The U.N.I. basketball team is not a program that mines the transfer ranks very often, but the Panthers landed a big addition last week when former Tennessee guard Wes Washpun signed to play for Coach Ben Jacobson starting in the fall of 2013.
Jacobson says that Washpun will become eligible when the Panthers will be looking for new faces at the guard positions. Washpun signed with U.N.I. just days after being released from his scholarship at Tennessee, and Jacobson says that having recruited Washpun when he was in high school put U.N.I. in a good position.
“We were able to get with Wes on the phone right away when he got his release and had some great conversations with him,” Jacobson says. He says they had recruited him heavily while he was in high school, so he is familiar with the program.
Jacobson says that having previous knowledge of a transfer player is not always possible, but it does help the process. “It’s important, but it’s not necessarily the be all end all,” he says.
There are several other high-profile transfers that will be headed to new schools. Drake guard Rayvonte Rice has left the Bulldogs and is currently looking at other programs. Late last week, former Iowa Mr. Basketball Jarrod Uthoff was granted a limited release from his scholarship at Wisconsin.
While Jacobson can’t comment on any of those players by name, he says that recruiting is “an everyday thing” and coaches have to be ready in case the process moves as quickly as it did with Washpun.
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls