Student-athletes no longer state their intention to transfer. Instead, the individual looking to move on from their current school states they’re entering the transfer portal. It sounds a little quirky and futuristic, but all it is, is the entire pool of players looking to find a new home.
University of Wyoming’s Trace Young entered the transfer portal this week. The true freshman forward from Owensboro, Kentucky, will search for a new basketball team next year.
It’s a disappointing loss for the Pokes. Young started 13 of the 20 games he played.
He averaged 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest and looked the part. His 6-foot-9 frame and ability to handle the ball made him quite versatile, and those players aren’t that easy to find.
In any event, Wyoming is in the process of finding a replacement for Young and a few others — a list that includes Justin James, who ran out of eligibility after leading Wyoming in every major statistical category this past season.
The transfer portal hasn’t exactly played in UW’s favor lately. Wyoming has lost more players to the transfer portal than it has gained.
Some of that is due to head coach Allen Edwards’ philosophy. He doesn’t hone in on graduate transfers or look to fill holes from guys that have played at another four-year school.
But the transfer portal has treated Wyoming kindly in recent memory. Under head coach Larry Shyatt, the Pokes certainly didn’t build their roster around transfers, but the few they did welcome in discovered their role and made a positive impact on the team.
Charles Hankerson Jr. transferred in from Alabama, and in his senior season he started on the Wyoming team that won the Mountain West Conference tournament title and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 13 years.
Leonard Washington hailed from USC and helped the Pokes have a better-than-expected 2011 season — Shyatt’s first year as head man.
So while UW hasn’t relied on the transfer portal like some teams such as Nevada — which had a quartet of four-year transfers start on its team this year — the Pokes have benefited from a couple players who have transferred in over the years.
More recently, though, the transfer portal has hurt Wyoming. Last year, Cody Kelley — who started 23 games as a sophomore — elected to take his talents to South Dakota. Talented redshirt freshman Anthony Mack, who never displayed his potential in Laramie because of a concussion, transferred to Miami, Florida, last season. Two years ago, Jeremy Lieberman, who started all 37 games as a junior, transferred to California Baptist before turning professional.
In Edwards’ three years as coach, he has had six players transfer out while only one, Ny Redding, has transferred in.
A quick glance at the NCAA tournament shows a lot of teams that have benefited from the transfer portal. Texas Tech boasts three starters that transferred in and helped the Red Raiders reach their first-ever Final Four.
Hundreds upon hundreds of players elect to transfer each year.
Wyoming shouldn’t necessarily build their program on the backs on four-year transfers, but snagging a couple here or there could drastically help UW — and that may be what Edwards needs to save his job.
The University of Wyoming women’s basketball team’s season came to an end in the quarterfinals of the NIT. The Cowgirls fell to Arizona 67-45, finishing the season with a 25-9 record.