Luke Winn came up for air during his summer hibernation and, as you might expect, put a nice, little bow on this summer’s conversation about transfers.
The gist of his findings: transfers are increasing, but that increase is only incremental, not astronomical. The number of notable transfers has, more than anything, made it look like an epidemic.
What has increased greatly, however, is the number of players transferring up a level:
While the overall transfer market is growing at a max of two percent, the number of up-transfers more than doubled between 2011-12 (when there were 12 who became eligible) and 2012-13 (when there are 25, led by Kentucky’s Ryan Harrow, formerly of N.C. State; Louisville’s Luke Hancock, formerly of George Mason; and a host of fifth-year graduate transfers). Early tabulations for 2013-14 suggest that it will feature an equally large amount of up-transfers.
Why does this matter? Because recruiting, some of it legal, some of it tampering, plays a much bigger role in up-transferring than it does in down-transferring. The stakes are higher when NCAA tournament teams are fighting over experienced players who can fill rotational needs. As Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski opined in June, “There’s so much recruiting for transfers or fifth-year players right now it’s incredible. They get recruited harder, I think, than high-schoolers. It’s not a good time.”
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the findings?
The increase just so happened to coincide with the elimination of the April evaluation period. Maybe there was something to all of those coaches complaining about insufficient chances to evaluate prospects.
(Image via Inside Sports Illustrated)
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.