There’s a changing of the guard in the Ivy League in 2016-17.
Eleven freshman guards are joining the conference this season, all of whom are looking to make a name for themselves and their programs. Some will come in and start right away, while others will learn from some of the conference’s top players and will have to put in the work to steal minutes from the stars.
It’s not uncommon to hear of players transferring at season’s end. A plethora of players made that decision for their careers following the 2015-16 season, with the list pushing 700 names.
However, it’s rare to hear of players who decide to transfer in July, over three months after the previous season came to a close. A decision that late puts both team and player in a tough spot moving forwards.
The latter is the situation the Buffalo Bulls and Lamonte Bearden found themselves in, as the sophomore point guard announced his intentions to transfer from the program.
After his decision to transfer, several schools reached out and tried to recruit Bearden, who will sit out the 2016-17 season due to transfer regulations.
On Tuesday, it was first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports that Bearden has found his new team for the remainder of his collegiate career.
Head Coach Lorenzo Romar and the Washington Huskies have had their fair share of talented players on their roster in the last little while, and more talent is on the way from the Class of 2016.
Both Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss opted for the 2016 NBA Draft following their freshmen seasons with the Huskies, and both were drafted. Chriss was a lottery selection, while Murray was a late-first round pick. Many had hoped that they would stay in school for another year, but it wasn’t the case.
The prize recruit for the Huskies in the Class of 2016 is guard Markelle Fultz. If he follows the same path as Murray and Chriss, Washington could very well produce its second straight lottery selection in the draft.
On Friday, the Huskies received more good news on the recruiting front. It was expected that Class of 2017 forward Michael Porter, Jr. would commit to Washington, given his family ties to the coaching staff, but anything was still possible.
At the 2016 Peach Jam, he was reportedly given the opportunity to announce his decision on national television, but politely declined.
With all but one player from the Class of 2016 (#74 Taurean Thompson) off the board, the attention has switched to the recruiting class of 2017.
On Tuesday, ESPN released the first edition of their Class of 2017 rankings. Two big men headline the list, as DeAndre Ayton and Wendell Carter find their names atop the rankings. From top to bottom, the list is packed with players full of star potential, both in the NCAA and at the professional level.
As of Tuesday, 19 of the players have already committed to a school for the 2017-18 season.
Four Canadian prospects have made their way onto the list, with the highest player ranked as the 34th-best prospect in the recruiting class. With the recent rise of Canada Basketball, more and more players from Canada are finding the spotlight, and the Class of 2017 is no different.
Slowly but surely, the pieces have been falling into place for the recruiting class of 2016.
One by one, the top recruits in the country have made their final decision on where they will play their collegiate basketball next season. Some schools, like the Kentucky Wildcats or the Duke Blue Devils, have their fair share of top-tier recruits. Others, however, were hoping to land that one impact recruit that could change their season for the better.
On Friday, the Texas Longhorns landed their impact recruit.
Center Jarrett Allen was the last five-star prospect on the board who hadn’t chose his collegiate home. He is ranked as the top center in the Class of 2016 by ESPN.
He was relatively quiet during his recruiting process, although it was a well-known fact that there was an instate battle for the Austin, TX native between the Longhorns and the Houston Cougars.