a playmaker.
Nice to see the NCAA finally come through with a ruling and Aaron will finally get to play at some point this month.
Shaqquan Aaron has been left toiling by the NCAA as he awaits word on whether or not he will be deemed eligible for this season, but it appears that wait may be over.
According to a report from the Louisville Courier-Journal, a decision in Aaron’s case is expected to be made soon. As in this week.
That’s good news for Rick Pitino and the Wildcats, although the impact that Aaron, who was ranked No. 30 in the Class of 2014, will have this season may not be all that great. He’s a long and lanky wing that is quite athletic and has three-point range, but the rest of his offensive game is still developing. He’s a better longterm prospect than he is an immediate star.
That report from the C-J also states that the issues that Aaron is working through have to do with how he paid tuition during his one season at Mater Dei HS in California:
The Aarons, [their attorney] said, provided “clear proof” that they covered the remaining costs of Aaron’s partial scholarship to attend Mater Dei. The school’s website states that tuition for non-Catholic students was $14,000 for the 2014-15 school year and $12,600 for Catholic students, slight increases from when Aaron would have been a freshman at Mater Dei over the 2010-11 school year.
But an NCAA source with direct knowledge of the case told The Courier-Journal on Monday that the investigation extended beyond tuition payments. The source also disputed Glenn’s claim that “we’re talking about a couple hundred bucks.”
Aaron has qualified academically, which is why he has been allowed to practice and travel with the team.
Pitino went on to tell the Courier-Journal that Aaron should be cleared soon.
Louisville could really use the four-star wing and his shooting ability in their rotation, as Wayne Blackshear has been injured and inconsistent during his time at the school and many of the team’s guards don’t have as good of natural size as Aaron.
Aaron was the No. 30 overall prospect in the 2014 class, according to Rivals, and should have an impact when he’s cleared by the NCAA.
Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package. We continue our countdown today with No. 10 Louisville.
– G: Chris Jones, Sr.
– G: Terry Rozier, So.
– G: Wayne Blackshear, Sr.
– F: Montrezl Harrell, Jr.
– C: Mongok Mathiang, So.
– Bench: Quentin Snider, Fr.; Anton Gill, So.; Shaqquan Aaron, Fr.; Chinanu Onuaku, Fr., Jaylen Johnson, Fr.; Akoy Agau, So.
They’ll be good because … : Rick Pitino should have one of the best guards and one of the best big men in the country. By now, everyone should know about Montrezl Harrell. He’s a powerful front court presence, the kind of power forward that seems to have passed the game by. There’s nothing pretty about what Harrell does on a basketball court. He’s attacks the glass, he runs the floor hard, he assaults the rim when he dunks. Everything is strength and power with him. Oh, and he may have added a jumper this season. There’s a reason he’s going to be on a lot of Preseason All-American teams.
Terry Rozier is a different story, as he’s not quite as well-known as Harrell. Rozier was originally a member of the Class of 2012, but he was forced to spend a season prepping at Hargrave Military Academy for a year before enrolling with the Cardinals. An athletic, 6-foot-2 combo-guard, Rozier is going to be the focal point of this season’s perimeter attack after what was a promising freshman season backing up Russ Smith. He’s got the ability to be a star at this level and, eventually, a lottery pick.
But they might disappoint because … : Once you get past Rozier and Harrell, there is quite a bit of unknown on this Louisville roster. Two seniors find themselves in the starting lineup this season, but both have been more enigmatic than consistent during their time with the Cardinals. Wayne Blackshear seemed poised to have a breakout season after an impressive performance in the NCAA tournament as a freshman, but due to injuries and inconsistency, he’s never lived up to those expectations.
Senior point guard Chris Jones had some promising moments last season after transferring into the program as the reigning Junior College Player of the Year, but he didn’t have the kind of season that Louisville fans were hoping for. He shot the ball too much (and at just a 39.5% clip) and, for much of the year, he wasn’t the point guard that Pitino needed alongside Russ Smith.
The emergence of those two will be key, but even more important will be Louisville’s youngsters. Every other player in Louisville’s rotation will either be a freshman or a sophomore that didn’t play much. Anton Gill, Quentin Snider and Shaqquan Aaron make up the perimeter depth, while Mangok Mathiang will likely start with a slew of big bodies backing him up.
Outlook: Louisville is a tough team to read this season because so much of their roster is a question mark. We know how good Harrell is going to be, but will Rozier live up to the vaunted expectations that have been set for him? There have been rumblings that he was the best pro prospect on the roster since this time last season. Will Jones and Blackshear be able to provide the senior leadership and veteran presence on the floor that guys like Luke Hancock and Peyton Siva have in the past?
That becomes all-the-more critical when the inexperience on the rest of Louisville’s roster gets factored in. The Cardinals will have a number of options on their bench, particularly in the front court, but how many of those options are going to be ready to play in a loaded ACC this season? And that is another major question mark for the Cards. How will they adjust to playing in a new conference with new refs and new arenas and some of the nation’s best talent and coaching?
Personally, I think that depth is overrated and that it’s hard to bet against any team with two potential all-americans and Rick Pitino coaching them. But it’s not crazy to suggest that Louisville is closer to a fringe top 25 team than a top ten team.