How the transfer market is the new recruiting trail

That’s an average of 2.5 players per team!

Of course, I know that each team in the country didn’t see 2-3 players transfer, but that number is more for perspective than anything else. Times are rapidly changing, and it seems that coaches are doing everything they can to make sure they keep their oppositions at bay by snagging the best available talent.

When comparing transferring and recruiting, there are differences but there are certainly similarities. When recruiting, it’s a player-driven market where the young men in question court their suitors, retweet fan bases to stoke the flames, Tweet out their Top 5 then stream an announcement online or even on ESPN. They’re the ones who make it go.

However, transfers are a bit different. Kids could transfer for a multitude of reasons; playing time, issues with the staff, coaching change, problems back home, etc. Often times kids aim too big and realize that they aren’t cut for the big-time and look elsewhere.

Upon hitting the transfer market–while they hold some power–it’s not what it was when they were in High School. The player is older and most likely looking at sitting out a year per the NCAA rules. In cases where the player is transferring to a lower school, then maybe they were exposed at the higher level and coaches have a better idea for what type of player they are, or better yet, aren’t.

Once you factor in the players being older and with the shine has worn off the apple a bit, this diminishes their say in the matter. The list of schools looking to pursue them shrinks which in turn forces them to handle the situation differently.

With the added importance of transfer, this in-turn makes recruiting a bit more interesting. For coaches in the mix for a kid, it’ll add a new sense of meaning to their pursuit of the player. Sure, the kid didn’t commit to your school…but give it a year or two and there’s a chance he could be searching for a new home! This is where the relationships come into play.

The other facet of the transfer market is the Graduate Transfer territory. For teams in the here-and-now, Grad Transfers presents a unique opportunity to land a player with years of experience and who can walk right onto campus and play from day one. Unlike under grad transfers, these players aren’t subjected to the one year of inactivity.

As I type this, less than a month into the season, there is already 18 Division 1 transfers. It’s a clear sign that this new trend of cashing in on the transfer market is going away anytime soon. This added dimension to the landscape allows teams the chance to make a program-changing move when you least expect it.

It’s just another hectic wrinkle thrown into the mix. But that’s what happens when basketball refuses to stop.