Will College Basketball suffer from the transfer portal?

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Will college basketball suffer from the transfer portal? Is it a good thing or are their so many moving parts something has to fail?

Players changing schools

Will College Basketball suffer from the transfer portal allowing players to leave one program and resume play the next fall at a different school. Many people think this rule is currently in effect. It actually isn’t but it will be passed on April 15, 2021.

Some readers might be questioning what I just said, thinking “what are you talking about, I’ve witnessed it happening the last couple of seasons”.

It does seem that college basketball players could transfer the last couple of years, and they have, but to do so they have had to receive a special waiver to play immediately from the NCAA. It doesn’t seem college basketball players who have entered the transfer portal have been turned down lately at all. Now the NCAA just needs to make it official.

What the actual Rule is supposed to be

The actual rule is that all NCAA athletes can transfer at least once. There is some kind of stipulation, basically as long as you spell your name right as a college basketball player entering the transfer portal, you’ll have the green light.

Collegiate athletes can already do this in all sports except football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and men’s ice hockey.

Fall and winter sports, e.g., football and college basketball have until May 1 to submit notification of transfer to be eligible the following fall at a new school, unless there is a head coaching change at the end-of-the-season or the players scholarship isn’t renewed. In these cases the player will have until July 1.

If a player decides to enter the transfer portal he can return to his current school if he chooses to, unless the school decides to give his scholarship away. Once a player is in the transfer portal the school doesn’t have to take him back.

The Baylor Bears celebrating winning the 2021 NCAA tournament.


The Baylor Bears cut down the nets and were just crowned NCAA college basketball champions. A week later according to The Wall Street Journal, there are over 4,500 active division 1 men’s college basketball players currently under scholarship.

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28% of those college basketball players have either already entered the transfer portal or are very seriously considering doing so. 1,296 players. UMMM, so yeah, ok, yeah. I feel like much should be said about that but I’m just shocked and speechless.

practical practice

In theory allowing college basketball players to use of the transfer portal and transfer without having to sit out a year seems like it’s not a horrible idea.

In practical practice it is going to help to further destroy and manipulate the game. These collegiate athletes are adults but they are  also still kids. You will have players transferring because the coach yelled at them or because they didn’t like the minutes they got as freshman.

Many ex-NCAA players going back decades, if they could leave a school, without having to sit out, they would have. Many of these players would tell you today that they would have made a huge mistake too. Looks like it will be this generation telling some of these stories in 25 years.

mistake and regret

Many of these players will leave a university and in 20 years will regret their decisions. How many players swear their love for a tough coach like Bobby Knight, when he was tearing them down to build them back up, they felt differently.

What of the players who talk about the hard times that they overcame, when they felt no one was on their side and they would never achieve anything. Then they go on to talk about those tough times making them tough in mind, body, and soul.

They speak about the work they put in and how much they love the coach that kicked their ass with tough love. That they didn’t understand it then but they are better for it today.

Well those kids are just leaving now and many will regret it down the road.

No scholarship

There will be kids who enter the portal and don’t get picked up by another university. Then their current schools will use their right to rescind their scholarships. Not everyone is going on to play professional basketball in the NBA or elsewhere. Many of these kids will regret there choices.

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Established NCAA stars getting together and making plans to form super teams will likely happen too. These kids might not even know what school that they will team up together at but still make plans the year prior.

This wouldn’t be much different than high school kids like Michigan’s Fab 5 deciding to play together. This won’t make college basketball better.

Mac McClung: NCAA’s first journeyman

Mac McClung is a college basketball player about to enter the transfer portal in 2021.

Mac McClung spent two seasons with the Georgetown Hoyas and was a big-east all-freshman selection. The star guard then took his talents to Texas Tech for the 2020-21 season, where he was named a 2nd-team all-Big 12 selection.

McClung will test the NBA waters but if he comes back to school, it won’t be at Texas Tech. He will be entered in the college basketball transfer portal and he will play for a third NCAA team. I wonder which one will be his alma mater?

