Thursday, August 26, 2010

2011 Transfers/JUCOs -- Nine to Watch

Another Effect of the 2009 Recession?
During the economic uncertainties in the spring of 2009 it seems a number of ADs held off on coaching decisions only to take decisive action during the 2010 season, as the economy began to improve. The large influx of transfers from the summer of 2008 slowed to a trickle in the summer of 2009; five of the nine listed this post are JUCOs who will be eligible immediately, and two others, both transfers from other Division 1 programs, are expected to qualify immediately under existing rules. Which leaves only two who did sit for (at least) a season.

Who, What, Where...
Ron Anderson46-8225Kansas StateSouth Florida
Jae Crowder36-6225Howard CollegeMarquette
Tyree Graham26-0190Brunswick CC (NC)Rutgers
Shedrick Haynes1/26-0185Lackawanna CollegeSouth Florida
Scott Martin2/36-8200PurdueNotre Dame
Eniel Polynice26-5220MississippiSeton Hall
Jawanza Poland26-4195Cowley CCCSouth Florida
Hugh Robertson2/36-5195Tallahassee CCSouth Florida
Roburt Sallie1/26-5186MemphisLouisville

A quick check on transfers (but not JUCOs) this summer shows that nearly 450 Division 1 basketball players will change schools. Of that cohort, most -- but not all -- who will find another D1 program will sit for a season before gaining eligibility. From the group listed here, Eniel Polynice and Roburt Sallie should gain eligibility immediately. For the players who left a Division 1 program, assembling the statistics of their play at their previous stop was fairly easy, (many...) thanks to Ken Pomeroy. For six of the players, I have provided a mix of possession-based stats and shooting efficiency stats based either on their last season with a Division 1 team, or, where sufficient data was available, their JUCO stats...

On Offense...
Eniel Polynice 57.993.424.521.50.94
Scott Martin51.197.923.823.20.98
Hugh Robertson79.4103.221.419.11.51
Tyree Graham14.181.520.619.00.85
Ron Anderson46.4107.116.811.21.05
Roburt Sallie 76.9117.316.617.31.20

For Polynice, Martin, Graham, Anderson and Sallie, the stats are from their last D1 stop, Mississippi, Purdue, Texas Tech, Kansas State and Memphis respectively. Graham played for Texas Tech in his freshman season. He then left to play a year at Study (NC) Brunswick Community College. I have some shooting efficiency stats available from Brunswick, which may shed a bit more light on Graham's value to the Rutgers. Statistical data from Tallahassee CC was complete enough to compute some rough possession-based numbers for Hugh Robertson. So I included him in this group, even though the Community College population is even less uniform that Division 1. If Robertson's Tallahassee numbers cannot be a particularly good predictor for his success at Rutgers, it does give us an idea of how well he functioned within the Tallahassee system.

Four Factors...
Eniel Polynice 57.943.44.324.228.7
Scott Martin51.
Hugh Robertson79.457.14.716.939.9
Tyree Graham14.135.83.625.628.3
Ron Anderson46.452.213.617.7103.5
Robert Sallie 76.957.34.114.742.3

Roburt Sallie and Eniel Polynice, with three seasons of Division 1 stats on the books are probably the two easiest to assess for potential impact. Sallie goes to a Louisville team that needs what he offers, maturity, efficient scoring and (possibly...hopefully) leadership. The possibly that he will transform from a mid-level "Role Player" into a "Go-to Guy" type offensive machine (>28% of the possessions and/or shots) are slim. That he will grow into a "Significant Contributor" (about 20-24% of the possessions and shots) while maintaining his shot efficiency is possible. Assuming he is coachable and plays defense, Louisville will find him minutes. Polynice on the other hand is somewhat problematic. A high-volume scorer, he is a more athletic, less efficient version of the Hall's senior off guard, Jeremy Hazell. Folks who wondered how Hazell, Pope and Keon Lawrence were going to share the ball in 2010, have to wonder how it will work with those three back in South Orange, and joined by Polynice. With a single season of eligibility remaining for Lawrence, Hazell and Polynice, it will be interesting to see how those pieces fit together. If Coach Willard can get and keep them on the same page, the Hall may take a giant step up into the second quartile of the conference. Ron Anderson will join a well-stocked front court rotation that includes (in no particular order) Gus Gilchrist, Jarrid Famous, As for the shot efficiency stats for the JUCOs, this is far from complete, but lacking minutes played, it is the best information we can get about how the player shot the ball

Jae Crowder52.01.1339.87.7
Tyree Graham56.91.2131.9-10.6
Shedrick Haynes53.21.1427.9-24.3
Jawanza Poland53.81.1950.333.1

