The transfer market has dominated the 2017 College Basketball offseason thus far. Big name talents like Marcus Evans and the Lawson brothers have headlined a strong class of players changing teams.
But while the likes of Evans and the Lawson’s are the center of attention right now, their transfers will soon be forgotten until they step foot on the basketball court. They’ll have a quiet year to acclimate to school, while familiarizing themselves with the new coach, teammates, court, and any of its warps or tricky dead spots.
The NCAA requires non-graduate transfers to sit out a season before they play for their new team. So we will have to wait until November 2018 before we see KJ, Marcus, and all the other transfers play for their new schools.
While the current offseason buzz has been focused on players deciding to transfer, and rightfully so, there should be even more excitement about the holding-tank of student athletes who plan to make a huge impact for their new team this coming fall after toiling exclusively in practice jerseys for a year.
Kory Holden, who averaged 17.7 points and 4.2 assists per game, went mostly unnoticed at Delaware, where he played his first two seasons. But, Holden has not been squandering this season as a redshirt. He has surely continued to work on all aspects of his already well-rounded game.
“This year will allow me to develop my weaknesses and improve my strengths that have made me successful up to this point,” Holden said after transferring last year. He comes into the upcoming season with aggressive goals and high expectations.
“Coach Martin has made it clear to me I will have responsibility on and off the ball. He expects me to be a leader and have a major role,” Holden said. “My goal is the same as when I first picked up a basketball: play in the NBA.”
Standing at 6’2”, Holden is a little undersized for an NBA prospect but makes up for it with his impressively wide skill set. How Holden will use and apply his arsenal at a higher level is what the Gamecocks are looking forward to seeing. Head coach Frank Martin seems to have no doubt about his ability, calling him “multi-talented, one who can shoot, pass and has a feel for the game.”
The Gamecocks are coming off the team’s first ever Final Four berth but will lose SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell and senior guards Duane Notice and Justin McKie.
Sacred Heart transfer Cane Broome joins a Cincinnati team in a similar situation to that of the Gamecocks. The Bearcats made the NCAA Tournament last season, but senior guards Troy Caupain and Kevin Johnson have graduated. Broome should soften the blow with his scoring proclivity. He averaged 23.1 points-per-game in his last season at Sacred Heart to go along with 4.9 rebounds-per-game,
Broome is an inch shorter than Holden, at 6’1”, but makes up for it with his speed on the court. He recently talked with Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant about the progress he has made this offseason, especially on defense.
“I’m learning a lot about toughness,” he said, “It’s more about mental than physical. [Cronin] has helped me a lot in slowing the game down, reading the defense. The defensive philosophy we play with here has really helped my game; I wasn’t really always a good defensive player.”
He went on to talk about his offensive game and how it has improved over his redshirt season. “Because I play so fast, I’m going to have some turnovers. He knows that. Playing that fast, I might have one or two, but if I can keep it to one or two, that’s pretty good,” Broome said. “I need to improve my three-point shooting percentage — I can get by a lot of guards, scouting report right now would probably be to give him some space.”
Both Broome and Holden represent two forgotten transfers who have used their redshirt season to better their game. Maybe being forgotten is temporarily a good thing, if you come back even stronger.
– M. Roitman