Big Ten Transfer Departures & Arrivals: Part I

If you thoroughly understand the NCAA transfer rules and can explain them to me in depth, please email the address above. The NCAA Transfer Brochure itself is 35-page publication with some of the most specific, detailed logistics ever written. I’ll explain the relevant transfer rules in relation to the Big Ten transfer arrivals and departures this year.

If an athlete wants to transfer schools, they must receive clearance from their head coach and then must sit out a year of basketball while attending their new school. There are cases where an athlete can forgo the sit-out year and play immediately, but examples of those involve personal circumstance.  The other relevant clause is the graduate exception, in which a student-athlete can play immediately after transferring if they are transferring in order to pursue a graduate degree with another year of eligibility remaining, in the case that they graduated in less than four years. A list of each Big Ten teams transfers follows:

Illinois Fighting Illini- In John Groce’s second season as head coach at Illinois, the Illini finished the season fairly stagnant, which is the polite sports vernacular for “it was a bad year”. Groce does, however, receive a pass since his team was inherited from the shamble Bruce Weber left it in, but it’s time to start making some moves. With three 4-star recruits, and successfully convincing players to stay in state, it’s time for Groce’s squad to crack the top half of the Big Ten.


Darius Paul – After earning Freshman of the Year honors in the MAC at Western Michigan, Paul transferred to Illinois. After multiple run-ins with the law Paul was facing a yearlong suspension from coach Groce during the upcoming season. Because of this he decided to transfer to JUCO’s Lamar State. Once the transfer was announced it was noted Paul and Groce’s distaste for each other. Seems like Illinois avoided a headache.

Indiana Hoosiers- It was obvious that the Hoosiers weren’t going to be able to keep the pace of a top ranked program after losing Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller to the NBA, and 2 other highly productive seniors, but coach Tom Cream severely hampered the Hoosiers chances at success during the previous season and the near future. IU loses a few more seniors this year, and transfer season was not kind to them. What ever happened to the 5 man recruiting class anointed “The Movement” from 2012?


Jeremy Hollowell – This young man came into the previous season with high expectations after showing flashes of brilliance in his freshman season. After beginning the season as a starter eager to score, his poor work ethic forced Crean to suspend him for three straight games and then was pretty much benched the rest of the season. If Indiana knew Hollowell was going to transfer out after his sophomore year it may have been devastating to some fans, but after his showing last season, he won’t be all to missed. Hollowell is transferring to Georgia State (coached by his former AAU coach), and will join forces with other major program transfers, former Kentucky Wildcat/NC State Wolfpack Ryan Harrow and former Louisville Cardinal Kevin Ware.

Austin Etherington – Etherington suffered a torn ACL at the beginning his sophomore season. In his junior campaign he had a very finite role and performed quite well while in play, though was not seen playing during the end of crucial games. Etherington played admirably, but never developed the jump shot that was expected of him. He will finish his college career at another Indiana school, Butler University.

Jonny Marlin – This was an intriguing case. Indiana native Jonny Marlin started his college career at IUPUI, then transferred to Indiana University as a walk-on player. He played from time to time in the middle of some Big Ten games, but nothing more. He wanted to be on the team of a major basketball program and that dream came true. Marlin recently decided to transfer back to a small school in Indiana, Indiana Wesleyan. I guess Marlin actually expected to ride the bench for a competitive team.

Luke Fischer – For a team who lacked big men, 4-star recruit Fischer came into his freshman season with high expectations. After playing only 13 games with the Hoosiers, Fischer quit midseason and decided to enroll at Marquette. Fischer only averaged 2RPG, but his presence itself helped IU, and Noah Vonleh could never get truly comfortable having to slide into the 5 for the team.

Peter Jurkin – Peter Jurkin spent his two year career at Indiana University injured, ineligible, and clumsy. The 7 foot Sudanese “monster” struggled to maintain possession and compete down low with opposing big men.


Nick Zeisloft – The sole arrival to the Hoosiers former guard from Illinois State. The kid can shoot from deep and is also eligible to play immediately. Zeisloft is a nice addition to a depleted IU roster, but the Hoosiers are guard-heavy and would benefit much more from adding a forward.

