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Study: Roughly 60 percent of transfers leave Division I basketball

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The discussion of transfers in college basketball seemingly reached a crescendo last week, as the Division I Transfer Working Group updated us on some of their latest discussions and set social media on fire.

They are considering eliminating permission to contact legislation. They are discussing the ramifications of eliminating a sit-out year for first-time transfers. There may be changes coming to the graduate transfer rule.

And through it all, no one can seem to actually get the facts of the issues at hand correct.

(I did, however. Right here on this podcast.)

Are you sick of talking about transfers yet?

Hope not.

Because there’s something else that needs to be mentioned.

Over the weekend, Eli Boettger published the most comprehensive study of transfer movement over on Athletic Director U. If this is something that intrigues you, I highly suggest that you give it a read. There’s a lot in there.

The most interesting nugget is buried about halfway into the study: “Nearly 60% of transfers, instead of joining other D-I teams, have left D-I basketball completely since the 2012 offseason.” The number, exactly, is 58.77%, meaning that of the roughly 800 transfers that have popped up annually in each of the last five or six years, roughly 480 of them — or three out of every five — end up transferring out of Division I basketball.

And that’s to say nothing of the players that transfer down a level, from the ACC to the Atlantic or from the Atlantic 10 to the CAA or the CAA to the MEAC.

“The idea that college basketball players tend to transfer to better teams is almost entirely a myth,” the study reads, and that confirms a thought that I, and many others, have had about the “transfer epidemic” for a long time: the overwhelming majority of players transferring are leaving school to go down a level. For whatever reason, they ended up at a school where they were never going to find a way to get playing time, so they decided to transfer out and find someplace at the lower level where they will be able to see the amount of minutes and shots they desire.

There is one potential flaw I see in the study. When Boettger is evaluating “better teams”, he is doing so based off of winning percentage. But that doesn’t necessarily capture it perfectly. For example, Elijah Long transfer out of Mount St. Mary’s, who went 20-16 last year, and into Texas, coming off of an 11-22 season. That’s a transfer to a better team.

So what the study doesn’t show is how many of the 41.23% of Division 1-to-Division I transfers leave to go to a higher level of basketball, which is the crux of the concern many have for the current and future transfer market. High-majors mining low- and mid-majors for talent they missed on during the initial recruiting process.

I reached out to Boettger about this. Since 2012, there have been 4,360 players that have transferred out of a Division I basketball program. Of those 4,360, only 375 have been “up-transfers”, players leaving a lower league for a team in a more high-profile conference.

Specifically, there have been just 246 players from outside a Power 6 conference (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) to transfer into a Power 6 program, and just 129 more players to transfer from one of the bottom 20 conferences into the AAC, Atlantic 10, Mountain West, WCC, Conference USA and Missouri Valley*.

In other words, only 8.6 percent of the players that have transferred since 2012 — the “transfer epidemic era”, if you will — have left their school for a program at a higher level.

The chart, via Boettger, is below. The left side is the where the transfer left, and the top is where the transfer ended up.

*(For simplicity’s sake, these six leagues represent mid-majors in the chart below.)

You can follow Boettger on twitter here.

High school basketball player collapses, dies at AAU event

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James Hampton, a member of Team United and a senior at Liberty Heights, a private high school in Charlotte, collapsed and died during a Nike Elite Youth Basketball League game on Saturday night.

Hampton was 17 years old.

In the second half of a game against Nike Phamily, a Phoenix-based program that is run by the father of Marvin Bagley III, Hampton collapsed to the floor unresponsive. Trainers at the event began CPR on and administered chest compressions. Parademics arrived within 10 minutes, but Hampton could not be revived.

The cause of death has not yet been released, but this is not the first time that Hampton had an issue. Last spring, at an event in the Washington D.C. area, Hampton collapsed on the court and had to be given CPR.

“He just fell down on the floor,” Team United director Jacoby Davis told the Charlotte Observer. “He had seizures a year ago and I remember (one of the Team United coaches) telling me that, ‘I saw his eyes rolling back in his head.’ I ran on the court thinking he was having a seizure. A trainer came over and said he didn’t know what was wrong. Another trainer checked his pulse. He said he didn’t have a pulse. It got crazy after that.”

RIP James Hampton.

Nevada’s Jordan Caroline pulls out of 2018 NBA Draft

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Jordan Caroline has opted to pull his name out of the 2018 NBA Draft as he will return to Nevada for his senior season, he announced on Saturday.

