LYNCHBURG, Va. — The off-season following the 2017-18 season is barely two days old, but it’s shaping up to be an interesting one across the country.
The number of players transferring this season has already eclipsed 300, and the number grows with each passing hour. Several factors play into a player’s decision to transfer, ranging from opportunity to academics, and from relationships to simply moving closer to home.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Liberty Flames were hit with a pair of transfers, as both Ezra Talbert and Isaiah Williams announced that they would be transferring from the program.
Talbert was a redshirt junior during the 2017-18 season. The 6’8” forward made four starts this season for Ritchie McKay’s team, while seeing the court in 32 of the team’s games over the course of the year.
The native of Olathe, KS averaged 2.1 points and 1.2 rebounds per game this season, while averaging 7.0 minutes per night out. He played in 100 games over his career at Liberty, averaging 3.3 points and 1.5 rebounds.
Talbert is on pace to graduate in May, which would make him immediately eligible in 2018-19 as a graduate transfer.
He took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to announce his decision.
On Tuesday, Williams announced his decision to transfer from the Flames after one season with the program. The redshirt freshman came to the team from the Akron Zips and added depth to the Flames’ rotation.
Williams saw action in 30 games this season for the Flames, and was one of nine players to average double digit minutes per outing (14.0). He averaged 4.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 45.8% from the floor.
On December 11th, Williams was named the Big South Freshman of the Week for December 4th – 10th, 2017. The Flames went 2-0 that week with wins over the Georgia State Panthers and the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks, and Williams was a big factor in both wins. He averaged 8.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in the wins.
Williams posted eight points, four rebounds, and four assists in the Flames’ 77-74 win over the Panthers in overtime.
Liberty finished the season with a 22-15 record. They advanced to the Big South title game as the five-seed, but fell to the Radford Highlanders on a buzzer-beating three ball from Carlik Jones. Liberty then advanced to the semi-finals of the 2018 CollegeInsider.com Tournament, where their season came to an end at the hands of the UIC Flames.
With Talbert and Williams transferring from the program, the Flames have two scholarships available for next season.
– T. Bennett