Wednesday, August 24, 2011

SDSU Lands LSU's Garrett Green, Penn State Lands DJ Newbill from Southern Miss

Two big transfer stories:

Garrett Green leaves LSU for San Diego State - The 6'11" Garrett Green won't do much offensively, but he was the best rebounder on LSU last season and will provide size for a San Diego State team starving for some. There isn't a single player left on the roster who played significant minutes last season over the height of 6'5". The only big who played at all outside garbage time is Tim Shelton, a 6'7" player who isn't particularly good at anything. Green will be a big improvement over him. 6'8" DeShawn Stephens is a Juco transfer who will be expected to play alongside Green. It's still a fairly weak frontcourt, particularly compared to a team like UNLV that brings back Chase Stanback and Quintrell Thomas, but they're in a better position than they were before they signed Green. I still think I have SDSU rated appropriately where I have them, as the third place finisher in the Mountain West, and as a 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Green's departure will have an effect on an LSU team already reeling from the loss of Aaron Dotson to Utah (Dotson, unlike Green, will have to sit out the 2011-12 season because of the transfer). Neither Green or Dotson were good offensive players, but I'm not sure LSU had any good offensive players. The team was an atrocious 291st in Pomeroy Offensive Efficiency, their second consecutive year outside the Top 200. Green's loss puts a lot of pressure on Johnny O'Bryant, a McDonald's All-American and the gem of Trent Johnson's 2011 recruiting class. O'Bryant is a 6'10", 245 pound monster (tied with Marshall Plumlee as the biggest player at the 2011 McDonald's game) and he'll have to replace Green in the paint. If LSU has a strength it's in the frontcourt with Storm Warren and Malcolm White, but neither has the size or rebounding ability of Green. I'm guessing that LSU will want to start all three of Warren, White and O'Bryant, if the youngster is ready to go right away.

The transfers hurt, though honestly I still think LSU is going to be a little better than they were last season.... not that it's saying much. You can see my full 2011-12 SEC preview here. I still see LSU battling with Georgia, Mississippi and Auburn for the bottom of the conference.

Penn State grabs DJ Newbill from Southern Miss - This is a big time get for new Penn State coach Patrick Chambers. Newbill will have to sit out this coming season, but Penn State's going to be awful this season anyway. Newbill now has a year to learn the new system and for Penn State's coaching staff to build around him. Talor Battle, Andrew Jones, Jeff Brooks and David Jackson are all gone, as is Taran Buie. And star transfer Juwan Staten decided that he didn't want to come anymore after Ed DeChellis left. Newbill is an all-around quality offensive player who will probably be the best basketball player on campus as soon as he shows up, even though he won't be eligible to play for a year.

This transfer is brutal for Southern Miss. With superstar Gary Flowers graduating the expectation was that the team was going to build for the future around Newbill, who was only a true freshman this past season. I thought the team would take a little step back from the loss of Flowers but was high on their future. Southern Miss fans aren't happy about it, but it's worth noting that Newbill never really wanted to be there anyway, and only ended up there because Marquette coach Buzz Williams took his scholarship away when a better player suddenly became available. Newbill was always a guy who was going to transfer back to a major college program if he got a chance. It's unfortunate for Southern Miss, but it's reality.

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