ALL HAIL THE GRAD TRANSFERS. Is (definite) playing time and immediate eligibility head coach Brian Gregory’s bait to hook ‘em by the horns? Did that work? Don’t @ me.
Penn State forward Payton Banks is following teammate Terrance Samuel and will be suiting up as a USF BULL NEXT SEASON. Yep, you read that right. Two grad transfers from the same school. Please have good chemistry.
The 6-foot-6, 223 pound, Orange, California, native averaged 10.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.0 assists for the Nittany Lions last season. He also shot 36.3 percent from long range … A California forward who can hit threes to replace Malik Fitts. Coincidence? I think not.
Fairleigh Dickinson guard Stephan Jiggetts will also be immediately eligible next season. Praise. This will be the third program he’s joined since starting his collegiate career, though he didn’t see any* playing time for the Albany Great Danes his freshman season.
*like … not even one minute.
With the loss of Geno Thorpe AND Mike Bibby the Bulls could use a lead guard and this could be the guy to come through. At 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, Jiggetts averaged 11.2 points, and 2.3 rebounds for the Knights last season. And with a totaled 96 to 78 assists to turnover ratio, he averaged 4.2 assists entering the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
— Stephan Jiggetts (@StephJiggz) April 16, 2017
Moving on to the not-so-definitely-immediately-eligible.
Nikola Scekic, a 7-foot-2, 250-pound Serbia native, will be joining the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA (why am I emphasizing this? … Keep reading …), from Hutchinson Community College, where he won the JUCO national title last season. He is expected to be immediately eligible. *crosses fingers*
The center has also been a part of multiple programs, after transferring to HCC from New Mexico where he played for half a season. He averaged 4.1 points and 2.2 rebounds at HCC and put up four points and four boards en route to the NJCAA title game (where he only played 11 minutes).
Scekic will replace Ruben Guerrero, who announced he’s transferring to Samford. Hopefully Scekic will be #BigForSomething #NoShade ( … maybe).
I'm proud to say that I will be furthering my education and basketball career at South Florida University. #USF— Nikola Scekic (@scekic1995) April 25, 2017
And apparently we have a new name.
BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE!
Auburn transfer TJ Lang, will have to sit out a year before he’s eligible to knock ‘em down at the Sun Dome. The 6-foot-7 shooting guard started nine games for the Tigers last season, and averaged 4.3 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.
The Mobile, Alabama, native will be reunited with former Auburn assistant coach (and former USF player) Chad Dollar, who joined Brian Gregory’s staff last month. Dollar was replaced with Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl’s son, Steven Pearl. Lawl.
Blessed to announce I will be transferring to the University of South Florida— TJ Lang (@HWGNF) April 20, 2017
And last but not least, another commit!
Putnam Science Academy forward Alexis Yetna has bumped up Gregory’s commitment number to a whopping two. The 6-foot-8, 215 pound France native is an ESPN three-star prospect. With offers from schools like Cincinnati, St. Johns, and Temple, we can collectively say “yay.”