Monday, May 30, 2011

Roster Moves -- After the NBA Draft Deadline

Outbound Undergraduates
The Spring Signing Period is over, and the deadline for undergraduates to pull their names from the NBA draft has come and gone. The rosters of the Big East are hardly complete, but with the NBA draftees known and the first wave of outbound transfers identified, it seems a good time to pause and take stock of who (graduating seniors aside...) who else will not return to school in the fall. The Big East's undergraduate contribution to NBA draft list this time around seems light, and that is a good thing. The transfer list on the other hand, seems about as big as prior seasons (2009, when the economic uncertainties persuaded nearly everyone, coaches and players alike, to put "moving plans" on hold, excepted), depressingly so. The usual suspects (South Florida, Louisville, Georgetown) contribute their fair share to the outbound migration...

Jamal Coombs-McDaniel6-7ForwardSoph.Trans - TBD
Kemba Walker 6-0GuardJuniorNBA

Though a junior, most in the Huskie Nation believed this would be Kemba Walker's last season in Storrs. The dynamic guard did not disappoint, delivering Coach Jim Calhoun a third National Championship before declaring for the NBA draft. If Walkers' departure was anticipated, Jamal Coombs-McDaniel's exit was not. Connecticut voluntarily surrendered a men's basketball scholarship as part of the penalty in the Nate Miles Affair. News in mid-May that their APR fell below the NCAA-mandated limit of 825 meant that the Huskies would yield two more next season. That leaves Coach Jim Calhoun with 10 scholarships to distribute next season. For a coach used to having a rotation of 10 or 11 players available, next season should be a very different experience. Losing Coombs-McDaniel, a rising junior who has been a contributor for two seasons, will hurt.

Michael Bizoukas6-1GuardJuniorMissouri State

Michael Bizoukas is a red shirt junior holdover from the Coach Wainwright Era. A sometime starter over the course of his three seasons at DePaul, his role would most likely have been reduced as Coach Purnell brought in more players he took a more direct hand in recruiting. Bizoukas should be able to contribute right away at Missouri State,

Vee Sanford6-3GuardSoph.Dayton
Jerrelle Benimon 6-7ForwardSoph.Trans - TBD

Though neither of the sophomores, forward Jerrelle Benimon and guard Vee Sanford were (per Ken Pomeroy) significant contributors to the Hoya offense, the loss of both is yet another example of an ongoing problem at Georgetown in the Coach Thompson Era -- the outbound transfer of many supporting players. A too short bench has come back to bite the Hoyas at times in the last three seasons. The Hoyas anticipate having 12 scholarship players available in 2012, with five of those players incoming freshmen. An untimely injury or two can expose the squad.

Terrence Jennings6-10ForwardJuniorNBA
George Goode 6-8ForwardJuniorTrans - TBD

Though he played behind Samardo Samuels for two seasons and he did not have the impact season he might have wanted, junior forward Terrence Jennings declared for the NBA draft and will not return to Louisville next season. The status of red shirt junior George Goode however is less clear. Early in the off season the forward was linked with rising sophomore Russ Smith as a pair who would follow Assistant Coach Steve Masiello to Manhattan College, play immediately (5th year senior) and finish out his career in the MAAC. With the normally chaotic scholarship situation at Louisville (right now they have 12 "on scholarship", with two more "verbals" on tap...that does not include the three walk-ons) even more up in the air this off season, is it possible that Goode might be back? Stay tuned...

Reggie Smith 6-0GuardFrosh.UNLV
Erik Williams 6-7ForwardSoph.Sam Houston State

Freshman Reggie Smith had already settled in a UNLV before the start of the spring semester. Forward Erik Williams is another story. The Texan was little used during most of the season, accumulating about 11% of the available minutes at the #4 per Ken Pomeroy. Williams did earn 11 starts over the course of the season, though Cracked Sidewalks points out that "...Buzz Williams decided to start Williams at the beginning of each half in nine of MU's final 10 games to reduce Jae Crowder's penchant for foul trouble. During that stretch, only once did Williams log more than 10 minutes -- the home blowout of Providence -- and he failed to score in half of those contests...". A homecoming of sorts, Williams should find a larger offensive role at Sam Houston State. And Coach Buzz Williams will continue to draw Texas players up to Milwaukee.

