East Tennessee State adds JUCO-transfer Harris

Last season, ETSU men’s basketball coach Murry Bartow added junior-college transfer to his team for the 2011-12 season.  Bartow just added another one for 2012-13.

Hunter Harris, who played for Volunteer State in Nashville and averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds according to ETSUBucs.com, transfers to ETSU at a time when the Bucs hope to replace Isiah Brown.

Prior to Harris’ move, ETSU’s roster for the 2012-13 season did not have much experience at forward.  With the exception of will-be senior Lukas Poderis, the Bucs would only have two other forwards on the team, both sophomores.  Harris’ presence now gives the squad another veteran for depth.

Washpun’s departure means little to UT

Losing point guard Wes Washpun for Tennessee basketball head coach Cuonzo Martin won’t mean much for his team in the long haul.  Instead of bringing back a player who had minimal experience last year, Martin gains another point guard in the next recruiting class and gets forward Kenny Hall back from suspension. 

Had Hall returned with Washpun on the roster, Tennessee would have gone over the scholarship limit.  That meant that Washpun’s departure not only has a minimal effect on the team’s outlook for the 2012-13 season, but it might have been necessary to make the team better overall. 

Washpun has the talent to start at other programs and this release is not necessarily a reflection on him as a player, but just that Tennessee’s roster just got crowded at the wrong time and, consequently, made Washpun the odd man out. 

The following days will be very interesting to see where Washpun ends up playing the rest of his collegiate basketball career.

Martin to Illinois?

Tennessee Vols head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin received a coaching offer from the University of Illinois according to a source in Chicago.  According to govolsxtra.com, Martin denied any interest in leaving Tennessee on Wednesday. 

This is not the first time something like this has happened in the SEC.  Years ago, Alabama football head coach Nick Saban denied on several occasions that he would leave his position as head coach of the Miami Dolphins for the Alabama opening.  Weeks later, Saban signed with the Crimson Tide. 

Will Martin do something similar?  All indications at this juncture say “no.”  According to another article on govolsxtra.com, Martin signed a Memorandum of Understanding at UT, which said that in the event of Martin leaving for another job he would owe UT $2.6 million. 

If Martin is looking for a pay raise, Illinois would have to offer him a considerably higher amount that UT did just so Martin could pay the debt to UT.  And even then, Martin could still decide that he likes the direction of his current team as opposed to Illinois’. 

But, as the case was with Saban, keep an eye on Martin as surprises with coaching changes do occur.