Everyone wants to know how their favorite program did on the recruiting trail. That is why lists, rankings and sites dedicated to high school players have become so prominent. It is a little funny though, as we are all trying to scurry around and find information about a 6’7″ forward from Wilkes-Barre, the chances of him actually being with the university all four years is slimmer than we think.
According to USA Today, more than 440 Division I players transferred last season. Which, if you are even as bad a math as I am, is more than one athlete leaving per school. While “slightly more than one” per team might seem like a low number, just backtrack through some of the players your favorite team recruited on four, one-year scholarships, then tell me how many made it all four years.
That brings us to Arizona Wildcats coach, Sean Miller. This isn’t about Miller getting great recruits or building a winning program — because he is doing both things in great success. It is about him losing nearly half of every recruiting class he brings in as time goes on.
The Arizona Daily Star has broken down Miller’s recruiting since joining the program. According to their calculations, eight of the 15 freshmen Miller has brought in have all vanished from the program before their eligibility was lost.
While alarming, this can be attributed to some pretty normal, mundane scenarios. Every season, Miller has been a head coach he has brought in even better talent — leaving less playing time for the guys he just recruited. It is really simple, actually. If you were a part of Miller’s recruiting class from last year, chances are he has someone in this year’s class rated as a better player. Which, at the end of the day, means the player knows his time on the court will be decreased — so transferring is an obvious option.
Most of the players who left were not integral parts to the program. In fact, most of them moved on because of the uncertainty their future with the program was being held. To be fair though, Miller does have a habit of over-signing big-men which he would know could likely result in a few players wanting to bolt from the program.
It does sure like an odd trend is starting to form around Miller’s recruiting class. However, that does not mean something is wrong or fishy or illegal is going on. It is just a weird observation about players coming to Miller’s program and leaving well before their time is up.
So get pumped for all the kids he is bringing in this year, Arizona fans. Because — statistically — only half of them will be here in a few years.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone