SAN MARCOS, Ca. — With each passing year, the number of players who transfer schools is staggering.
The current tally for the 2017 transfer list sits at 721, according to Verbal Commits. That number is down slightly from the total of 809 transfers in 2016, but there’s still time for that number to grow and push the 800-mark.
Not all of those players are transferring to other Division I schools. Rather, many are taking alternative routes, with the hopes of returning to the Division I level before their collegiate careers are done.
For reasons that we never will know for certain, players go down a level with the hopes of proving their talents to Division I schools. Some are looking for more minutes, while some are simply looking for a better fit.
One of the biggest players on the transfer market in recent years has been the Cal State San Marcos Cougars, who will play at the Division II level as full members for the first time in 2017-18. Last year alone, they added five players with Division I experience to their roster.
This off-season, they have added a couple more, including a strong addition to the back court on Saturday.
Before the Christmas break, the Lamar Cardinals got back to their winning ways, scoring two straight victories before the holidays.
In their first game back, they picked up right where they left off.
Lamar welcomed the NAIA Huston-Tillotson Rams to Beaumont, TX in the non-conference finale for the Cardinals. The two programs last met back in the 2014-15 season, with Lamar scoring the 85=59 win to close out non-conference play that year.
History would repeat itself on Thursday night, as Lamar never trailed against the Rams. Josh Nzeakor got the party started with a layup in the first minute to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead, and they would remain in control through to the final buzzer.
Thursday was a busy day in the college basketball world, and a sad one for the basketball world, in general.
The legendary Craig Sager passed away at the age of 65, after a lengthy battle with Leukemia. Fans around the world looked back on their fondest memories of Mr. Sager to pay their respects, as the sporting world lost yet another icon in 2016.
Rest in the sweetest peace, Craig Sager.
On Thursday, the college basketball world offered up some top-notch action, even though there were only a handful of games on the slate. No ranked teams were in action on the night, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any big time performances to talk about.
The Auburn Tigers tied an SEC record for three pointers in a game, en route to a 45-point win, while yet another NAIA team knocked off a Division I opponent in 2016-17.
Through their first two games of the season, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks have been piling up the points. They put up 98 points in the season opener, and followed that up with a 94-point effort last time out.
On Sunday, the Fighting Hawks were looking to win their third straight game to open the season, something they haven’t done since the 2002-2003 season. Sunday’s game against the Presentation College Saints (NAIA) marked the third of three straight home games to start the year.
In the opening minutes, the Saints hung around with North Dakota, and they held a 17-15 lead with 11:01 to play in the first half. Elijah Valdez came out of the gate firing for Presentation College, scoring 10 points in the opening eight-plus minutes to pace the Saints.
Then, North Dakota started to take over.
Sophomore guard Geno Crandall recorded 15 of his game-high 17 points in the opening half, as North Dakota was able to break things open in the final ten minutes. The Fighting Hawks took a 53-34 lead into halftime, and it was smooth sailing from there.