A look at immediately eligible NCAA transfers

Don't count on a player like Alex Oriakhi to be available to St. John's as a fifth-year transfer.

With the recruitment of former Texas A&M point guard Jamal Branch, Steve Lavin indicated that his staff would look everywhere for talent, even to the secondary recruiting market for transfers. St. John's has been mentioned with former Harvard shooter Max Hooper, and Lavin traveled to Europe to look at some prospects. The staff likely has their ears to the ground for players who can immediately help the Johnnies handle the loss of Moe Harkless and find a way to improve the team's rebounding next season.

Is there immediate help in the form of a one-year senior player?

With the Red Storm in need of a number of players to join the current recruiting class, I took a look at Jeff Goodman's updated transfer list and extracted the players who should be eligible immediately this coming season. All of the players have exhausted three years of eligibility and will look to use their fourth while pursuing a graduate degree.

First, a bit of bookkeeping for those who are excited about possibly bringing Alex Oriakhi to St. John's: IT CANNOT HAPPEN.

From page 49 of the league's policy manual online (and mentioned two years ago by Athletic Director Chris Monasch with regard to Ronald Roberts, former Red Storm signee when Norm Roberts was fired). Let's remember this rule and refer to it anytime someone thinks Alex Oriakhi can go to Providence. Emphases below are mine.

Student-athletes in the sports of men’s basketball, women’s basketball and football, are not permitted to
transfer
(directly or indirectly) from one BIG EAST institution to another BIG EAST institution and
participate in any capacity in the sports of men’s basketball, women’s basketball or football. However,
these student-athletes may transfer (directly or indirectly) from one BIG EAST institution to another BIG
EAST institution and may participate in sports other than men’s basketball, women’s basketball or
football pursuant to the transfer parameters in the next clause. There are no exceptions or waivers to
this rule....

Special Notes

1. A student-athlete who signs a valid National Letter of Intent with a BIG EAST institution is subject to the
above-mentioned transfer policy for the sport in which they signed the NLI.

2. A student-athlete who signs a valid National Letter of Intent with a BIG EAST institution, and is
subsequently granted a complete release to said NLI or is granted a release by the NLI Steering Committee,
is subject to the above-mentioned transfer policy for the sport in which they signed the NLI.

3. A student-athlete who signs a valid National Letter of Intent with a BIG EAST institution that is subsequently
declared null and void (as set forth in Section 7 of the NLI), is not subject to the above-mentioned transfer
policy as long as said student-athlete did not trigger transfer status (as defined by NCAA bylaws) prior to the
NLI being declared null and void.

4. As noted in each section, the above-mentioned policy is applicable to all student-athletes who have ever
enrolled full-time at a BIG EAST institution (e.g., four-two-four transfers, four-four-four transfers).

What that means, and how little help the immediately-eligible pool is, after the table. The Grad column indicates that the player SHOULD be available with an NCAA waiver next season.

Player Height Pos Grad? Yr School
Matt Humphrey 6-5 G y Jr. Boston College
Nick Martineau 6-0 G y Jr. BYU
Jeffrey Neal 6-7 PF y Sr. Florida A&M
Kore White 6-8 F y Jr. Florida Atlantic
Charles White 6-1 G y Jr. Hartford
R.J. Evans 6-3 G y Sr. Holy Cross
Trey Blue 6-2 G y Jr. Illinois State
Koang Doluony 6-8 F y Jr. Indiana State
Kyle Smyth 6-4 G y Jr. Iona
Patrick Jackson 6-6 F y Jr. Kent State
Devon White 6-8 F y Jr. La Salle
Kauri Black 6-7 F y Jr. Northeastern
Elliott Lloyd 6-2 G y Jr. Northern Colorado
Renaldo Woolridge 6-9 F y Sr. Tennessee
Jordan Cyphers 6-4 G y Jr. Tennessee State
Jordan Kirschke 5-11 G y Jr. Texas State
Brendan Lane 6-9 PF y Jr. UCLA
Kyle Randall 6-0 PG y Jr. UNC Greensboro
J.T. Thompson 6-7 F y Sr. Virginia Tech
Domas Rinksalis 6-9 F y Jr. Wofford
Jared Swopshire 6-8 F y Jr. Louisville
Alex Oriakhi 6-9 C y Jr. UConn
Javon Dawson 6-6 F y? So. Utah

Originally, I was going to add the minutes played and tempo-neutral stats for each player, but it was frankly depressing. Most of these players saw minimal time on the court, and their offensive play was fairly lackluster. No Seth Curry-type players in this group - just a lot of players that you probably wouldn't have noticed if you watched five randomly selected conference games of each team.

Of the players on the list, a few stand out*:

  • Matt Humphrey - an eager wing scorer from Chicago, he originally was at Oregon before transferring to Boston College. Boston College fans aren't particularly sad to see him go - chucking and missing gets old.
  • Brendan Lane - Lane is a competent forward who didn't see much time in Los Angeles. Rumor has him staying west and going to the University of Pacific.
  • Kyle Smyth - Smythe has a medical waiver from 2008-09 and played at Don Bosco Prep. He started 61 of 64 games for the Iona Gaels, but saw his time reduced at the end of this year. He's a 38.6% career three-point shooter who slumped to 33% this season.
  • J.T. Thompson - Thompson is a solid forward who has sat out two season recovering from ACL injuries; he'll go to a school close to his daughter in Charlotte.
  • Jared Swopshire - as a Big East player, he cannot transfer to St. John's. He's long and he can rebound.
  • Alex Oriakhi - as a Big East player, he cannot transfer to St. John's. He's long and he can rebound.
  • Pat Jackson - as a former Rutgers player, he cannot transfer to St. John's. The former Boys and Girls high player wants to be closer to home, and wants a bigger role. He's undersized, but he can rebound a bit.

The point of this is to say there's not much immediately available on the transfer market. St. John's fortunes next year are in the hands of the current roster, and the freshmen/ Junior College players that Coach Lavin and his staff can bring in.

(*If I missed a player who you think can be a difference-maker on the Big East level, feel free to comment below.)

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