Just about an hour ago Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweeted out that Friar sophomore F Ryan Fazekas will be transferring. Ryan Fazekas averaged 3.0 ppg and 1.1 rpg during his sophomore campaign. With Fazekas gone it leaves only Ricky Council and Drew Edwards from the 5-man 2015 recruiting class. It is easy to see why Ryan Fazekas left because he just wasn’t seeing the floor. He actually played less this year than his freshman year. It’s hard not to blame Cooley for having Fazekas riding pine, Fazekas lacked the lateral quickness to play good defense. Defense was this team’s calling card this season and given the fact Fazekas wasn’t even providing a scoring punch it made it hard for Cooley to play him.
While I may be in the minority here I actually believe, especially for next year, Fazekas is more valuable than the open scholarship he creates. It definitely was a terrible season for him but if we are looking at next season’s team, one that is expected to make a deeper run, Fazekas’ veteran presence and three-point shooting would have been nice. I also think what the Friars do with the open scholarship will probably have a bigger impact in future seasons than next. The Friars could certainly look towards the grad transfer route, however given the fact Friars haven’t added one since Cooley started I don’t see it happening. Ed Cooley on one of his radio shows this past season said he prefers not to add grad transfers. He talked about how he wasn’t totally against it and would do it if the situation was right but he’d rather invest in someone for more then one season. Given the coaching carousel recruits could get out of commitments and then land with the Friars but I’d be hard pressed to find one that would make a significant impact immediately. I think the Friars will either land an uncommitted recruit or get a transfer that will have to sit out a season.
As for Fazekas, it should be intriguing to see where he ends up. While he didn’t have the most productive season, I could see the Indiana native being attractive towards Big Ten programs. With Tom Crean being fired I could see the new coach at IU taking a flyer on him trying to rebuild the program. Another Big Ten destination would be Northwestern, as Chris Collins did offer him when he was in high school. If he doesn’t go to a school in a major conference I could see him going to one of the premier mid-major schools. Regardless of where he lands I do wish the kid the best.