Iowa Hawkeyes- Fran McCaffery has turned the Hawkeyes program around. Cracking the top 25 for the first time since 2006, the Hawkeyes season looked extremely promising, they were even ranked in the top 10 for a brief stint. Iowa’s season ultimately ended in a loss during the play-in round of the NCAA Tournament, but overall it was nice to see quality ball at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes only bring in one scholarship recruit and lose leading scorer, Roy Devyn Marble, to the NBA but hopefully a winning attitude is finally instilled in Iowa’s basketball program.


Darius Stokes – Landing in Iowa City as a walk-on, Stokes practiced his way to a scholarship player his Junior season. Stokes never did make a large mark during game time, but with one year left of eligibility, maybe Stokes can get some playing time at a mid-major school.

Kyle Meyer – Apart of the significant 2012 Iowa recruiting class, Meyer never saw nearly as much playing time as his fellow freshman peers. Meyer redshirted his freshman season, and now has three more years of college eligibility.

Maryland Terrapins- Mark Turgeon’s third season as head coach ended similarly to the previous two, highly mediocre. He signed mediocre recruits that joined a group of mediocre players that were hindered by the loss of slightly above average departures. Maryland joins the Big Ten this season, which is disappointing for ACC fans because of their historic tenure in the conference, but new pastures may be the spark that the Terps need to attract some different recruits and make a push for a NCAA Tournament bid. McDonald’s All-American Romelo Trimble could hopefully make Maryland’s transition to the Big Ten more smooth.


Seth Allen – The second leading scorer for the Terps last season is set to transfer to Virginia Tech. This decision came as a surprise to the Maryland community, but with NBA aspirations, playing the 2-guard or playing PG behind incoming Freshman Romelo Trimble was not a part of his plan. Virginia Tech will be coached for the first time by former Maquette coach Buzz Williams, who helped rebuild the program after the Dwyane Wade/Tom Crean era ended.

Shaquille Cleare – Even with ample opportunities, learning behind former top-5 pick Alex Len and starting 20 games his sophomore season, Cleare was unable to make an impact on this basketball team. Cleare came to Maryland as a four-star recruit but couldn’t hone his talents in the Maryland system. Cleare will be transferring to the Texas Longhorns and hope to start fresh under coach Rick Barnes.

Nick Faust – 27 minutes a game was not enough for guard Nick Faust. Faust seeks to find a larger role with his new team, the Long Beach State 49ers. Faust averaged 9.4PPG as a junior, but clearly has larger objectives in mind. It is hard to fault an athlete for wanting to play as much as he believes he can, it is just an interesting move from a player who was set to play a substantial role his senior season for a power conference team.

A.J. Metz – The Freshman walk-on did not see all too much court this season. Metz suffered from a broken orbital bone in his cheek and only entered one game the entire season. Metz has gained interest to become a preferred walk-on at both Nebraska and Hawaii.

Charles Mitchell – Eager to play next season, Mitchell has been cleared to transfer from Maryland in hopes of finding a new home in his native Atlanta in order to take care of his sick grandmother. Mitchell and Turgeon have openly had many disagreements in regards to how Mitchell was being utilized; however, his reason for departure was confirmed to be for the serious family issue. Mitchell averaged 6 PPG and 5.8 RPG in his two seasons with Maryland.

Roddy Peters – The highly-touted recruit will be leaving Maryland after just one up and down season. Peters dealt with multiple off-the-court issues, which in turn caused his minutes to fluctuate throughout the season. In 15 minutes per game, Peters average 4.1PPG and 2.1APG. Peters has found a new school in South Florida and will look to create a more substantial impact.


Richaud Pack – Pack will have immediate eligibility to play next season for his 5th and final year. Pack originally played at Florida International but didn’t truly shine at the college level until transferring to North Carolina A&T, where he averaged 17PPG and 4.6RPG. Numerous player efficiency ratings rate Pack extremely high compared to other guards in college, but with a low assist rate Pack isn’t exactly the perfect fit at PG. The plan is for Pack to start at PG and help incoming freshman Trimble to develop his skills.

