With the problems surrounding the enigma that is Curtis Kelly some people have begun to question Frank Martin's strategy of taking in transfer players. The thought process is these players must have had some trouble elsewhere so while they may act good in the beginning eventually team chemistry will be affected.
Two questions seem to arise from this basic argument?
(1).Are teams who take in a large amount of transfers going to be more prone to bouts of turmoil?
(2.) Do programs like Kansas State have no choice but to gamble with talented but possibly trouble prone transfers?
For question number one, the Kansas State 2010-2011 season currently underway would be the poster child for the case against transfers. While Curtis Kelly was a solid player last season and had a strong tournament run, this season has been a totally different story.
Rumors have come out of Manhattan that Kelly has shown some of the same actions that got him in the doghouse while he was at UConn.
Combined with Kelly on the roster this year was Freddy Asprilla who transferred into K-State from Florida International. His time was brief though as he quit the team supposedly to go back and play professionally in Colombia before word came down he would end up at Canisius. Some rumors were floated out that Asprilla did not exactly possess the best attitude at all times during his cameo in Manhattan.
So what are some examples within the Big 12 of where a team with more than one transfer starting where the team has been successful. You don't have to think back any further than K-State last season and the Missouri Tigers in 2009.
Last year the Wildcats made an Elite Eight run with Kelly and fellow D1 transfer Denis Clemente as two of the key cogs for the Wildcats. It appears now that Clemente was an even bigger leader and steadying influence for the program than anyone knew.
The Missouri Tigers in 2009 also had two transfers in DeMarre Carroll and Zaire Taylor who helped lead them to an Elite Eight run in the tournament. The caveat for this situation though is the fact that Head Coach Mike Anderson is Carroll's uncle so it may not be a typical transfer situation.
The second question is a little tricky. So are teams with less tradition and a campus not situated right next door to a major metropolitan area almost forced to take some risks that others don't have too? I would say the answer is yes.
We have seen teams with the right assistants land top notch talent such as K-State did with Michael Beasley and Bill Walker but usually it is not on a consistent basis. Top high school basketball talent is still usually reserved for the big boys like Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina & Kansas to fight over.
Programs such as K-State and Missouri for example may have to take on some players who have for whatever reason not worked out somewhere else if they want to increase their talent level to a point to try and compete for titles.
An example of a coach doing exactly that is Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State right now. For a short amount of time it didn't seem like a day went by without a player transferring into the program.
In one offseason the Cyclones welcomed in Royce White from Minnesota, Chris Babb from Penn State, Chris Allen from Michigan State, Jake Anderson from Northern Illinois and Anthony Booker from Southern Illinois.
Now recent rumors have another former Michigan State player Korie Lucious possibly coming to Iowa State to finish out his career.
Has Hoiberg dramatically increased his talent level when the Cylcones take the floor next season? Ofcourse he has but will it work out.
Will all the new players be willing to sacrifice some of their statistics for the good of the team? It might last for a season and allow the Cyclones to make an NCAA Tournament run but how will it play out in the long term.
So while almost all programs take a transfer every once in awhile fans may want to keep an eye on their coach and see how many guys he is taking in and what the circumstances are.