UConn's Dan Hurley concerned about players who 'change schools like underwear'

On3 imageby:Jeremy Crabtree03/27/24

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With more than 1,000 college basketball players entering the transfer portal since it opened on March 18, more and more leaders are expressing concern about whether or not that’s good for the future of the sport.

Coaches are also concerned about the timing of the portal being open – right in the middle of the NCAA Tournament. One of those leaders expressing concern is UConn’s Dan Hurley.

Speaking Wednesday ahead of the Huskies Sweet 16 game against San Diego State, Dan Hurley said he is not a fan of the portal being open while teams are still competing for a national title.

“I think we could wait until we get to maybe the conclusion of the season,” Hurley said. “That would be nice. It almost feels like in a way right now teams that are really, really successful and having great seasons, it’s almost becoming pro sports, where it feels like we’re going to have the last pick in the draft.

“A lot of the players will have made decisions because we’re not recruiting. We may be listed by some players on some lists of having shown interest. But I know that I don’t have interest right now because I’m just – all you can focus on, I think with the way that we function as a program, is on our team and coaching the season, and then we’ll make personnel moves once we’re done coaching this group.”

Is transferring multiple times good for basketball?

Dan Hurley also expressed concern about whether or not players hopping from one school to another is good for the long-term development of the game and the athlete.

“You can’t open up that window until the season is over. I don’t think you should play in five schools in four years or four schools in four years,” he said. “Don’t think that’s healthy for the individual for the long-term 50, 60-year life after their playing career is over because there’s no connection with our university, a coaching staff, a network of alumni that can help create opportunities once basketball is over.

“Whether it’s a one-time – I don’t know. I don’t like the window being open right now. I just don’t think it’s healthy for somebody to be able to change schools like underwear.”

Sweet 16 rosters stockpiled with transfer stars

Interestingly, Eric Prisbell found that 37 of the 80 starters on the Sweet 16 teams are transfers. Plus, the examination revealed that the leading scorers for 11 of the 16 remaining teams are transfers. In their second-round starting lineups, four schools – AlabamaArizona NC State and San Diego State – started four transfers apiece. All five starters on NC State are transfers.

Even UConn, the defending national champion, used the transfer portal to success. For example, Huskies star Tristen Newton started at East Carolina. Newton averages 15.2 points, seven rebounds and six assists and is viewed as one of the best players remaining in the NCAA Tournament.