Who wants to ride the Transfer Bus?
Everybody knew that Penn State was going to see some sort of roster change this offseason. The program had admitted that it was looking for a player or two for next season and was out heavily recruiting during the end of the Big Ten season. Generally, the feeling was that Andrew Ott would be one of those players. He is slated to graduate this spring and sees limited action, so it wouldn’t be a surprise or a huge loss if he moved on.
When the news came out yesterday that Chris Babb was leaving the team, it was quite the shock and a scary moment for anyone who knows a little Penn State basketball history. Babb was the 3rd leading scorer on the team, and really the only dependable 3 point shooter on the team shooting at a 37% clip. He also led the team with 81% free throw shooting. Overall Babb was seen as one of the cornerstones for the program over the next few years and would be one of the leaders on the team once the current junior class graduated. His transfer reminds us all of the mass transfers that happened at the end of the Jerry Dunn era/start of the DeChellis era.
“Mike Babb said his son met with PSU coach Ed DeChellis on both Thursday and today (Friday) to talk about the situation. Mr. Babb wished not to speak for his son about his reasons for the transfer. But it’s easy to speculate the Nittany Lions’ 11-20 season that included a 3-16 record against Big Ten competition certainly didn’t help. Texts and calls to Chris Babb’s phone went unanswered. His father said he didn’t want to talk about his transfer yet.
“Overall, Penn State’s a great place,” Mike Babb said. “We don’t have anything bad to say about it. But it is what it is. If Chris is going to do this, he has to do it at this point. He’ll have two years left.”
Babb’s transfer looks very much like the start of what happened to the program 7 years ago. To start at square one again would be devastating. Unfortunately the loss of a hot handed shooter and a leader on the team was only the start of the Lion’s woes.
“Edwards said his mother was involved in an auto accident on Friday and he was in the process of trying to get home to Middletown, Ohio, but did confirm he had told coach Ed DeChellis on Friday that he intended to transfer out of the PSU program”
That’s right, reported this morning; Bill Edwards is transferring as well. With that loss, Penn State looses one of the few players on the team with a scorers mentality and a player with a lot of upside. While Edwards didn’t appear with huge numbers in box score, it was apparent that Edwards was a player that some people were comparing to Jamelle Cornley, perhaps not on an emotional leadership standpoint, but in a large powerful player down in the paint.
On the whole, Penn State is lined up to lose five players by the time this is all said and done. Babb and Edwards are the two transfers known, but BWI is reporting that one more player is in the works for a transfer. On top of that Andrew Ott is expected to graduate as mentioned above, and Billy Oliver has medical issues that could keep him from ever playing basketball again. That brings the total to a rather painful number of five total players.
What we do know right now is that David Jackson and Andrew Jones will both be back next year, so the total epic collapse isn’t here yet. That being said, the Talor to the NBA, Taran Buie to Maryland is still a very real possibility. We can have a little prayer right now that this won’t happen.