With a front court rotation led by all-conference big man Aly Ahmed and another postseason honors candidate in Kevin Mays, CSU Bakersfield is one of the teams entertaining hopes of challenging defending champion New Mexico State for WAC supremacy in 2015-16. Friday the school announced that it has received some good news regarding one of their new additions, bolstering their perimeter rotation in the process.
Damiyne Durham, who joined the program in January after beginning his career at Baylor, has been granted immediate eligibility. Durham, who was redshirting at Baylor when he left the program, was expected to be eligible to take the floor for the Roadrunners in game action in January 2016.
Now that he’s able to play in games immediately, the high-scoring guard (he scored more than 2,700 points in high school) can establish in-game chemistry with his teammates from the start as opposed to having to hit the ground running mid-season.
Redshirt sophomore Brett Wrapp was part of the Roadrunners’ perimeter rotation, making six starts (33 games) and averaging 4.4 points and 3.4 assists per contest. No other guard on the CSU Bakersfield roster saw action least season, so having Durham available immediately is a much-needed development for the program. Junior college transfers Dedrick Basile and Justin Pride will also be key figures for CSUB.
New NCAA VP of Division I governance wants to take closer look at graduate ‘transfer’ rules
Depending upon who you ask, the current situation regarding transfers in college basketball is either an “epidemic” that has turned the offseason into a form of free agency or it isn’t much different than what non-athletes experience on an annual basis. The NCAA has made changes in the past, getting rid of waivers with the notable exception of the one that allows graduates to take the floor immediately at the school of their choice.
But as has been reported in the past that could be changing as well, with the NCAA’s new vice president for Division I governance Kevin Lennon seeing the transfer situation as one he would like to take a deeper look at immediately. While some would love to see graduates required to sit a year, that isn’t the only possible change to the current setup.
The proposals include giving schools the ability to restrict where ex-players can go and requiring the athletes to sit out one year before becoming eligible. Undergrads already are required to sit out one year, but the current rules allow players with bachelor’s degrees to transfer to another school and become eligible immediately if they attend grad school.
“If you’re transferring to be in a graduate program, the NCAA wants you to be working in earnest toward that degree rather than just using up your last year of eligibility,” Lennon said during a 40-minute interview last week, noting there are no formal proposals yet.
For some, allowing graduates to move on to another program is a just reward for those who have completed their undergraduate studies in four years but have a season of eligibility remaining. But for others such situations make those athletes “hired guns” that threaten the fabric of college sports.
While requiring graduate students to sit a year, in theory making it even more likely that they’ll complete a graduate degree, could garner support why also allow schools to limit where the athlete will go? While some will cite competitive reasons for doing so, with many conferences making it incredibly difficult (or impossible) for undergrads to transfer within their league, why worry so much about someone who doesn’t want to be a part of your program?
This is all still a long way off, with the Associated Press noting that no formal proposals have been made. But this is a situation worth tracking, as a number of programs have managed to supplement their rosters (or land major contributors) thanks to the graduate student rule.
Rhode Island lands perimeter help in graduate transfer from Towson
The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 12 points and shot 37 percent from 3-point range to go along with 91 percent free-throw shooting last season.
“We are tremendously excited to add Four to our Rhode Island basketball family,” said head coach Dan Hurley in the release. “This past season, we established ourselves as one of the premier defensive teams in college basketball. During this offseason, one of our main objectives is to add perimeter shooting and scoring to our lineup and we feel as though we have done that with Four.”
Joining a backcourt that returns sophomore E.C. Matthews and solid freshman J.T. Terrell, Rhode Island is coming off of a second round appearance in the Postseason NIT and 23-10 record.
Adding another shooter of McGlynn’s caliber off their bench is certainly an upgrade to the roster.
Memphis to lose two former top 100 recruits to transfer
Memphis announced on Wednesday that two players will be transferring out of the program: Nick King and Pookie Powell.
“Nick and Pookie both are fine young men and in good academic standing at the University,” said head coach Josh Pastner. “We support both players and wish them all the best.”
King, a 6-foot-7 wing, is a former top 50 recruit that averaged 7.2 points and 4.8 boards this past season for the Tigers, starting seven games. It was his second season with the program. Powell, a freshman, started 11 games and averaged 4.3 points and 2.7 assists this year. He was a top 100 recruit but was not academically eligible last season.
King is a Memphis native that played on the same AAU team as Murray State star Cameron Payne. Powell is from Orlando and nearly transferred out of the Memphis program last April.
Gordon began his career at Western Kentucky before sitting out the 2012-2013 season due to NCAA transfer rules. As a junior in 2014-2015, Gordon averaged 9.8 points, 4.9 boards and 2.7 assists for the Minutemen, who lost six of their last seven games and missed out on the NCAA tournament.
Last spring, Gordon became the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player when he publicly announced that he was gay. According to ESPN’s report, his decision to transfer has “absolutely nothing to do” with his sexuality.
Tyler Harris is transferring out of the Providence program, the school announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Harris averaged 9.9 points this past season as a redshirt junior. It was his second season with the Friars after playing one year at N.C. State.
“I would like to wish Tyler all the best in his future endeavors,” head coach Ed Cooley said. “Tyler helped us move our program forward over the last two years as we won the Big East title and made consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances during his two seasons of competition.”
Harris will graduate from Providence in May with one season remaining. He can transfer and be eligible immediately elsewhere if he receives a graduate transfer waiver from the NCAA.