Qudus Wahab

Another one I can’t make sense of is Georgetown center Qudus Wahab. He was named as a 1st-team all-Big East tournament team after the Hoyas shocking tournament victory. Wahab was an integral part of what some see as the re-emergence of Georgetown under head coach Patrick Ewing.

Patrick Ewing spent his post NBA playing days teaching post moves to NBA stars. Wahab, being a post player on a team that is thought to be trending upwards, leaving for Maryland is a strange move.

He received playing time and the ball often in the post. He’s not going to learn more at Maryland at his position than he would from Patrick Ewing. Championship teams are always glorified in a programs history but so are the teams that bring a program back to prominence.

Like the Noles

One example is Bobby Bowden, he won two national championships at Florida State in 1993 and 1999 but the incoming class of 1985 led by Deion Sanders is just as celebrated. They are known as the players that made the Seminoles an elite football program. They were very good before 1985 but this class put them on the map as an elite program.

I don’t know if Georgetown is facing one of those Seminole moment in its history, like when they recruited Patrick Ewing. Wahab is a post player who just finished strong, on a team trending upwards with a 5-star guard coming in to help out in 2022. Very strange.

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LaMelo Ball chose to not play college basketball, the transfer portal doesn't effect players like Ball, who are just waiting to be draft eligible

The one-and-done players are already realizing that they don’t actually have to go to school in the year between high-school and the NBA Draft.

There was some pause for players as it might create an out of sight, out of mind scenario that could hurt a players to draft stock.

Players like LaMelo Ball have soothed the anxiety of playing elsewhere instead of college. Making some money and still being a top NBA draft pick.

European players like Dirk Nowitzki or Luka Doncic have been going this route for years. I expect more top prospects to not go to a university at all for a semester of semantics.

I think players who don’t want to be in college should try their luck in the NBA Draft. Teams full of freshman never win championships.

Anthony Davis is the only one who has since the one-and-done started. Before that Carmelo Anthony won with Syracuse back in 2003 but that wasn’t the same thing.

Kentucky with Davis was the best team in the country and completely dominated the competition. Syracuse got hot, lucky, and won as an underdog with only two freshman really contributing, unlike the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats squad.


The 2017 North Carolina Tar Heels national championship team

The reason teams led by freshman don’t win is because they lose to veteran upperclassmen teams that have developed chemistry and have experience. Look at the 2017 North Carolina Tar Heels, after losing the national title game the previous March on a buzzer beater, they brought back most of their core.

The favorite

This team wasn’t a cinderella team either. Carolina was favored in 2016 to cut down the nets but were ranked 8th in 2017. The teams with the top incoming freshman talent were ranked above them.

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The Tar Heels won the title pretty easily, even though they didn’t play their best in the NCAA tournament. They were seconds away from overtime in the national championship game the year prior.

March Madness wasn’t something that phased them. The freshman phenoms were in high school the previous year. I don’t care how good you are at anything, the first time you experience something like March Madness, you’re not prepared for it.

They didn’t know what to expect from March Madness and couldn’t possibly have the needed chemistry to be champions.

This will be an issue with all these college basketball players switching teams through the transfer portal. They will have as much familiarity as a fantasy team. I’m not even getting into chemistry.

What about the fans?

What about what the college basketball transfer portal does to the fans. There is a lot of turnover in any NCAA sport. Since the one-and-done, many fans don’t really know their teams from year-to-year now.

Especially many of the blue blood schools like Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke. If this 28% of all players moving around turns into the norm then no one is going to know their teams or what to expect.

This is going to be huge and may hurt college basketball in the next decade. Fans like to know what their looking forward to and who they’re rooting for. It’s hard enough now.

Many fans may not even consciously know now that this will be an issue but the NCAA should be prepared. Some schools deal with it now like Kentucky and it seems to be becoming less and less successful on the court. It’s the chemistry and experience issue again.

Give me seven juniors who will play in the NBA but will never be stars over three freshman, who are future NBA stars. Almost every time I’m taking the experience because the history shows that’s what wins in March.

