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Multiple stops in high school makes players more likely to transfer in college?

Aug 2, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Joe Browning/UNCW Athletics Joe Browning/UNCW Athletics

In recent years more and more players at the high school level have made the decision to transfer from one school to another, and the question in some circles has been how likely are those players to make a similar move in college.

Thanks to Luke Winn of SI.com, who took a look at the Top 100 recruits in each of the last seven recruiting classes, there are numbers that back up the theory that a player who’s transferred in high school is more likely to do the same in college.

How likely? According to Winn’s numbers, 37.8% of players who played at multiple high schools did the same in college while 26.8% of players who attended one high school would go on to transfer at the next level. One family that’s seen its fair share of institutions are the Grahams, with Tyree and Torian having attended UNCW and Chipola (Fla.) JC last season respectively.

Torian Graham, a top-100 recruit from the Class of 2012 who went to five high schools, de-committed from the same college twice and is now at a juco in Florida; and Tyree, a Class of 2008 recruit who fell off the map a bit while playing for four high schools, has since been at five colleges, and is looking for his sixth.

And when looking at Top 100 prospects who spent at least two years in college, 34.3% of those players did not finish their college careers at their original institution.

With just over a third of those players moving from one school to another, that lends credence to the argument of some college coaches that the game is currently dealing with a transfer epidemic, no? Not exactly.

4. That 34.3 percent transfer rate shouldn’t be considered abnormal …

… because a recent study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center showed that 32.6 percent of all full-time college students transfer. Are college students as a whole transferring too much for their own good? Maybe. But are basketball players transferring far more than non-athletes? That’s a definite no.

Winn would go on to provide information that reveals the role that the college coaching carousel has played in the increased number of transfers, with the average coaching turnover rate (13.5%) being higher than transfer rate of college basketball players (10.8%) from 2007 until now.

That makes sense to just about any fan who watches college basketball; while many (and those who drew up the National Letter of Intent) would like to believe that the student-athlete commits to the school, many do so because they want to play for that particular coaching staff.

That coaching staff leaves, and ultimately players could end up playing for a coach whose system doesn’t fit their game or the coach simply wants to get “his guys” into the program.

Times have certainly changed in collegiate athletics, with a number of factors leading to a higher number of player transfers. But the same can also be said of the coaching carousel, thanks in part to factors such as conference affiliation and the labels that are attached to programs (mid-major being one example).

If anything this current period is a microcosm of what’s going on with college athletics as a whole. The current transfer situation may look unstable to some, but this isn’t the only area with that issue.

  1. seanb20124 - Aug 2, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Watched the amare stroudmire movie the other day, said he went to 6 different HS. I can’t fathom what top class players must go through.

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