A few thoughts to jump start your Tuesday morning:
THE ROSTER REBUILD CONTINUES
Just two days ago, Phlandrous Fleming Jr. was thought to be a mortal lock to commit to play his final year of college basketball for Tony Bennett at Virginia. Bennett already had East Carolina’s stud big man Jayden Gardner lined up and ready to commit. Adding Fleming was thought to be exactly what Bennett needed to keep the Cavaliers on top of the Atlantic Coast Conference heap.
Well, a funny thing happened on the way to landing Fleming. Somehow, much to the surprise of nearly every basketball recruiting expert, Mike White and the Florida Gators sneaked in under the radar. Monday, Fleming committed to the Gators, the fourth high profile transfer White has recruited to rebuild a roster that seemed all but depleted two weeks ago. Fleming, a muscular, 6-4, 210-pound off guard who can defend all three perimeter positions, averaged 20.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.9 blocked shots per game for Charleston Southern. He is a 2-time Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Fleming joins UMKC’s Brandon McKissic (6-3, 195), Penn State’s Myreon Jones (6-3, 185) and Boston College’s C.J. Felder (6-7, 235) in White’s transfer class.
From a purely statistical standpoint, Mike White’s new kids on the block represent a substantial improvement over the four outgoing transfers (Noah Locke, Omar Payne, Ques Glover and Osayi Osifo). The newbies transferring in combined to average 62.3 points, 19.7 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 5.3 steals and 3.3 blocked shots per game last year. The four transferring out averaged a combined 18.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocked shots per game.
The four incoming transfers also represent an overall defensive improvement as well. McKissic was Defensive Player of the Year in the Summit League and was a finalist for the Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year. Jones is an excellent defender and Felder, who plays much taller than his 6-7 would indicate, is an intimidating shot blocker.
IF YOU THINK THE TRANSFER PORTALS ARE CRAZY NOW … In a few days, perhaps as early as Friday, the NCAA will announce that it is going to move ahead with legislation that will give a no holds barred one-time transfer to athletes who participate in revenue sports – football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and hockey. Rather than sit out a year, the new rules will allow a one-time transfer during the 5-year eligibility window without penalty, ending a rule that has been in place since 1964.
Athletes in fall sports will have until July 1 to tell their school they are leaving. Athletes have to be in good academic standing w