Tackling the transfer issue

Point guard Jai Lucas transferred from Florida to Texas.

Aaron E. Daye/Staff photographer and AP
Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 5:15 p.m.

Florida is not the only men's basketball program in the Southeastern Conference dealing with turnover due to transfers.


Changing jerseys

A look at SEC men's basketball players who have transferred since the end of the 2003-04 season:

Bernard Cote (Northwestern)
Shagari Alleyne (Manhattan)
Adam Williams (Marshall)
Morkinyo Williams (Duquesne)
Rekalin Sims (Fresno State)
Donald Williams (Antelope Valley J.C.)
Derrick Jasper (UNLV)
Alex Legion (Illinois)
Mark Coury (Cornell)
Matt Pilgrim (Oklahoma State)
A.J. Stewart (Texas State)
Kevin Galloway (Texas Southern)

LaKory Daniels (Lipscomb)
Akini Adkins (Florida A&M)
Glenn Miles (unknown)
Albert Weber (unknown)
Shawn Taylor (Chipola J.C.)
Avery Jukes (Butler)
Justin Jonus (Troy)
Verice Cloyd (Tennessee-Chattanooga)
Brandon Davis (South Alabama)
Rico Pickett (Miami Dade College, Manhattan)
Justin Tubbs (East Tennessee State)
Yamene Coleman (Troy)#
#Coleman was a post-graduate transfer, having received his Alabama degree in four years after red-shirting his freshman year.

Ryan Appleby (Washington)
Mohamed Abukar (San Diego State)
Rashid Al-Kaleem (American International)
Jimmie Sutton (Florida Atlantic, Georgia State)
David Huertas (Ole Miss)
Brandon Powell (Marshall)
Jonathan Mitchell (Rutgers)
Jai Lucas (Texas)
Allan Chaney (Virginia Tech)
Eloy Vargas (Miami Dade College)
Ray Shipman (to be determined)

Lonnie Jackson (Southern Arkansas)
Brandon Patterson (Arkansas Little-Rock)
Mike Smith (Arkansas Little-Rock)
Xavier Hansbro (Georgia State)
Trey Hampton (Georgia State)
Andy Ogide (Colorado State)
Justin Cerasoli (Loyala-Illinois)
Marquis Young (Chicago State)
Rodney Jones (Southeast Louisiana)
Terrence Watson (Ball State)

Channing Toney (UAB)
Younes Idrissi (Iona)
Mike Mercer (South Florida) *
Billy Humphrey (New Orleans) *
Rashad Singleton (Florida Southern)
Troy Brewer (American)
Zac Swansey (Tennessee Tech)
Drazen Zlovaric (To be determined)
Demario Mayfield (To be determined)
*Dismissed from team before transfer

Kendrick Davis (North Texas)
Wenbos Mukubu (UAB)
Sean McCurdy (William & Mary)
Cyrus McGowan (Miami)
Nate Rakestraw (Biloa College)
Levan Patsatsia (Pensacola C.C., Troy)
Brandon Moore (FIU)
Andre Clark (Logan C.C.)

Ben Hansbrough (Notre Dame)
Richard Delk (Troy)
Reginald Delk (Louisville)
Walter Sharpe (UAB)
Jaquiese Holcombe (West Texas A&M)
Gary Ervin (Arkansas)
Vernon Goodridge (La Salle)
Bernad Rimmer (Georgia State)

Boomer Herndon (Belmont)
John Winchester (Quinnipiac)
Damion Harris (Newberry College)
Marques Johnson (North Carolina State)
Duke Crews (Bowie State)
Tony Passley (Southern Indiana)
Ben Bosse (King College)

LSU (6)
Regis Koundija (George Washington)
Ross Neltner (Vanderbilt)
Kentrell Gransberry (South Florida)
Ben Voogd (Northwest Christian)
Magnum Rolle (Louisiana Tech)
Delwan Graham (Chipola J.C.)

Paulius Joneliunas (American)
Stephen McDowell (Tennessee-Chattanooga)
Trevor Deloach (UNC Wilmington)
Chad Gray (Coastal Carolina)
Mitchell Carter (Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Adam Rayton (Williams and Mary)
DeMarre Carroll (Missouri)
Kyle Madsen (Ohio State)
Keegan Bell (Tennessee-Chattanooga)
George Drake (UAB)#
#Drake was a post-graduate transfer, having received his degree at Vanderbilt in Sociology after red-shirting his freshman year.

