Now we have to deal with this again. There's a lot to talk about when a coach leaves. One aspect of this transition, especially in basketball, is players transferring out. Bobby Frasco's already on his way out and we've already talked about the flexibility that comes with that.
But now, with coach Bobby Hurley gone to Tempe, it's not inconceivable that others could follow. Last time this went down, we nearly lost Shannon Evans.
From seniors with one year of eligibility left to players who've not yet put on the jersey yet, here's how I think it shakes down. Offer your agreements/disagreements in the comments.
Jarryn Skeete, Justin Moss, Raheem Johnson, and Rodell Wigginton.
The fact that they're all seniors is the main reason I've got them here, but the last three are all JUCO recruits. I don't know exactly how eligibility rules would work here, but Justin Moss is already at his third school and Johnson and Wigginton their second. Jarryn Skeete, for as crucial as he was this season, could in theory leave and have one year remaining, but his best play has come alongside Bearden and Evans and in only one of his three seasons.
Diane's academic struggles this year hurt in a big way. It certainly seemed in the early going that he would be the ninth option, ahead of Frasco and Pino. Now he hasn't played for a semester, none of us really know how much he improved over the season, and he's a wild card.
Shannon Evans loves True Blue, and Buffalo loves him. In theory he could transfer and enjoy a solid two years somewhere else, but he's already the most popular sophomore in Alumni since Yassin Idbihi, and could go down a legend here. As much as he pours in points, I'm not sure Shannon maintains that in a bigger pond. I wouldn't be shocked if he bounced, but I think he's here for the long haul.
Instinctively, I want to put him higher, but Graham, like Moss, is already on his third school. In my mind, the placement here boils down to an eligibility question: If Graham can play anywhere next January, when his transfer period from Houston ends, I would be more concerned. If his time at Buffalo would start a new one-year waiting period, then he's nearly locked in here. As it stands, he's only got three semesters remaining.
Smart could transfer and still enjoy three years of playing eligibility. It wouldn't be irresponsible to think he's a bigger risk to go, but he's another who we don't really know what he brings to the table. Ikenna is still new to the sport and maybe doesn't want to test the waters, especially as he'll be the teams longest-tenured big man in 2016-17 should he stay.
Nate Navigato and Nick Perkins
Sure they've signed LOIs and would cost themselves a year by transferring, but it all depends on how much they connected with whom in their recruitment. There's little more to say, except among everyone on this list this pair has nearly the least to lose.
He has no obligation to the university right now and three years left. Acknowledging the little that I know and that this post is entirely speculation, I would honestly be shocked if O'Field stuck with Buffalo. No one would have an easier go of switching commitments and getting back to basketball, and no one would have higher-profile suitors.
One year makes a big difference in how I feel about Buffalo's two point guards. We've all talked about Lamonte's struggle to find a scoring touch, but he wasn't far off from Evans' freshman year pace, and was a higher-profile recruit who Buffalo was able to lock up before more schools showered him with attention.
A year in, Bearden has shown he can play, has presumably shown he can handle the classroom, and has stayed out of trouble. He would have to sit out a year, but might have the most to gain from a switch.
I'll reiterate that this is all speculation. Just how I see the mix of opportunity and established connection to the school for each player. If any players are reading this and are upset, feel free to set the record straight. We'll be glad to welcome you back. If moving on is what's best for you, we'll be glad to wish you well.
To fans reading this, please don't pester the players. It's always been a decision on my part to avoid publicizing their Twitter names, and while you can find them without much issue, you won't here. They've got a lot to work on as it is, and much like Tweeting recruits, there's not really much sway you can have. You've shown them all season you support them.
We'll continue to have more until a new coach and next year's team is finalized. Go Bulls.