Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Big East Transfers -- Fall Wrapup?

When I posted about transfers in mid-June I anticipated a follow-up posting in early September to cross the Ts and dot the Is for the 2007-08 season, while also forecasting a bit for the 2008-09 season. With confirmation of Keon Lawrence's move to Seton Hall, Gus Gilchrest's move from Maryland to South Florida and Herb Pope's subsequent move from New Mexico State also to Seton Hall, not to mention tabbed "difference-maker" Trevor Mbakwe's unexpected (voluntary) exit from Marquette, it appears this theme has regrown legs. And has me wondering again if "something is going on" here in the Big East. I have produced an updated table of the outbound and inbound transfers...

Marcus JohnsonConnecticutUSC
Curtis KellyConnecticutKansas State
Doug WigginsConnecticutMassachusetts
Vernon MacklinGeorgetownFlorida
Jeremiah RiversGeorgetownIndiana
Derrick CaracterLouisvilleSouthern Miss.?
Scott ChristophersonMarquetteIowa State
Trevor MbakweMarquetteMiami-Dade CC
Ty ProffittNotre DameMorehead St.
Cassin DiggsPittsburghTBD
Dwain WilliamsProvidenceOregon State
Larry Davis Seton HallLoyola Marymount
Solomon BozemanSouth FloridaArkansas-Little Rock
Orane ChinSouth FloridaCal State Fullerton
Dante CurrySouth FloridaGeorgia State
Aaron HolmesSouth FloridaSanta Fe CC
Amu SaakaSouth FloridaFurman
Mike CavataioSt. John'sHoly Cross
Ricky TorresSt. John'sUMBC
Larry WrightSt. John'sOakland
Malcolm Grant VillanovaMiami
Andrew OttVillanovaPenn State
Jacob GreenWest VirginiaFordham

Note that transfers confirmed after my June 18 posting are highlighted in yellow. For the outbound (former) Big East players I have confirmed destinations for all but one (Cassin Diggs of Pittsburgh -- I thought I had run across an article about where he was headed, but have not been able to track it down. And of course former Louisville forward Derrick Caracter appears to be headed to Larry Eustachy's program at Southern Mississippi (CUSA). But like most other plans Caracter has announced over the past 6 months, does anyone know where Derrick Caracter will turn up next? The latest turn in a high school, AAU circuit and D1 career that has become a counter argument for early scouting of talent, has Mississippi State reporting that even though releases and transcripts have been received, the young man has yet to get to campus (and class...). Those green highlighted players transferred before the spring 2008 semester, and should be eligible to play at their destination schools in the spring 2009 semester. I have not tracked down the mid-year inbound transfers yet, though I believe South Florida may have one.

Charles OkwanduHarkem Jr. Coll.Connecticut
Julian VaughnFlorida StateGeorgetown
Jimmy ButlerTyler Jr. Coll.Marquette
Ben HansbroughMississippi StateNotre Dame
Scott MartinPurdueNotre Dame
Jonathan MitchellFloridaRutgers
Keon LawrenceMissouriSeton Hall
Herb PopeNew Mexico St.Seton Hall
Mike MercerGeorgiaSouth Florida
Gus GilchrestMarylandSouth Florida
Taylor King DukeVillanova

Inbound, Outbound Updates...
While eventually I would like to look at how different Big East programs manage their student-athletes, the volume of mid/late summer player movement has drawn my attention. Setting aside "relatively" late 2008 commitments like John Riek-to-Cincinnati and (English import) Phil Wait-to-St. John's, the number of late-decision transfers far exceeds any in my memory. Since mid-June/early July five players (highlighted in yellow), many well regarded, transferred to (and were accepted by!) Big East schools. Three of those players, Keon Lawrence, Herb Pope and Gus Gilchrest, will follow Julian Vaughn's example, and apply for waivers to play this season. Seton Hall's coach, Bobby Gonzalez, speaking in a recent interview with ESPN's Andy Katz, suggested Lawrence may have a good chance to get the waiver. He was not up for handicapping Pope's chances. While the motives for transfer are as individual as the players who decided to move, a long understood, if not always acknowledged motive is playing time. When the player in question did in fact get a good deal of playing time (Keon Lawrence for example), other, overriding motives are often clearly in evidence (in Lawrence's case, a family in hardship). Discerning the motives for Herb Pope and Derrick Caracter however seem exceedingly obscure, as FoxSport's Jeff Goodman recently noted.

And Villanova...
I can remember only four transfers in the past 18 years -- Jon Haynes (from Temple, 1992-95), Chuck Kornegay (from NCSU, 1994-97), Michael Bradley (from Kentucky, 1999-2001) and now Taylor King. King was a recruiting target for 2007 and had taken an official visit before committing to Duke. After sitting this year (no, he is not planning to file an appeal for a waiver...) he will join Maalik Wayns, Isaiah Armwood and Mouphtaou Yarou (and...?) for the 2009-10 season. That will be a terrific infusion of talent for the Wildcats.


Norman Rose said...

nice post. Little fact-check moment though - Caracter is (maybe/ maybe not) going to Southern Miss, and St. John's guy is Phil Wait (not John Waite, the singer of the 80's hit "Missing You").

'Nova's incoming talent is absolutely, positively sick. As a St. John's fan, I'm jealous.

- Pico

greyCat said...

Thanks Pico, I will make those corrections. Villanova is definitely on a roll right now. I know many Villanova fans recognize St. John's as the team Nova has played the most over the history of the program. We look forward to a time when that rivalry can be as intense as it was during the Louie-Coach Mass Era or the old NIT days back in the 1960's.