We have been looking at some of the very interesting projections Sports Illustrated has been running as they predict the upcoming season. Categories have included top freshmen, stats leaders, breakout scorers, and top high-usage scorers. The WCC has been prominently featured in all the projections, and the one we’re taking a look at today is no exception.
Transfers are big part of many teams, and SI has projected the top 100 transfers based on raw points per game. We already knew this was potentially a big year for transfers in the WCC, and that’s been confirmed by the projection. The list features 10 wcc players among the top 100 transfers ranging from 9th to 98th.
We will be breaking down the players over the coming days based on their team and how we feel they fit into their team’s plans for the 2014-15 season. We will also take a look at who they are trying to replace as a number of WCC teams also lost transfers to other schools. And a number of those former WCC players made the top 100 list.
First up is San Francisco. Unfortunately their highest ranked player on the list is a loss as Cody Doolin is projected as the #22 best transfer after leaving the Dons for UNLV. They also lose the #85 projected transfer Frank Rogers who moved to San Jose State. The Dons also lost Avry Holmes to Clemson, but he’s not on this projection as he will be sitting out the season due to transfer rules.
Fortunately the Dons have two additions to counter those losses. Derrell Robertson Jr. is at #88 and Montray Clemons is at #98 after both made the move to the Dons from DePaul. Robertson was on the Dons roster last year and is becoming active after sitting out a season due to transfer rules. Clemons meanwhile played last season at Pensacola State College, and he is eligible in his first season with the Dons coming from a junior college.
Feb 8, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; San Francisco Dons guard Avry Holmes (12) brings the ball up the court against the Brigham Young Cougars during the first half at Marriott Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
First let’s talk about the losses. Cody Doolin is a big loss but considering he only appeared in four games before leaving the team last season, the Dons already adjusted to not having him. Rogers meanwhile wasn’t much of a factor back in 2012-13 for the Dons. And they were already without him last year as he was already with San Jose State sitting out a year due to transfer rules.
Their biggest loss is a player who isn’t yet on these rankings because of needing to sit out a year. Avry Holmes was a force for the Dons and would have been their leading returning scorer if he was still with the team. And after losing Cody Doolin, they were no doubt looking forward another big season from Holmes. He was one of the main reasons why the Dons didn’t crumble when Doolin left just after the start of last season, and they don’t have a ton of experienced guards this year either without him.
Matt Glover will anchor the backcourt after leading USF in assists last year. The other guard position will probably go to either Clemons or Corey Hilliard. However both have questions and will probably get equal shots at being the starter out of the gate. Both have an injury and as a result, neither has a ton of collegiate playing time to get a good idea of their ability.
Hilliard appeared in nine games off the bench last season for USF before an injury ended his season. He showed some flashes of decent scoring ability including a nice line of 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists in the season opener. If he’s healthy, you have to figure he gets first crack at starting before Clemons.
January 26, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; DePaul Blue Demons forward Montray Clemons (35) handles the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. The Pittsburgh Panthers won 93-55. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Clemons meanwhile hasn’t been able to get it going since his injury early in his career. He missed his entire freshman season after rupturing his patella tendon in Depaul’s “Blue Madness” event before the start of the season. The following year he was a non-factor averaging 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 19 appearances.
At Pensacola State College his numbers did go up, but 7.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game isn’t eye-popping for the junior college level. It was enough to attract the Dons however as they their need for guard depth and his assumed connection with Robertson Jr. helped bring him to the Dons. If he can be a more consistent scorer and stay healthy, he could be a factor.
The SI projection only has him putting up 4.1 points per game, so they expect him to assume a bench role. But he has the talent to do more and should get opportunities. Even if he never starts this season, he could slide into a key bench role. There’s reason to believe he could post decent numbers if he got more minutes for the first time in his Division One career.
The projection also doesn’t expect much from Derrell Robertson Jr. putting him at just 5.6 points per game. But like Clemons, thanks to his lack of playing time it would represent a career-high. Robertson appeared in every game for Depaul in his freshman and sophomore seasons, but he never advanced passed a deep reserve role averaging 1.o5 points and 2 rebounds over his two years with the Blue Demons.
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He was however a very highly touted recruit coming out of high school and has lots of potential if given more playing time. ESPN ranked him the #39 center coming out of high school, and he had elite numbers as a junior and senior. His senior season he posted an amazing line of 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 blocks per game. No doubt the Dons hope they are getting at least some of the player Robertson was back then.
His immense potential should allow him to do well in the WCC where elite big men are in big demand. The Dons won’t have to ask too much of him other than to patrol the low post and get blocks and rebounds with guys like Kruize Pinkins and Mark Tollefsen anchoring the frontcourt. That should allow Robertson to do what he does best and not have too much pressure on him in his first season. So while his projected points might be low, he is going to play a major role as the Dons looks to build off their breakout season.