Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Comings and goings increase with college basketball transfers

TAMPA — The transactions coming and going pile up across the country, not unlike free agency in pro sports. NCAA basketball could have more than 500 players transferring from one program to another before the offseason is finished.

For all the instability and uncertainty a fluid roster can create, count USF's Stan Heath as one coach who says he understands the fickle nature of young players and, to some extent, has built his success both with the help of such transfers and despite them.

"It's not a negative. I look at it as a positive situation where somebody can get better," Heath said. "I have a chance to improve my team with a transfer if it's the right fit. And normally, when a kid is on his second chance, I think he looks at the next opportunity as, 'I have to make this work.' So the attitude is different."

This past season, Heath's Bulls won two games in the NCAA Tournament with three starters who began their careers at other major programs then sat out the NCAA-required two semesters: Ron Anderson at Kansas State, Augustus Gilchrist at Maryland and Victor Rudd at Arizona State. Conversely, Heath has lost 15 scholarship players during his five-year tenure.

Heath said he doesn't take it personally when a player asks to leave after only a season or two — usually seeking more minutes — accepting it's hardly an attitude limited to college basketball.

"They are extremely impatient. It's the fast-food model. Everybody wants it now. Nobody wants to wait," he said. "That's unfortunate, but that's not a basketball thing. It's the way our youth are being developed. It's a society thing that we have to look into."

Most of Heath's transfers left after a single season of limited minutes, and all left for programs in less-challenging leagues. Players who totaled a few dozen points at USF might be double-digit scorers elsewhere, and Heath said he is glad to see that.

"A high percentage of the kids that left here, I've looked at their career and said, 'Man, they made a good decision. They've had success,' " Heath said. "You know you can't play 13 guys. Somebody's not going to be happy, and you have to understand that. I don't take it personally at all. I've never held a kid back."

There can be ramifications for a school with regard to APR scores, which measure a program's ability to keep players academically eligible and retained in school. A player leaving with a grade point average of 2.6 or lower can hurt a team's APR, which can affect a program's scholarship allotment and postseason eligibility.

Heath said he has never prevented players from transferring until they reach that GPA, as other coaches have acknowledged doing.

Other state programs have benefited from transfers. Florida's Mike Rosario came from Rutgers, and Florida State's Jeff Peterson had stints at Iowa and Arkansas.

Jeff Goodman, who covers NCAA basketball for, compiles a national list of transfers each year. With more than 400 players already doing so, he expects the number to reach 500 before summer's end.

The trend continues at USF as well. The emergence of freshman point guard Anthony Collins this past season prompted two other point guards to request their release to transfer. Heath has another transfer who could start next season in Martino Brock, a forward from South Alabama. And he picked up a commitment this week from Kore White, a graduate transfer from Florida Atlantic who will play one season for the Bulls.

"Everybody looks at it differently," Heath said. "There have been a couple of kids I wish had stayed. I tried to talk them into staying. But if they really want to go, I would never hold anyone here that didn't want to be here."

Comings and goings increase with college basketball transfers 05/03/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 3, 2012 11:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  2. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  3. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  4. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  5. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.