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Fran Fraschilla: One Top 40 Coach Set to ‘Live In Transfer Portal’

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ESPN commentator Fran Fraschilla tweeted on Monday that at least one Top 40 college basketball coach is ready to ignore prep recruiting and ‘live in the transfer portal.’

Sounds crazy, right? Prep recruiting is considered the backbone of college basketball. Well, the transfer portal may be changing that. Per VerbalCommits.com, more than 1,600 college basketball players have submitted their names to the transfer portal. Several Big 12 programs have felt the pinch, with Texas Tech and Oklahoma losing close to half its roster from last season.

But Fraschilla, a former college coach who is as plugged into the thinking of current coaches as anyone in the broadcast business, brought home some interesting points in his tweet, most notably the ‘free-agent’ aspect that the portal represents.

 


One Top 40 program coach told me last week that they will no longer recruit HS players but will live in the transfer portal. “We’re like the NBA. We can build through free agency or through the draft. We’ll take the surer thing.”

READ MORE: Big 12 Basketball Transfer Tracker

READ MORE: Big 12 Basketball Recruiting Tracker

This echoes something that TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said shortly after the Horned Frogs were eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament. At the time, the one-time transfer rule wasn’t approved. It was finally approved in late April, but Dixon saw the writing on the wall. He basically predicted what’s happening now.

“We’re in a whole new world now,” Dixon said. “There really is no building programs (anymore).”

TCU has certainly felt the pain. Dylan Arnette, Owen Aschieris, Kevin Easley Jr., Terren Frank, P.J. Fuller, Jaedon LeDee, Mickey Pearson Jr., Diante Smith, and Taryn Todd all submitted their names to the transfer portal. That’s nine Horned Frogs. That, basically, decimated Dixon’s last two recruiting classes.

 

Dixon, like other coaches in the same shoes, has mined the transfer portal to bring in productive players from a mid-major program (such as UT-Arlington’s Shahada Wells) or highly-ranked players looking for more opportunity (such as former Texas Tech freshman Micah Peavy).

How will this impact prep recruiting? Well, it’s hard to say it will make a significant impact right away. But, as the one-time transfer rule settles into being the law, it could mean more emphasis will be put on the transfer portal for some programs, as Fraschilla suggests. It could mean better talent starts falling to more mid-major programs, as high-major programs give their scholarships to current college players. If the G League’s Ignite Team becomes more successful, and if the NBA does away with the one-and-done rule, that could further change the complexion of prep recruiting in college basketball.

Coming from Fraschilla, this is certainly something to monitor in the coming months and years.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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