Robert Carter Jr. – A former Georgia Tech forward, Carter Jr. is the second player to transfer to Maryland. Carter Jr. averaged 11.4PPG and 8.4RPG and is considered one of the most productive big men in the country. Carter Jr. is an outstanding pick up for the Terps who lack experience at the forward/center spot. The Terps only have four projected interior big men on scholarship next season, so hopefully Carter Jr. can help Maryland’s frontcourt rotation once he is eligible after this season.

Michigan Wolverines- The 2013-2014 Michigan Wolverines had another successful season, advancing to the Elite 8. Michigan had to overcome a lot of adversity, after star PG Trey Burke bolted for the draft leading the Wolverines to the Final Four the year earlier. Along with the departure of Burke, budding star Mitch McGary had back issues all season, and by mid-year shut down his sophomore campaign.


Jon Horford – Most known as younger brother of 2x NCAA Champion and 2x NBA All-Star Al Horford, Jon made a name for himself as a power rebounder and fantastic defender while playing at Michigan. He finished his eligibility at Michigan this past spring and will be headed to his brother’s alma mater in Gainesville this fall for his last season.

Michigan State Spartans- The Spartans entered the season as the preseason no.2, and as all Tom Izzo teams had championship aspirations. Michigan State was tested throughout the Big Ten season and entered the NCAA Tournament as the no.4 season in the East Region. Although Michigan State was a 4 seed, they still were expected by critics to make a huge run, but were eventually knocked out by eventual champ, University of Connecticut.


Russell Byrd – After an impressive high school career, Byrd arrived in East Lansing as a top-100 recruit. Byrd never really felt too comfortable while at Michigan State, suffering from multiple injuries and receiving inconsistent playing time. After finishing his degree at Michigan State, Byrd will continue his career elsewhere as a graduate transfer.


Eron Harris – The most notable transfer on this list is the arrival of Eron Harris to Michigan State. He averaged 17.2PPG and 3.5RPG playing with West Virginia in the Big 12 during his Freshman campaign. Harris was brief in his explanation about the decision to leave WVU, but his father spoke to The Detroit News about his sons relationship with Bobby Huggins having something to do with it. Eron Harris will instantly be a contributor for the Spartans once eligible and will fill the role that was left by Gary Harris Jr.

Bryn Forbes – More points will be contributed from transfers in the 2015-16 season from Cleveland State transfer. Forbes averaged 15.6PPG last season as a sophomore and is a much needed 3-point shooter for the Spartans in the future. Forbes’ talent came to fruition after hitting seven 3-pointers vs. Kentucky last season.

Minnesota Golden Gophers-The 2013-14 season marked the first Minnesota season without Tubby Smith coaching since 2007. The son of Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Richard Pitino was hired to lead the Golden Gophers after just one year of head coaching experience. With the loss of starters Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe the expectations for Coach Pitino were not all too daunting. Minnesota finished the season in the middle of the Big Ten standings and made an appearance in the NIT, which can debatably be considered a success. If Minnesota can manage to win away from home this season (4-8 away) and start recruiting better prospects outside the state of Minnesota, then Richard Pitino has a solid chance of keeping this team competitive.


Wally Ellenson – The rising junior will depart Minnesota after two seasons. He was originally recruited by Tubby Smith, but failed to earn significant playing time after breaking his left hand during his freshman season. Ellenson is a two-spot athlete, who will continue his basketball and track & field career in his hometown team, Marquette.


Zach Lofton – Minnesota has been Lofton’s dream school of playing ball at. He was under recruited coming out of high school and landed at Illinois State. The 6’4’’ guard excelled with the Redbirds and averaged 11.3PPG as a sophomore. Lofton was a high-tempo guard, playing in a slow paced offense, and now with a chance to play two more years with Pitino, and his fast and furious offensive scheme, Lofton looks to excel greatly in his transition. The one knock to Lofton’s resume is that he was suspended for the final three games of Illinois State’s season for an undisclosed reason.

Part II

ACC Preview: Duke Blue Devils
ACC Preview: Duke Blue Devils