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Guard DeSean Murray leaving Auburn program

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Tuesday evening a key contributor on an Auburn team that won a share of the SEC regular season title announced that he was on the move, as guard DeSean Murray will be leaving the program. In his announcement Murray said that playing professionally or at another Division I school as a grad transfer are both possibilities at this point in time. Murray is due to graduate later this spring.

In his lone season at Auburn the 6-foot-5 Murray made 34 starts, averaging 10.1 points and 6.7 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per game. Murray shot 45.5 percent from the field and 84.0 percent from the foul line, and he also dished out 1.7 assists per game.

Murray’s presence on the wing helped Auburn account for the loss of Danjel Purifoy, who like teammate Austin Wiley was ruled ineligible for the season in connection with the still-ongoing FBI investigation into corruption and bribes in college basketball. Purifoy, who averaged 11.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 2016-17, will be eligible to play for the Tigers next season.

Murray’s second and final season at Presbyterian was his best pre-transfer, as he averaged 20.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.

Florida State PG C.J. Walker to transfer

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After making 34 starts as a sophomore on a team that reached the Elite 8, sophomore point guard C.J. Walker announced Tuesday that he has decided to transfer from Florida State. Walker will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2018-19 season at the school he elects to transfer to.

As a sophomore Walker, who played his high school basketball at Arsenal Tech in Indianapolis, averaged 8.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 23.0 minutes per game. The 6-foot-1 Walker shot 41.2 percent from the field, 35.5 percent from three and 73.2 percent from the foul line this season, improvements on the percentages he posted as a freshman (39.7 percent FG, 30.4 percent 3PT, 65.5 percent FT).

During Florida State’s four NCAA tournament games Walker’s minutes decreased however, as he averaged 15.5 minutes per game with a high of 23 minutes in the West Regional Final loss to Michigan. In the NCAA tournament Walker averaged 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per game, shooting 6-for-18 from the field overall and 3-for-7 from three.

Walker scored nine points in 15 minutes in Florida State’s Sweet 16 victory over Gonzaga. With Walker making the decision to transfer Florida State will have at least two holes to fill in its perimeter rotation this offseason, with Braian Angola out of eligibility.

Washington State G Malachi Flynn to transfer

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One day after it was announced that forward Robert Franks, the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player, would enter the 2018 NBA Draft without an agent, the Washington State basketball program took a major hit.

Sophomore guard Malachi Flynn, who averaged 15.8 points, 4.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game, announced Tuesday afternoon that he has decided to transfer. Given his productivity in two seasons at Washington State, Flynn will he a highly sought-after player on the transfer “market” this offseason.

The 6-foot-1 point guard from Tacoma led Washington State in assists and was second on the team in scoring behind Franks. One of Flynn’s best stretches of the season occurred at the Wooden Legacy in November, as he averaged 19.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game as the Cougars beat Saint Joseph’s, Saint Mary’s and San Diego State to win the event.

In conference play Flynn averaged 15.4 points, 4.2 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game, shooting 42.3 percent from the field, 32.0 percent from three and 86.2 percent from the foul line. Flynn was a player who appeared to be a key building block for Ernie Kent as he looks to rebuild a program that’s struggled of late, but that will no longer be the case.

Should Washington State lose both Flynn and Franks, guards Viont’e Daniels (9.0 ppg) and Carter Skaggs (8.3 ppg) would be the team’s leading returning scorers in 2018-19.

CSU Bakersfield guard Durham eligible immediately

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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

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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

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Rhode Island added some much-needed perimeter shooting for the season as the team announced the addition of Towson graduate transfer Four McGlynn.

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.