SUWANEE, Ga. – Collin Sexton knows that he could alleviate tons of stress if he would simply whip out his phone, hop on to Twitter, give the cliché spiel about how thankful he is to all of the schools that recruited him then reveal which school he’ll be suiting up for.
“That would be a load off,” said Sexton, a point guard who runs with Southern Stampede (Ga.). “But I’ve gotta be sure. I’m just not sure yet. I’ve gotta be sure. Got to know that you know.”
The thorough approach is understandable; nearly 1,000 players transferred this past season, according to ESPN.com’s transfer tracker. NCAA rules make transfers sit out one year before they can suit up for their new school.
“That’s scary!” Team CP3 (N.C.) point guard Lavar Batts said.
That’s why Mokan Elite (Mo.) point guard Trae Young “completely” understands when his peers wait well into the NCAA’s Late Signing Period to sign.
“I get it,” Young said. “You look at guys like Marques Bolden and Josh Jackson in the 2016 class and some people don’t understand why they won’t just go ahead and pick a school. They have to take their time and make the best decision for them. You could rush it and get to a school that you thought you were confident with, but they could turn out to be all wrong for you. That would be the worst.”
For that reason Howard Pulley Panthers (Minn.) coach Antwan Harris said that it’s “most important” for players to pick the school that’s the best fit, not the school with the biggest name.
“It’s something I tell kids all the time,” Harris said. “It seems so obvious, but it really isn’t. If your goal is to make it to the NBA you have to produce. If you’re at a big school that’s winning, but you’re not getting on the floor then how does that help you?”
Sexton couldn’t agree more; to illustrate that point he pointed to Ryan Harrow, a former high school star who committed to N.C. State then transferred to Kentucky only to transfer again to Georgia State before he flourished.
“He went to those other big schools, but the best school for him was a small school that fit his style,” Sexton said of Harrow. “Guys get so caught up in the name and don’t think about how they’ll really actually fit in. I can promise wherever I pick will be the right fit for me, whether that’s a big or small school.”
ESPN.com basketball recruiting director Paul Biancardi said that, when it comes to picking the right school, timing isn’t everything.
“I don’t think the first goal should be when you want to sign, whether that’s in the early or late period,” Biancardi said. “You do your homework. It’s absolutely work; you can’t rush the process and you can’t play around with the process. It’s not when you do it, it’s how you do it.”
That’s precisely why Team CP3 (N.C.) forward Wendell Carter Jr. is unbothered by the droves of players who transferred this past year doesn’t make him want to take more time to make sure he’s making the right decision.
“Oh yeah, I see a lot of players leaving their schools, but I don’t know what made them pick the schools they picked,” Carter said. “Sometimes it could be the parents that want them to go there or some other wrong reason. At the time, I’m sure they felt like they were doing the right thing, but they probably can look back and say it wasn’t right from the beginning.
“I’m gonna make sure I won’t say that. I feel like if I’m 100 percent comfortable with the school then I won’t worry about transferring. Not at all.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY