This has become a common refrain in recent years, as college basketball transfer rules have relaxed and thousands of players gain an extra year of playing eligibility, and high school players are finding it more difficult to find a college roster to join.
Basically, as Michael Ealy, a new basketball student coming from Siena, said: “It’s all about the gate these days.”
With UAlbany and Siena restocking their rosters for the 2022-23 season, upcoming players to the programs have provided a living reminder of how men’s Division I college basketball has changed in recent years. The number of transfers to the programs has exceeded the number of freshmen, while the number of new students joining the programs as preferred players matches the number of students awarded scholarships.
The NCAA granted every player who competed during the 2020-21 season an additional year of eligibility to play due to restrictions that year related to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Combined with the continued increase in the number of players entering the NCAA transfer portal as moving from one school to another becomes easier, the abundance of veteran players available able to play immediately has led many coaches to reload their programs with transfers in place of novices.
A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Eli studied a graduate year at the Florida Athletic Academy last season. Eli, who is 6-foot-5 and has the ability to score in a variety of ways, said it was a tough process that made him “mentally stronger” as he tried to find the right college fit for the past few years while competing for those places with players several years older than him in Transfer portal.
“There are a lot of guys who are not recruiting well now,” Eli said.
Malik Edmid, one of Albany’s upcoming transfers, has seen this on both sides. Edmid, the 5-foot-10 guard from Long Island who played his first two seasons in college at Merrimack, laughed, recalling that he “knows where I’m going straight away” out of high school since he was only choosing between two schools. Pursuing a different opportunity after two seasons of playing in the Northeast Conference, Edmid’s experience was much different. Edmead’s phone was ringing often, and “15, 20 schools” showed a keen interest in the goalkeeper who averaged 9.4 points per game last season and has three more seasons to play.
“It was a very interesting process for me,” Edmid said of the attention he received. “I will not lie.”
Edmid is one of four transfers to join Dwayne Killings’ coaching program for next season. For one of them, goalkeeper Sargo Patel, Olbani will be his third college, and he said the difference in how the easy transfer rules of the game changed was clear to him. When Patel moved from the VMI to Cornell after the 2018-19 season, the attention he received was far less than this time around. As for Patel’s first transfer, he said most schools’ interest waned when he realized he was likely – and did – sitting out of the season. Nowadays, although a one-time transfer waiver is guaranteed to players, it has become a norm for players to expect the ability to transfer multiple times without having to sit down.
So now 24 and coming off a season that saw 9.4 points per game and 34.7% of his 3-point attempts, Patel heard from very few suitors than he did a few years ago.
“This time, it was around 30,” Patel said.
Ironically, part of what made Siena such an attractive option for Eli, was the gate carriage. When Colby Rogers – Siena’s top scorer last season – exited the program, the Saints needed a top goalkeeper who could score. After a year of largely reloading his program through the transfer portal, Siena head coach Carmen Maciarillo targeted Eli as someone who could immediately compete for minutes of the year after two starters – Jared Billups and Gavian McCollum – did so for the Saints.
“Sure, you were big on this one, because as a freshman you want to be able to come and play,” Eli said. “But you have to get to where you are. It starts with putting in work.”
Eli said Siena assistant coach Bobby Castagna helped lead his Saints recruit, and that the school offered a lot of what the business major would love in the future. Eli praised the way the saints interacted with each other while visiting the school, talked about the school’s facilities and said he was glad to be in a “smaller school where I can focus on my studies”.
“I was waiting to play at the college level,” Eli said. “I’m excited that Sienna gave me this opportunity.”
Scholarships filled out
Barring any further developments, the UAlbany and Siena men’s basketball programs recently completed filling open scholarships for the upcoming season. Division I men’s basketball teams are allowed to use 13 scholarships each season.
Sienna announced on Friday the addition of 6-foot-11, 240-pound Eduardo Lin to move to San Jose. After adding seven transfers in the last season, Lin – who has not played the last two seasons due to injury, but is now in good health – is the only transfer Siena has added this season.
Along with Lynn — who averaged 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game in the 2019-20 season — and Eli, Sienna has added freshmen Zacharias Yigit “Zach” Tekken and Sven Bergison as scholarship players this season, as well as freshmen Mason Courtney. , Brendan Coyle and Kylian Gribben as favorite players.
Along with the return of Saints Jordan Keeler (Jamaica) and Stephen Lazar (Canada), the additions of Bergeson (Iceland), Gribben (Ireland), Lynn (Brazil) and Teken (Turkey) give Siena six players born outside the United States on its roster. .
UAlbany filled their open scholarships for the 2022-23 season with one freshman in Hudson Falls native Jonathan Beagle, transferring Da’Kquan Davis (Arcadia), Edmead (Merrimack), Japannah Kellogg III (Green Bay), and Patel (Cornell), and through Scholarship awarded to Tairi Ketner after the center served as a walker during its 2021-22 freshman campaign.
Marcus Jackson, a native of Amsterdam, will be a tour favorite for UAlbany next season.
In total, the thirteen players joining the DC Division I men’s basketball programs consist of five transfers, four scholarship juniors and four freshmen.
Former Siena women’s basketball coach Ali Jack, who spent last season working as a color analyst, began working as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Seton Hall Coach Anthony Bozella program.
Jack, who was born in New Jersey, was Siena’s manager for nine seasons before she was fired from the position after the 2020-21 season. Seton Hall announced her appointment on Thursday.
“Ali’s comprehensive experience and thorough understanding of this level sets her apart and is a real asset to our players and staff,” Bozella said in the school’s statement announcing the recruitment. “I have known Ali for a long time. She has had success as a head coach and assistant coach, and I believe she will further our recruitment efforts. I am excited to have her join us.”
Within the metropolitan area, the Division I men’s basketball programs have not yet announced who will fill an open position for an assistant coach on each team.
UAlbany has a chance after he left assistant coach Matt Griffin to take the same position at Florida Gulf Coast, which has also hired former UAlbany hiring manager and videographer KJ Baptiste as assistant coach. Along with Baptiste and Matt Griffin, former Siena player Kyle Griffin is assistant coach for Pat Chambers on the Florida Gulf Coast.
To replace Baptiste, The Killings promoted Matt Cioce from his role as alumnus assistant.
At Siena, Maciariello appointed Derek Brooks as the new director of basketball operations for Saints, a position that Matt Miner left to work with ShotQuality, a basketball analysis firm. Brooks is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and has spent the past four seasons as an assistant instructor and recruiting coordinator at the United States Merchant Naval Academy.
The Saints will also replace Marcus King as assistant coach on the coaching staff, but that replacement has not been announced yet.