Transfers are as important, if not more, than high school recruiting these days in NCAA men’s basketball. Just look at what Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg has done this offseason. Sure, he signed a 6-1 guard from high school but he also inked a 7-1 forward from Greece as well as brought on a pair of transfers out west. Whatever downside left by the departure of DeAndre Kane and Melvin Ejim will be filled with transfers. Shot blocker Jameel McKay at 6-9 will be eligible to play on Dec. 20 after he transferred in from Marquette after the fall semester. Bryce Dejean-Jones, since he’s already graduated, can play immediately after leading UNLV in scoring last season.
Last season, the only 4-4 transfer (from one four-year school to another) Texas Tech had on the roster was senior Dejan Kravic who redshirted in the 2011-12 season after coming to Tech from York University (Canada).
Most of the time when a player transfers, he has to sit out a season, what the NCAA calls “one academic year in residence.” The player must sit out only at the school where they intend to compete and must be a full time student. One academic year equals two semesters.
Exceptions arise in two conditions: after the player has graduated and if a waiver has been granted. In 2006 the NCAA passed the graduate transfer rule which allowed players who graduated to transfer and become eligible immediately as long as the school they were going to had a graduate program their old school didn’t offer. According to USA Today, from July 2012 to June 2013, 15 of 16 graduate men’s basketball transfers were approved. In that same time span, 39 of 62 undergraduate men’s basketball players who applied for waivers received them. The NCAA defines a waiver as “an action that sets aside an NCAA rule because a specific, extraordinary circumstance prevents you from meeting the rule.” The most common waivers are used to grant the player immediate eligibility because he transferred schools to be closer to an ill family member.
Last year, four transfers stood out from the rest in the Big 12.
4. Ryan Spradling
If Spradling was anywhere near the lane when a shot was put up, he was coming down with it. He averaged 9.3 boards per game while chipping in with 9.6 points.
3. Brady Heslip
The Canadian sharpshooter had to sit out the 2010-11 season after transferring from Boston College. Heslip averaged 11.7 points per game while hitting 46 percent from the perimeter. On the season, he made 118 treys.
2. Juwan Staten
Staten had to sit out the 2012-13 season after transferring from Dayton. The lightning-quick point guard led the Mountaineers in scoring with 18.1 points per game and recorded 193 assists.
1. DeAndre Kane
Kane was eligible to play immediately because he had already graduated from Marshall. He averaged 17.1 points and 6.8 rebounds while dishing a total of 213 assists.