While he does not appear to be the most efficient scorer among the "pure" JUCOs, Jae Crowder is probably the most anticipated. Marquette needs bodies for front court play, and at 6-6 225, Crowder will definitely see time beside Marquette wing Jimmy Butler. Coach Williams has a habit of finding Texas-based diamonds in the rough, and Crowder may well be his next find. Tyree Graham, an undersized #2 from Texas Tech by way of Supply Brunswick CC in North Carolina, will be one of those Coach Rice looks at closely as a replacement for departed (via transfer) Mike Rosario. Graham has two seasons of eligibility left, and will no doubt be used at both back court spots during the 2011 season. His freshman numbers are consistent with many freshman D1 players, and his minutes are low in part because he left the team during the season to return home and address family issues. Coach Stan Heath's back court was a ghost town on April 5. Dominique Jones and Chris Howard were set to graduate, while Jordan Dumars and Justin Leemow were transfers themselves -- out of Tampa. Working the JUCO circuit, the coach managed to land Shedrick Haynes, Hugh Robertson and Jawanza Poland, to go with several "true" freshmen. Robertson had the fourth highest offensive rating on his Tallahassee CC team, serving as a "Significant Contributor" on a squad that had a single "Go-to Guy" type player and three (Robertson included) "Significant Contributors". Shedrick Haynes played his last year at Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania, showing a decided "outside" tendency in his play (note the -24.3 rating above). Haynes took 52.3% of this field goal attempts from beyond the arc, converting those attempts at a 42.2% rate. Hit at anywhere near that rate for the Bulls, and he will take a lot of pressure off of USF's low post scorers. Jawanza Poland is a good example of the well-traveled player. He enrolled at Crowley County Community College and played there his freshman year, stopping in late January (for not particularly obvious reasons). The Crowley coach moved over to Hutchinson CC for the 2010 season and a number of his players followed him, Poland included. Crowley however, did not release Poland from his commitment, so the wing sat last season awaiting eligibility. And then he transferred to South Florida to join Coach Heath's squad. The numbers above, are two years old, and the last organized ball Poland played. He appears to be a slasher, a wing who goes to the basket (note his inside/outside stat is in the low 30s, and his FTA/FGA is >50, more characteristic of a front court, rather than a wing, player) and scores efficiently.

Hits and Misses...Last Season's Transfer/JUCOs
Wesley Johnson was the definition of an impact player. While the Syracuse team was the model for team play, the Iowa State transfer was the early season face of the resurgent Syracuse program. The Orange blew through the conference regular season, taking the title and #1 seed in the Big East Tournament, bringing Coach Jim Boeheim his fourth Conference Coach of the Year award and Johnson the Big East Player of the Year award. Despite an injury to senior bfc Arinze Onuaku that clearly diminished the team's inside presence, the NCAA seeded the Orange #1 in the West Region, where they fell to Butler in the Sweet Sixteen. Johnson, a consensus All-American waived his last season of eligibility and was drafted by the Timberwolves as the fourth selection in the NBA draft. Notre Dame looked to Ben Hansbrough for his outside shot, and the 6-3 off guard obliged with an efficient (if not dominant) contribution. Hansbrough, who completed his academic work and graduated last May, had a single season of eligibility left. Going into structured practices after the start of the Fall Semester, Darius Johnson-Odom was listed behind true freshman Junior Cadougan at the #1 and fellow JUCO Dwight Buycks and senior David Cubillan at the #2. Cadougan suffered a severe ankle injury and senior Maurice Ackers rejoined the team to man the point, but despite an injury of his own in September, Johnson-Odom rehabbed quickly and went on to be one of the most dangerous three point shooters in the conference last season. Both Dwight Buycks and Johnson-Odom will return to the Golden Eagles this season. James Beatty logged 63.7% of the playing time for Rutgers last season. An assist leader and very efficient scorer, his role in the offense (as measured by possession and shot rates) was limited. Perhaps with the change in coaching, that will change this season. Seton Hall's transfer duo Keon Lawrence and Herb Pope ran afoul of the "law". For Lawrence, the transgression was civil, and occured at the end of the exhibition season. Lawrence was suspended from team activities for about seven weeks, and re-instated at the beginning of the Big East season. Pope sucker punched a Texas Tech player early in the Hall's NIT game in March. He was ejected from the game and Seton Hall went on to lose that game 87-69. Bobby Gonzalez, SHU's coach, was fired the next day. Pope and Lawrence will return to South Orange this season to play for the Pirate's new head coach Kevin Willard. Forward Taylor King started very strong for Villanova, pulling down important rebounds and providing the Wildcats with a consistent perimeter threat. As the season progressed King's minutes declined. He was one of three players suspended at various points during the latter part of the season, not playing in the Wildcats' last regular season game, and used very sparingly in Villanova's last three games. King left the program in June, moved back to California and committed to play for Southern California in July. He now appears headed to NAIA Division 1 Concordia College in California. Scott Martin appears for the second consecutive season. Martin tore up his ACL before the 2009 season, had surgery to repair his knee and has engaged in a year's worth of rehabilitation.

Post Script
Coach Rick Pitino announced that Roburt Sallie would not be eligible to play for Louisville in 2011. Sallie sought a waiver to the one year sit rule because he had finished his undergraduate studies at Memphis and was enrolled in a Louisville graduate program not offered at Memphis. Though rumored for several days, Coach Pitino provided confirmation in a radio interview early Friday (8/27) morning.

2011 To Watch Lists
Rising Seniors to Watch
Rising Juniors to Watch
Rising Sophomores to Watch

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