Marco Killingsworth (Indiana)
Lewis Monroe (Indiana)
Boubacar Sylla (Wyoming)

Florida's 11 transfers since the end of the 2003-04 season are the third-most in the league, according to a Gainesville Sun survey. Kentucky and Alabama are tied with the most transfers in the SEC during that span with 12.

Overall, 96 players have transferred from SEC men's basketball schools since 2003-04. Florida is three above the average of eight transfers per school. The survey was based on information obtained from other beat writers and sports information directors throughout the conference.

"As a coach, you always want your guys to be happy," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "And the transferring part, the fact is that 40 percent of all kids never make it to their junior year once they enter on a college campus."

Sophomore guard Ray Shipman became Florida's 11th transfer since 2003-04 when he announced his decision to leave UF last month shortly after the season ended. Shipman, the SEC's scholar athlete of the year, was averaging just over 12 minutes per game.

Shipman has yet to decide where he wants to play, but said on his Twitter account that he visited Miami's campus over Easter weekend.

"Ray, I think feels great about Florida, feels great about his teammates, coaching staff, the school, the education he's getting," Donovan said. "He wants a bigger role. And I think as a coach I'm not going to make promises to kids to keep them if I can't back up and follow up that kind of promise."

Donovan can relate to why players leave due to playing time. Following Donovan's sophomore season at Providence 25 years ago, he walked into then new coach Rick Pitino's office and asked to transfer.

Pitino tried to shop Donovan around, but couldn't get any takers. As a result, Donovan stayed at Providence, got in better shape, and won the starting point guard job. As a senior, Donovan led Providence to the 1987 Final Four.

"It wasn't like I was having a miserable experience there," Donovan said. "I wanted to play. I wanted to play more. I was playing eight or nine minutes a game. I made a decision to stay and force myself to try to figure it out. That was one way to go. And another way to go would have been to make a change."

Playing time and coaching turnover are the main reasons why a player elects to transfer. Sometimes, the two go hand-in-hand. Kentucky coach John Calipari provided an honest assessment of his returning starters and players when he took over for Billy Gillispie. As a result, three players transferred and one more (point guard Michael Porter) left the team.

Ole Miss had three players transfer when Andy Kennedy replaced Rod Barnes as head coach. Three more players transferred after Kennedy's first season.

Of the 96 transfers, only 14 were regular starters at the time that they transferred.

"Kids want to play," Donovan said.

Auburn had the least number of transfers (three) during the same span. Ole Miss had 10 transfers, followed by Georgia with nine transfers and Mississippi State and Arkansas with eight transfers apiece. Tennessee had seven transfers and LSU had six. Vanderbilt and South Carolina had five transfers apiece.

The survey did not take into account players who either quit or were dismissed from teams without transferring. Tennessee, for example, had five more players who were either dismissed or left the team for disciplinary reasons (Major Wingate, Ramar Smith, Tyler Smith, Josh Tabb and Pee-Wee Gash). South Carolina had four more players who quit during the same span that five transferred.

It's clear, though, that the recent number of players who have transferred from Florida (five since April of 2008) has impacted the depth of the program. Donovan went with a rotation of just eight scholarship players for much of the 2009-10 season after losing guard Adam Allen and center Kenny Kadji to season-ending injuries.

"The only one that was maybe a little bit of a surprise was the Jai Lucas situation just because of the amount of playing time he was getting," Donovan said. "Most of the time when a guy makes a decision it's usually a direct correlation of playing time. But you know Ray was playing, maybe 12 minutes a game. You know (freshman Casey) Prather is coming in right now and he'll probably have a little bit more of an opportunity. We're still actively recruiting right now."

Of the 96 SEC transfers, only three transferred within the league — David Huertas (Florida-Ole Miss), Gary Ervin (Mississippi State-Arkansas) and Ross Neltner (LSU-Vanderbilt). Neltner visited Florida before deciding to sign with the Commodores.

Contact Kevin Brockway at 352-374-5054 or brockwk@gvillesun.com.

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