The 6-foot-7 Caroline put together a strong season for the Wolf Pack as he averaged 17.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game as Nevada made the Sweet 16 behind one of the most talented offenses in the country.

Caroline’s return is a huge boost for Nevada as they still await the NBA draft decisions of Caleb and Cody Martin.

Currently ranked No. 17 in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25 (without the Martin twins), the Wolf Pack will still have a ton of talent around Caroline next season. Five-star freshman center Jordan Brown recently committed to Nevada. The program also a number of talented transfers entering the mix, including Tre’Shawn Thomas, Nisre Zouzoua and Ehab Amin.

If the Martin twins return to school (and that is a big if) then Nevada could have a potentially elite offense next season. But even if the Martin twins go pro, Nevada should still be the favorite in the Mountain West and a threat to once again make the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

Dewan Huell returning to Miami for junior season

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Miami received some positive news on Saturday afternoon as the school announced the return of forward Dewan Huell for his junior season.

After testing the NBA draft waters without an agent, the 6-foot-11 Huell will be back for the Hurricanes. Starting all 32 games for the program last season, Huell averaged 11.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the floor.

“After getting feedback from NBA teams and talking it over with my family and coaches, I would like to announce that I will be returning to Miami for my junior season,” Huell said in the release. “I’m really excited to get back to work with my brothers so we can accomplish more than ever during the 2018-19 season.”

A former McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, Huell’s return gives the Hurricanes stability in the front court for next season as he’ll play with other returning players like Sam Waardenburg and Ebuka Izundu. With Miami losing both Lonnie Walker and Bruce Brown early to the 2018 NBA Draft, Huell could be expected to provide more offensive production as a junior.

Bruce Weber receives contract extension at Kansas State

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Kansas State and head coach Bruce Weber have agreed to a two-year contract extension, according to a release from the school.

After leading the Wildcats to a surprising Elite Eight appearance in March, Weber will be the head coach at Kansas State through the 2022-23 season, which gives him another five seasons to work with. Weber will be paid $2.5 million in 2018-19 and he’ll receive a $100,000 increase to his salary in each remaining contract year.

Weber had already signed a two-year extension in August 2017, but this move gives the veteran head coach more job security (and positive recruiting perception) for the next few seasons.

“We are very fortunate to have not only such an outstanding basketball coach but also a man in Coach Weber who conducts his program with integrity and class and is widely respected across the nation,” Kansas State Director of Athletics Gene Taylor said. “Certainly last season was one of the most memorable postseason runs in our program’s history, and we are excited for next season and the years ahead under Coach Weber’s leadership.”

With Kansas State returning most of its roster from last season, including the return of guard Barry Brown from the 2018 NBA Draft process, expectations are sky-high for Weber and the Wildcats this season. Currently ranked as the No. 8 team in the NBCSports.com Preseason Top 25, Kansas State’s veteran club could give Kansas a serious run for a Big 12 regular season title this season.

Northwestern loses incoming freshman point guard

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Northwestern and incoming freshman point guard Jordan Lathon are parting ways. The 6-foot-4 Lathon was viewed as a potential candidate to replace Bryant McIntosh at lead guard for the Wildcats this season, but Northwestern has reportedly revoked his offer of admission and basketball scholarship.

It is unclear why Lathon was unable to be admitted into Northwestern, but the school’s VP for University Relations, Alan Cubbage, gave a statement to Inside NU’s Davis Rich and Caleb Friedman.

“Northwestern University has revoked its offers of admission and an athletic scholarship for Jordan Lathon, a recruit for the Northwestern men’s basketball team,” the statement said. “Out of respect for the privacy of the student, the University will have no further public comment.”

Lathon later acknowledged the situation in a tweet explaining to fans that he will no longer be attending Northwestern.

While it is unclear why Lathon and Northwestern are parting ways, other high-major programs are already very interested in bringing in Lathon for next season. Oklahoma State immediately jumped in with a scholarship offer. There is also speculation that Lathon, a native of Grandview, Missouri, could also hear from the in-state Tigers as well.

It’ll be interesting to see where Lathon lands, and how this also affects Northwestern’s point guard situation. The loss of a four-year starter like McIntosh will be tough to fill, especially since Lathon was committed to Northwestern since last June. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Wildcats and head coach Chris Collins seek out a veteran point guard graduate transfer to try and get some immediate help.