Just heard on WRAL-TV that over 300 men's basketball players have announced they are transfering since the season ended. Is that significantly higher than other years? It sure feels like it. Any ideas on why so many?
"...Man, who even now finds scarce breathing room on this vast globe, cannot retire from the Old World to some yet undiscovered continent, and wait for the slow action of such causes to replace, by a new creation, the Eden he has wasted".
-George Perkins Marsh (1864)
My theories is that mostly the state of college basketball today. I think that's it's probably just a plague. Unhappiness and most likely playing time. But, situations occur and a lot of times it might just be the coach. Who knows.
2012 End-of-Year Updated Transfer List: 300-plus and growing ...
I have not analyzed the list by class but expect the frosh reason for leaving may be as much related to adjusting from HS to college rigors and the upperclassmen mostly due to PT concerns.
Players jsut have a tough time going from big fish in small pond to small fish in big pond one year to the next, much the same as students do.
The grass is always greener (wherever it is watered the most) but player want to wanted by another school and tend to be ignore having to sit for a year.
If they toughed it out and stayed, they would at least play some that first year and still have just as good an opportunity for PT in later years at the school where they are as upperclassmen and one and done's move on and as they themself improve to level they wrongly view themself already at now.
I don't think we know for sure that this purported mentality is truly the reason, but I think it makes sense for perhaps a proportion of those who transfer.
Nowadays guys go in as Burger Boys thinking that they are the number X player in the country, meaning that they are super talented and if they don't get playing time, something must be wrong with the program. As a result of that mentality, we even have an 18 year old recruit who has the audacity to claim that one of the greatest coaches of all time can't develop big men (why haven't we told that bozo to take a hike?).
Worse yet, we have fellow board members (who should know better) that have the same mentality. Why didn't Coach K play the guy more? If he had, he wouldn't have transferred. Maybe Coach K should have set up a field goal quota. The kid only scored 11 times on a relatively weak team, but perhaps he should have left him in until he scored 20 or 30 times. I'm sure that would have solved everything.
I think we would all be better off and admit that player rankings go out the window the minute the guy steps on campus. Each guy in essence starts with a clean slate and either lives up to his reputation (Battier, Redick, Irving, etc.) or doesn't (Beard, Burgess, Boateng, etc.). And sometimes players exceed expectations, such as the Florida class that won two championships (and could have won a third if they stayed) despite being the 10th rated class in the country.
Kids these days want instant gratification. I think it's telling that it's so many and no one is really safe.
For that matter fans and administration want instant gratification. So a larger coaching turnover probably results in more transfers too.
This article includes some numbers for top 100 recruits for the 8 years between 2002-10.
The conclusion of the author seems to be:
"If someone said, "What is the transfer rate for Top 100 players?" I'd tell them this:
About one in four players are expected to transfer. Nearly all of them do so before their junior year, although the breakdown between freshmen and sophomore transfers is about even."
One of the things that is so impressive about Kyrie Irving is that he has the self-confidence of a player who recognizes his own ability, but he also understands completely how much he still has to learn. He really does seem to live by his motto, "hungry and humble," without veering into false humility. It made him a perfect fit for Duke, where he learned a great deal, even while on the bench with his injury. But increasingly, kids like that are the exception, i fear.
Would have given you pitchforks but I'm not allowed.
Another factor is that 20 years ago it was the norm for a player to take four years to develop, and then if he's good enough he'd be drafted into the NBA. Now, there's a perception that if a player stays for four years it's only because he's not good enough. You better be doing something by your sophomore year, otherwise your window has passed.
I don't know what percentage of the 300-odd players who transfer see themselves as legitimate NBA prospects, but if they're not getting enough playing time early then perhaps they feel they need to move somewhere where they can make a more immediate impact lest they miss their opportunity.
- the percentage of players who think they're good enough for the NBA who never end up there
- the percentage of players who make it to the NBA but either don't last very long or end up as bench riders for their entire careers
I think a bigger part of the problem is that players have even more voices in their ear, telling them how good they'll be. Those are the same voices with dollar signs in their eyes.
Nikola Vucevic (23 at USC)
MarShon Brooks (18 at Providence)
Nolan Smith (15 at Duke)
* - I think someone else got 29+ mpg as a freshman, but I can't remember who and I'm lumping him in with the 30+ guys.
What this says to me is if someone is transferring because he thinks he's an NBA player but he couldn't get off the bench his freshman year, there's a really good chance he's wrong.
If he's transferring because he can't get off the bench but he just wants to play more, or some personal reason or he doesn't get along with his coach or his teammates, that's a completely different story, but someone who barely plays as a frosh and then becomes an NBA first round pick is a rarity. I'm sure it happens occasionally (Tom Gugliotta comes to mind), but not very often, and not nearly enough to justify 300+ transfers a year.
Doing absolutely no research, how many transfer kids come out early after switching schools? And in hearing how Duke really is going after some of these kids, does it help ensure that Duke will get multiple years from talented players? Pretty creative if that is the case.