Friday, September 3, 2010

Signs of the Off Season 2010 #3: Where Are They Now?

What Have Been
I was over at Ken Pomeroy's website looking for a good explanation of leverage which I plan to use in another post, when I saw a great list, assembled by Pomeroy's research Nic Reiner-Parra, of transfers who become eligible this season. I recognized a number of names from Big East or Atlantic-10 rosters, both incoming and outgoing, with a few recruiting targets thrown in for good measure. While a few of the names have been mentioned elsewhere this off season, others have been noted only in passing, possibly last summer (or earlier). A number of names brought a smile, and sometimes a sigh of relief knowing the player landed on his feet (hopefully)...

Gaby BelardoGSoSouth FloridaCanisius
Trey BlueSGSoFordhamIllinois St.
Mike DavisCJrSeton HallSt. Francis NY
Greg Echenique*PFSoRutgersCreighton
Eladio EspinosaPFSoSouth FloridaMarshall
Jio Fontan*PGSoFordhamSouthern Cal
Scottie HaralsonSGSoConnecticutTulsa
Patrick HazelFJrMarquetteBoston U.
Alex KelloggPFJrProvidenceOhio
Travis KingPGSrGeorge WashingtonUMBC
Justin LeemowPGJrSouth FloridaNC Central
Jeronne Maymon*PFSoMarquetteTennessee
Liam McMorrowCSoMarquetteTennessee Tech
N. Meshcharakov*PFJrGeorgetownWake Forest
Mike MooreGJrFordhamHofstra
Josh ParkerPGJrDrakeDayton
Darryl PartinGJrLa SalleBoston U.
Earl PettisGJrRutgersLa Salle
Eniel PolyniceGSrMississippiSeton Hall
Lamar ThomasFSoFordhamHouston Baptist
Quintrell ThomasPFSoKansasUNLV
Phil WaitCSoSt. John'sMonmouth
Omar WattadFJrGeorgetownChattanooga
Brandon WaltersPFJrSeton HallSiena
Kraidon WoodsSFJrBinghamtonDrake

* -- marks those players due to be eligible after the end of the fall semester.
Trey Blue, Jio Fontan, Mike Moore and Lamar Thomas were just a single wave of players who left Fordham in Dereck Whittenburg's last year as head coach. There were four more players who left at the end of the 2010 season. Tom Pecora has a massive rebuilding job ahead, though Chris Gaston is a good place to start. Gaby Belardo, Eladio Espinosa and Justin Leemow were also an outbound wave, leaving South Florida and Coach Stan Heath's program, at the conclusion of the 2009 season. All three were freshmen who, though drawing playing time at various points in the season, did not seem to be able to work themselves into the regular rotation. At the end of the fall 2009 semesster Greg Echenique left Rutgers for Tulsa after an eye injury curtailed his season (he rationalized he was leaving Rutgers anyway, so there was little need to stay the year). Creighton coach Dana Altman left the Lincoln, Nebraska school during the 2010 off season to take the head coaching job at Oregon State. Maybe he should have stayed. Both Travis King of George Washington and Eniel Polynice of Mississippi are taking advantage of the fifth year rule that allows graduated seniors with a year of eligibility left to transfer and play immediately. The Big East should benefit when Polynice suits up for Seton Hall, and King should provide some leadership for the UMBC program.

Impact Players...Maybe?
Well-regarded recruit Jeronne Maymon had barely unpacked his bags at Marquette and he was off again, this time to play for Bruce Pearl at Tennessee. He attributed his quick departure to crossed wires over promises of playing time, so it will be interesting to see how much time he draws in Volunteer games, when he becomes eligible for the spring 2011 portion of the season. Earl Pettis was pretty effective when he suited up for Fred Hill at Rutgers. He should have a positive impact on the Explorer program when he starts play this season. Jio Fontan was an impact player for Fordham in the A-10. A prolific shooter, he was the Rams' chief (only?) offensive weapon through much of the 2009 season, who proved to be valuable as a recruiting attraction as well. USC Coach Kevin O'Neil is looking at NCAA-imposed penalties that will impact the Trojans' for next two to three seasons, and has to thank his stars that Fontan is in the fold. Quintrell Thomas was a one-time recruiting target for Villanova and other Big East schools, who listened to the siren song of Joe Dooley and Bill Self, packed his bags and headed to Kansas. When the Morris twins hit the lineup Thomas found playing was very scarce. He will try his hand at UNLV this season, hoping to make a place for himself. Phil Wait was a late off season pick up for Norm Roberts when he coached St. John's. Though 7-0, Wait was unable to get much court time with the Johnnies. He should do much better at Monmouth in the NEC. If he were better known, Kraidon Woods would definitely earn a spot on Dick Vitale's All-Marco Polo Team. Woods verballed to Villanova his senior year in high school, but caught in a numbers game (scholarships), Woods decided to prep a year at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA., and reopened his recruitment during his year at Hill after Villanova signed their 2011 that included Corey Stokes, Malcolm Grant, Corey Fisher and Antonio Pena. He committed to Coach Sendek's Arizona State program but -- numbers again -- spent two seasons on the Sun Devils bench before transferring to Binghamton in the American East conference. He unpacked his bags and the program fell apart amid a series of Players Behaving Badly incidents that motivated the administration to first clear out most of the team, suspend, then terminate then-coach Kevin Broadus and bring in an interim coach, Mark Macon, to begin the rebuilding process. After sitting the required year, Woods decided to move to Drake and applied for an eligibility waiver. Having been granted, the 6-9 #3/#4 will have two more seasons of Division 1 play. Best of luck to Kraidon, we hope this move is everything you want it to be.

Many thanks to Ken Pomeroy and Nic Reiner-Parra for putting together the list.

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