Notre Dame
Carleton Scott 6-8ForwardJuniorNBA

Limited to a role player and having an additional year of eligibility available, Carleton Scott nevertheless threw his lot with the NBA draft this spring. Noted for defensive rebounding and scoring inside the arc, as a veteran contributor Scott will be missed. But it could have been worse, Coach Brey and the Notre Dame faithful can look forward to one last season from fifth year senior Tim Abromaitis.

J.J. Richardson6-7ForwardSoph.Houston

Though he tore up the courts in the Panthers' Irish Tour last summer, JJ Richardson had difficulty carving his niche in the rotation with sophomore Dante Taylor, junior Nasir Robinson and red shirt freshman Talib Zanna ahead of him. A native of Texas, Richardson decided to go home and try again with Houston.

Seton Hall
Anali Okoloji6-8ForwardFrosh.George Mason
Ferrakohn Hall 6-8ForwardSoph.Memphis

Sophomore Ferrakohn Hall was a reluctant recruit dating back to his freshman season, the tumultuous last season for Coach Bobby Gonzalez. Persuaded to try another season, Hall lasted a semester and decided to transfer back home, finding a place in Coach Josh Pastner's Memphis program. Anali Okoloji was an early recruit for current Coach Kevin Willard, but freshman forward saw only spot minutes playing behind fellow freshman Patrik Auda.

South Florida
Mike Burwell6-6GuardSoph.Towson
Shedrick Haynes6-0GuardJuniorTarleton St.

Like St. John's under former coach Norm Roberts, the South Florida program is acquiring a turnstile-like quality. The latest outbound transfers include sophomore guard Mike Burwell and JUCO Shedrick Haynes. Though he appeared in 31 of the Bulls' 33 games (and started five), Burwell logged a total of 251 minutes, averaging about eight minutes per appearance. Haynes appeared in 25 games, averaging about six minutes per appearance. Both should see more playing time at their next stop. Coach Stan Heath has replacements lined up already.

St. John's
Dwayne Polee 6-7ForwardFrosh.Trans - TBD
Quincy Roberts 6-5GuardSoph.Trans - TBD

From viturally his first week on the job, St. John's Coach Steve Lavin has been shaking up the recruiting trail, compiling an impressive list of signees. While most understood that his very large 2010 senior class would require a large incoming 2011-12 class to replace them, few expected to see even more roster spots created by outbound transfers. Sophomore guard Quincy Roberts showed flashes in his freshman season, but an injury sidelined him in Coach Norm Roberts' last season, and the red shirt sophomore appeared in four games in the 2011 season, so his transfer is not a surprise. Freshman Dwayne Polee was one of the players the Red Storm staff consciously groomed for leadership going into the 2012 season. One of the few returning players with starting responsibilities in 2011, Polee seemed to be a player the staff looked to to form the nucleus of the next generation of St. John's teams.

West Virginia
Dan Jennings6-8ForwardSoph.Trans - TBD
Dalton Pepper6-5GuardSoph.Temple

The subject of frequent transfer rumors in his freshman year, Dalton Pepper finally pulled the trigger after the 2011 season. At one time recruited by virtually all of Philadelphia's Division 1 teams, Pepper's eventual decision to cast his lot with Coach Fran Dunphy and his Temple Owls is entirely reasonable. Fellow sophomore Dan Jennings appeared in 14 games last season, starting in four. Jennings was most active in the Mountaineers' out of conference schedule, but left the bench two minutes into the second half of West Virginia's South Florida game and did not appear in any game after. Will he be missed? Not much according to Coach Bob Huggins.

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