Some of the biggest names from the Ohio Valley Conference are taking their leave this offseason.
The departure of Corban Collins and JaVontae Hawks means big shoes to fill for Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky respectively, while Paul Jackson's leaving adds another blow to the Colonels' psyche. Losing C.J. Carr hurts SIUE a good deal as well.
With the number of transfers departing D1 programs soaring over 700, it might be worth taking a little perspective on this matter of supposedly rampant transfers. The Ohio Valley Conference loses a few of its best, but this isn't entirely surprising, nor is it too different from seasons past. For a little perspective, the Fayetteville Observer's Bret Strelow put it like this:
The current percentage of head coach turnover is 13.4 percent, which isn't far off from the player percentage.
Coaches are switching schools almost as frequently as their players. Like it or not, that's the business of college basketball.
Each transfer brings more attention to a growing trend, but labeling it a problem is a narrowly focused overreaction.
Joseph Nardone of Today's U also makes the relevant point that transfers in D1 hoops switch schools at a rate much lower than that which undergrads transfer in general (yes, non-athletes).
Morehead State is a team that was likely feeling well about its upcoming season given its success in the CBI before Collins announced his intent to be a graduate transfer. Collins will be immediately available to play at Alabama. That hurts a MSU backcourt that is already losing leading assist-man and second-leading scorer Brent Arrington.
Javontae Hawkins will take his scoring ability to the A10 where he will play under his former EKU coach Jeff Neubauer at Fordham. Hawkins is a graduate transfer as well and can (and likely will) make an immediate impact. After relying on Hawkins and the now graduated Jarelle Reischel for much of its scoring, Eastern Kentucky will lean heavily on Nick Mayo next year. Lest we not forget that starting guard Paul Jackson leaves after leading the team in assists.
SIUE loses talented sophomore guard C.J. Carr. Losing him creates a few issues in the Cougar backcourt, so Burak Eslik and Carlos Anderson will have a good deal heaped upon their shoulders. Though Carr slipped a bit statistically, he was still going to figure prominently into the Cougars' gameplan in 2016-2017 so it hurts too.
As we here at MMM have noted on the matter of graduate transfers, there are many opinions on that graduate transfer status.
Regardless, EKU, SIUE and Morehead State have big shoes to fill.
Think there are others big movers from this offseason? Feel free to share in the comments below. Stay on the lookout for a post on big incoming transfers to the conference.