That’s the number of Division I offers that guard Andre Wolford had out of high school.
That’s how many people truly believed in Wolford’s abilities on the hardwood and knew he was wood enough to play at the top level in college.
That person was Andre himself.
“I want people to hear my story not for my own benefit, but to be a ray of hope in their careers,” said Wolford. “I want players to learn from my story to have faith in themselves, because there is always going to be people rooting against them.”
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Joe Pasternack has struck yet again on the recruiting trail.
He’s entering just his second season at the helm for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, but Pasternack continues to change the culture of the program with each passing day. He has helped turn the Gauchos into a major player on the recruiting trail, and that has been evident this off-season.
Prior to Thursday, the Gauchos added a pair of power conference transfers to their roster, one each for this season and next. Graduate transfer Ar’Mond Davis committed to UC Santa Barbara following his time with the Alabama Crimson Tide, and will be immediately eligible in 2018-19.
The Gauchos also added guard JaQuori McLaughlin, who joins the program after transferring from the Oregon State Beavers. He will sit out the 2018-19 season, and have two years of eligibility left starting in 2019-20.
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. — The Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks had themselves an eventful 2017-18 season.
From the outset of the season, their lineup was riddled with injuries. The losses of Ryan Andino, Isaac Taylor, and Dontae Caldwell to season-ending injuries derailed any chance of a MEAC title for the Hawks. They were forced to put freshmen into prominent roles from the start, and while they fared well, their inexperience didn’t help the Hawks over the course of the season.
Freshmen Cam Bacote and Miryne Thomas both transferred following the season, dealing another blow to the program. However, the Hawks got some good news over the weekend that will boost their overall talent level as they look to rebound from a dismal season.
SARNIA, Ont. — Experience goes a long way in today’s college basketball.
A team can have all the talent in the world, but if they don’t have those veteran players that the younger ones can lean on during tough times, that could lead to an early exit from the NCAA Tournament or a rough stretch during the regular season. It could mean the difference between making the field of 68 or missing out on the Big Dance altogether.
As the off-season continues to move along, players on the transfer market are committing to their new programs for next season and beyond. With each passing day, it seems as though names are being added to the transfer list, while others are taking their names off the list with their school announcements.
With the high turnover, it’s become somewhat confusing to keep track of who is still on the market and who has committed. There are still a ton of talented players on the market, taking visits and determining the best course of action for the next chapter of their basketball careers.
In terms of the seniors who transferred following the 2017-18 season, the big names like Ehab Amin, Tre Campbell, Christen Cunningman, Ar’Mond Davis, and Zaynah Robinson are all of the market. However, there are still some intriguing options left that could be key role players for several teams across the country.
BOCA RATON, Fla. — It’s been an eventful off-season for the Florida Atlantic Owls thus far.
Following the 2017-18 season, administration relieved head coach Michael Curry of his duties after four seasons at the helm. Over that time, the Owls amassed a record of just 39-84.
Two weeks after relieving Curry of his duties, the Owls named Dusty May the program’s next head coach, giving him the task of turning around the program and helping to make them a contender in the Conference USA. May spent the last three seasons in the SEC as an assistant coach with the Florida Gators, who made two NCAA Tournament appearances over May’s three years.
It won’t be an easy task to turn around a program, and it’s not going to happen in one year. However, on Thursday, the Owls landed an impact transfer who will add some talent and intrigue to the roster come the 2019-20 season.
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — The only player from the West Coast in the entire Big South Conference is heading closer to home.
Guard Ryan Hiepler was the only player on any roster in the Big South Conference to hail from the West Coast. The native of Camarillo, CA was a redshirt for the Liberty Flames last season after playing sparingly over his first two seasons with the team.
To put things into perspective for those who don’t quite know where Camarillo is, myself included, Lynchburg, VA is a mere 2,540 miles away from Hiepler’s hometown. It’s the true definition of a cross-country trek.
After red-shirting this past season, Hiepler opted to transfer from the program following his graduation. After going through the recruiting process once more, Hiepler committed to a school that was much closer to his hometown.
CHICAGO — Two days in the middle of May can go a long way in making or breaking the NBA dream for several players across the NCAA.
The 2018 NBA Draft Combine will take place in the Windy City on May 16th and 17th, and 69 of the top prospects from around the NCAA have been selected to attend. It gives players from all levels of college basketball the chance to showcase their skills for NBA scouts, general managers, and executives alike from all 30 teams in the league.
In terms of the top spots in the draft, it’s no secret as to who the top prospects are in this year’s field.
Sports Betting Dime says that the battle to be the no. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft has, realistically, been whittled to three names: center DeAndre Ayton of the Arizona Wildcats, power forward Marvin Bagley of the Duke Blue Devils, and Slovenian guard Luka Doncic.
While Ayton is the favorite to go first overall, it will depend which team wins the draft lottery. Phoenix has the best odds and, with Devin Booker in place in the backcourt, has a greater need for a skilled big. However, if Memphis lands the top pick, Doncic may hear his name called first. It’s not that the Grizzlies don’t need a dynamic center like Ayton, they just also desperately need better guard play. You could say similar things about both the Magic and Hawks.
As things stand, Ayton is the favorite to be selected with the top pick (1/2), followed by Doncic (4/1) and Bagley (7/1).
At the combine, you won’t see Ayton or Doncic among the 69 players in attendance. Instead, you’ll see several guys who are considered fringe selections, and they’ll be looking to put forth impressive showing to help improve their draft stock come June’s draft.