The college basketball season may have just ended, but the offseason is already in full swing. This is the time of year when players decide to stay or go, and that can sometimes apply to coaches as well. Also, it’s important not to forget about graduate transfers, who are more or less free agents looking for a school where they can make an impact next season. Let’s check out all of the important college basketball news from the past week.
Jay Wright to the Knicks?
One of the most surprising sports stories of the past week is the report that the New York Knicks intend to reach out to Villanova’s Jay Wright about their coaching vacancy. The Knicks have a huge rebuilding effort ahead of them and see Wright as the perfect coach despite his lack of experience in the NBA. Meanwhile, there are conflicting reports about whether or not Wright would be receptive to the Knicks. He’s admitted that the NBA intrigues him, and after two titles in three years, there’s little left to accomplish at Villanova unless he wants to keep building a dynasty. However, Wright is no doubt comfortable and may not want to uproot his life for the challenge of coaching in the NBA.
New Starting 5
On Monday, Wendell Carter Jr. announced that he would be leaving Duke for the NBA. He joins now former teammates Marvin Bailey III, Trevon Duval, and Gary Trent Jr. who all previously declared as well. With senior Grayson Allen out of eligibility, it means the Blue Devils will have five new starters next season. At Kentucky, that would be no big deal, but this is some uncharted territory for Mike Krzyzewski. Of course, it’d be a mistake to start assuming that Duke is going to be down next season. The Blue Devils the top three recruits in the country, so they’ll reload quickly.
No More Moe
Joining Carter and the rest of the Dukies in this year’s draft will be Michigan’s Moe Wagner, who announced Saturday that he’ll be leaving Ann Arbor and signing with an agent. Wagner dropped 24 points and hauled in 15 rebounds against Loyola–Chicago in the Final Four, saving his best for the big stage. Despite an outstanding junior season in which he was the best player on the national runner-up, Wagner is barely a top-50 prospect. That being said, he’s a 6’ 11’’ big man who can shoot it from deep and put it on the floor, so don’t be surprised if he finds a nice home in the NBA.
Sooners Lose Another Guard
Oklahoma expected Trae Young to go to the NBA after a brilliant freshman season, but he’s not the only guard the Sooners will have to replace next season. Rising junior Kameron McGusty has decided to transfer to Miami. McGusty, who was a top-50 recruit coming out of high school, saw his minutes drop this past season, in large part because of Young. He was still the team’s fourth-leading scorer and figured to be a big part of the team next year with Young leaving. Of course, McGusty will now sit out a year before he’s eligible at Miami, who also added Anthony Mack from Wyoming as a transfer last week.
Guess Who’s Staying
It should be noted that not every player who could leave for the NBA is actually leaving. Gonzaga received good news last week with forward Killian Tillie announcing he’d be back in Spokane for his junior season. The French-born forward averaged 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds and is a huge key to the team’s success next season.
He sat out Gonzaga’s Sweet 16 game against Florida State after hurting his hip, and his absence definitely played a role in the Bulldogs losing by 15. Tillie will be joined in the Gonzaga front-court next season by Rui Hachimura, who also decided to pass on the NBA and stay for his junior year. The Bulldogs now return three of their top-five scorers from last season, meaning they’re likely to be a team to watch next March.
What’s A Hoya?
Former N.C. State center Omer Yurtseven has chosen his destination, and it’s Georgetown. Yurtseven previously announced his intentions to either declare for the draft or seek a transfer after two seasons with the Wolf Pack. He has chosen to transfer to Georgetown, in large part because of head coach Patrick Ewing, who Yurtseven believes can impart wisdom to him on how to get to the next level. Yurtseven will have to sit out a year, but now the Hoyas are poised to add an impact big man for the 2019-20 season.