Backup point guard Nash transferring from USF
In a move that had been anticipated by USF coaches, sophomore point guard Blake Nash, whose playing time diminished with the emergence of freshman Anthony Collins, announced he is transferring to another program.
Nash averaged 3.4 points per game and averaged 12.2 minutes, and he's the second backup to seek minutes elsewhere, after sophomore Lavonte Dority left the team in December and is now headed to Valparaiso. Nash said he's looking to find a school close to his family's home in Arizona, and there is a family illness that may allow him to obtain a hardship waiver allowing him to play immediately at his new school, rather than having to sit out a year.
USF coach Stan Heath had foreseen Nash's departure when he brought in two recruits for official visits last weekend -- prep guard Sam Cassell Jr. and Florida Atlantic graduate transfer Kore White -- when he had only one remaining scholarship at the time. USF will have junior college transfer Musa Abdul-Aleem as a backup to Collins in 2012-13, and Cassell could serve in that role as well. His prep school coach, Ryan Hurd, said Wednesday that Cassell is still considering USF, Maryland and Pittsburgh and is likely to make a decision by Monday.
Heath led USF to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years in March, and the Bulls earned their first-ever NCAA wins against California and Temple before falling to Ohio in the third round.
Heath has found that success despite an incredibly high rate of turnover -- Nash is the 15th scholarship player to transfer out of the program in the five years since Heath was hired in 2007. That includes five guards in the last two offseasons -- Anthony Crater was dismissed from the team in May, backups Mike Burwell and Shedrick Haynes transferred over the summer, then Dority and Nash this season.