Tech hoops adds four transfers, loses one

newt clark

sports editor

Former Tech forward Robert Carter Jr., whose intent to transfer was announced last month, has found a new home in The University of Maryland.  Considering he was one of Tech’s top performers last season, the decision to leave was a surprise to many. Carter led the team in rebounding at 8.4 rebounds per game and was third on the team in scoring with 11.4 points per game. Carter’s reasons for transferring were to help him achieve his goals of making the NCAA Tournament and making it to the NBA.

Carter is just one of many Tech basketball players to be involved in a transfer in one-way or another. Since the end of the 2012-2013 season, Tech has been involved in nine player transfers, either in or out of the program.

After the 2012-2013 season, the Jackets lost two players to transfer, but also gained two. Tech saw both Brandon Reed and Julian Royal leave the program for new teams, but picked up point guard Trae Golden who transferred to Tech after playing three seasons at Tennessee and also added Robert Sampson from East Carolina.

Golden started at point guard and led the team in scoring, averaging 13.3 points per game. Sampson had to sit out last season due to NCAA transfer policy, but will be eligible this season, which will be his only year of eligibility.

“No one’s immune to [transfers]. It’s part of the culture, it’s part of the fabric. Now you have to move on, and you have to keep building,” Tech Head Coach Brain Gregory said shortly after it was announced that Carter was transferring.

The numbers seem to back up Gregory’s statement as ESPN reports that there are over 500 players that made the decision to transfer after the 2013-2014 season, tripling the number of transfers from ten seasons ago. Coincidentally, Maryland, the school that Carter is transferring to, has also had their fair share of transfers with five players transferring out of the program this year alone.

The Jackets have an even bigger influx of transfers coming this year than they did last year with four players transferring into the program–Josh Heath, Demarco Cox and Nick Jacobs, and Charles Mitchell. Heath, Cox and Mitchell could all be eligible for the upcoming season, while Jacobs will have to sit out for a year.

Heath is a guard who is transferring to Tech from South Florida after his father and USF head coach, Stan Heath, was fired following the season. Heath will have to apply for a waiver from the NCAA to be eligible to play next season, but in the past the NCAA has granted waivers to players who transferred after their fathers were dismissed. Heath averaged 2.6 points and 3.6 assists per game for the Bulls last season.

Cox is a 6’8” center transferring to tech from Ole Miss. During his senior season in Oxford, Cox averaged 4.2 points per game and 3.9 rebounds per game. Cox will graduate from Ole Miss at the end of the summer and then will have one year of eligibility at Tech. Tech faced Ole Miss in the Barclays Center Classic last season where Cox posted 15 points and 13 rebounds against what would be his future team.

In what almost seems like a trade you might see in the NBA, Charles Mitchell is coming to Tech from Maryland, essentially switching places with Robert Carter. Mitchell is transferring to be closer to home. He attended Wheeler High School in nearby Marietta, Ga. Mitchell averaged 6.5 points per game last season at Maryland and also grabbed 6.3 rebounds per game. Mitchell will have two years of eligibility left when he arrives in Atlanta.

Cox, along with Sampson and Mitchell, could be looked at to partially fill the huge void Carter left in Tech’s frontcourt. They will have the most collegiate basketball experience of any big men on Tech’s roster. The Jackets also have sophomore Quinton Stephens who saw playing time last year, and then two true freshmen, Ben Lammers and Abdoulaye Gueye.