Friday held plenty of transfer news around the Mountain West
A few programs received great news heading into the holiday weekend.
On Friday, Jeff Goodman reported that UNLV star Bryce Hamilton, who entered the transfer portal last month, does not plan to play for another school next season. The rising senior will continue to test the NBA Draft waters, according to the report.
Bryce Hamilton told @Stadium that he plans to return to UNLV, but will also keep his name in for the NBA Draft process.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 28, 2021
Hamilton’s decision to return to the Runnin’ Rebels program comes as the latest development in what has been a very busy offseason for UNLV.
In addition to replacing head coach TJ Otzelberger, who left for ostensibly greener pastures at Iowa State, the Rebels have had to find replacements for high-profile transfers out of the program, such as David Jenkins, Jr. (Utah), Caleb Grill (Iowa State), and Cheikh Mbacke Diong (UCF). In total, ten different UNLV players who suited up in 2020-21 entered their names into the transfer portal, with all but Hamilton having landed at other schools.
Hamilton was the Rebels’ leading scorer a season ago, averaging 17.9 points per game in 24 appearances for UNLV. He returns to a completely revamped roster that features seven transfers, including four from the Big 12 Conference. Now the new staff, led by head coach Kevin Kruger and top assistant Carlin Hartman, need to get the team to gel together.
bramah joins the wolf pack
Elsewhere in the Silver State, one of the top available transfer targets in the country landed in Reno, as former Robert Morris standout A.J. Bramah announced his commitment to Nevada on Friday afternoon.
Earlier in the offseason, Bramah had committed to Arizona State, but the transfer never became official and the junior de-committed from ASU on May 24. By the end of the week, he had found his new home.
The news also helps soften the blow of losing Addison Patterson, whose departure from the program was announced on Wednesday. Patterson, a Top 50 recruit in the Class of 2019, transferred to the Wolf Pack program from Oregon in October and was expected to start for head coach Steve Alford next year. Now, it appears that Bramah, who averaged 21.0 points and 10.3 rebounds last season at RMU, will take that spot in the starting five.
RAMS BRING IN D2 ALL-AMERICAN
Nevada was not the only Mountain West team to herald an exciting new transfer on Friday. Earlier in the day, Colorado State announced the addition of Chandler Jacobs from Dallas Baptist (NCAA D-II).
Big-time addition. The Rams flipped DII transfer Chandler Jacobs from Texas Tech. Elite scorer with huge potential. Only 1 year of eligibility but I expect him to an all-conference talent.
— Justin Michael (@JustinTMichael) May 28, 2021
Jacobs was an All-American at the Division II level last season, finishing his year with averages of 20.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. After starring for the past four seasons at DBU, the senior will spend his final year of eligibility in Fort Collins with the Rams. With expectations already high for the program coming into 2021-22, adding an immense talent such as Jacobs should cement CSU’s place among the top teams in the Mountain West.
DALCOURT HEADS HOME
Finally, while the return of Hamilton and the arrivals of Bramah and Jacobs will rightfully earn the most ink this weekend, one notable departure from the MW was made official on Friday.
Former San Jose State guard Jalen Dalcourt has decided to play for Louisiana of the Sun Belt Conference, per his Twitter page. The move marks a return to his home state, following in the footsteps of another departed Spartan in Seneca Knight, who transferred to LSU in the middle of the 2020-21 season. Dalcourt averaged 9.6 points per game in 15 appearances (nine starts) for SJSU last season.
Andrew Dieckhoff is a USBWA member covering college basketball for Mountain West Wire of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group and Heat Check CBB. He is also the creator of The DPI Gradebook presented by Heat Check CBB. Andy currently resides in Portland, Oregon.