Transfers The Norm In Division I Now

College men’s basketball has changed and most of us never noticed. One of the common complaints about the Red Wolves of late is the lack of players who signed with AState and stick with the program the whole way.

Conventional wisdom has always said that for the so-called mid-major programs the only route to success is signing freshmen and building them into a successful team.

For all the worries about the one and done players impact in college basketball, those players are a fraction of the turmoil within college basketball rosters.

A study by the NCAA indicated that nearly 40% of players signed by Division I basketball teams will leave the school they signed with before their junior season for reasons other than turning pro.

Only 44% will transfer directly to another Division I school and most of them to leagues not as highly regarded as the one they left. Over 16% of those leaving do not end up playing at any NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA school.

The numbers suggest that Division I coaches as a group are struggling to identify players who will be able to contribute since most players transfer to lower level programs where they would presumably be able to play more. Another concern is identifying players who are academically prepared for the rigors of college as most transfers surveyed by the NCAA indicated academics played a factor in their transfer. As a group, transfers are less likely to graduate than Division I men’s basketball players as a whole.

Looking around the Sun Belt, AState is not the only team with a high number of transfer players.

AState’s 14 man roster features 10 players who played at another college before joining the Red Wolves. Currently ULM holds a 1 ½ game lead atop the conference and they have nine players who previously played at another two year or four college.

At the other end of the spectrum, the league’s second place team, Georgia Southern has only four players on the active roster with experience at another college. The league’s third place team Georgia State has six with prior college experience plus one player who did a year of prep school after high school.

Fourth place Texas-Arlington has 9 players with prior college experience plus one international player. The Mavericks are tied with UL Lafayette in fourth. The Cajuns have 7 players with past college experience.

Despite the preference of fans for players to play four years at a school so they can get to know the players and watch them develop, the numbers found by the NCAA make that look like something that is going to become more rare.