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made Roy Williams retire

UNC coach Roy Williams retiring from college basketball in some effect because of the transfer portal and its effects on the game

Everyone was shocked on April 1, 2021, when hall-of-fame North Carolina head coach Roy Williams retired from his alma mater. Williams retired at 70-years-old, near the top all-time for many coaching records. He came back to Chapel Hill before the 2003-04 season after 15 years as head coach at Kansas.

Roy Williams won three national championships as the head basketball coach at UNC. Since he returned to Carolina no other school or head coach won as many titles as Williams has won.

Unlike some of the top programs in America, North Carolina under Roy Williams didn’t focus on getting the one-and-done players. Instead he recruited NBA talented players that stayed in school for 3-4 years.

His three championships were in 2005, 2009, and 2017. The teams nucleus was made up of mostly juniors and seniors. Players like Tyler Hansbrough Joel Berry, Ty Lawson, and Ray Felton. These teams were 10-12 players deep. This is how coach Roy constructed his teams.

They were coached up with elite, smart, and fast point guards, depth and size in the frontcourt and skilled shooters on the perimeter. Roy Williams understood what I’m explaining about how to win a national championship. It was the plan for him.

Experience vs Phenom

Give Roy Williams 3-4 years and he would have a juggernaut. It takes recruiting the right players. The ones who are top college prospects but are going to stick around campus for a while.

Why year-after-year do some coaches collect as many top freshman as possible, who then leave for the draft. Then they do it over and again. Kansas and Duke used to do what the Tar Heels did and won national championships the same way. Both programs have gone the one-and-done route and haven’t won since.

No player Roy Williams coached at North Carolina has ever been an NBA all-star, but even the players that didn’t play in the NBA were damn close to having NBA caliber skills.

Last Couple Years

Roy Williams has won championships in college basketball but didn't stick around for the transfer portal

The last couple years, Williams had players like Cobe White. I think Roy thought Cobe would stay a couple years in Chapel Hill, but he entered the NBA Draft after one season.

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Carolina also has had players transfer. The fans were on social media wondering what was going on.

Was it something Williams was doing? Has his time passed him by?

Roy Williams retired because after weaving his way and masterfully constructing champions in the one-and-done era, having college basketball players now leaving via the transfer portal, was just too much of an obstacle to maneuver through and still construct a veteran team with talent, depth, and chemistry.

It sounds good in theory but in practical practice it will fail on the surface and tear underneath the lining of the fragile fabric of the game. The only thing that will be left holding it together is the uniqueness of March Madness. How long will that last?

Thought process of the NCAA

The NCAA must think we do this in the other sports so it’s the same thing, It is not. Most fans of college football and basketball can’t name a player in another collegiate sport. If ESPN covers any other sport on SportsCenter it’s about a 15 second highlight.

The college World Series gets shown on T.V but most sports fans don’t tune in. If the college World Series is running it’s normal schedule this season, it’s going to run into the NBA. Let’s see what the ratings are, or if the games are still televised when the NBA is on.

Not the same animal

My point is the rules of the other sports can’t be the same for basketball and football. They aren’t the same animal. Many of these kids will make choices that they will wind up regretting as they get older and college basketball and the transfer portal are long behind them.

Some students will not receive the education they will need or want later in life. One that was gifted to them and then taken away because the NCAA let them act recklessly without proper guidance. The NCAA allowing and wanting this, is in itself a reckless move. These are kids that will make impulsive decisions if given the opportunity.

It is the people who have been out in the world and have gained knowledge and wisdom through life, whose responsibility it is to see that these kids don’t ruin their futures.

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NCAA, you don’t by rule let these kids, who make you millions of dollars, have much at all, don’t take away their futures too. Most won’t go on to be professional athletes. If when they are free-agents, if they don’t get their contracts renewed, then they are dropped from the higher learning team altogether?

28% of all of college basketball division 1 players are in or about to enter the transfer portal, which means their scholarship can be terminated and if they don’t find a team. 1,300 young men, it’s on them like PeaceDot?

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