Top impact transfers (cont.)
A more balanced approach on both ends could make the Lobos more imposing. The added size also should help New Mexico weather the grind that eventually caught up to last year's team, which had a thin bench and no one over 6-8 in the rotation.
"Just looking at our team on paper, and evaluation by eye as our guys are here this summer, this will be our biggest, most athletic team we've had," Alford said. "If you're big and you're athletic, you can impose a little bit more presence defensively, and I hope that's what we develop into."
There are no Wesley Johnsons ready to make a National Player of the Year-type impact, but that doesn't mean the transfer class of 2010 lacks potential punch. Here are five other notable transfers (in alphabetical order):
Allan Chaney, Virginia Tech
The skilled 6-9 forward had a rocky freshman season at Florida in 2008-09, seeing his minutes dwindle as the season progressed and finally being suspended in the postseason for an argument with the team's strength coach. He is poised to join up with buddy Malcolm Delaney and Co. on a very talented Hokies team, but is out indefinitely while recovering from an undisclosed medical condition that may have been related to Chaney's fainting on the court during a workout in April. According to this report, the Hokies hope Chaney will be cleared to play by the start of the season.
Seth Curry, Duke
The surname helped create the buzz, but Stephen's younger brother helped fuel the media fire by being the nation's highest-scoring freshman in 2008-09, averaging 20.2 points per game at Liberty. While Curry's solid shooting stroke should be a good fit in the Duke offense, it will be interesting to see just how many minutes he can grab this season. With Kyle Singler back to play the lion's share of minutes at the 3, the two guard positions will be awfully crowded with returning standout Nolan Smith, sophomore Andre Dawkins (who was hindered last season by the death of his sister) and stud point guard recruit Kyrie Irving.
Greg Echenique, Creighton
The Missouri Valley is in for a rude awakening in December when the former Big East beast becomes eligible. Echenique came to Omaha to play for Dana Altman, but he'll suit up instead for Greg McDermott after Altman left to take the Oregon job. Echenique had three double-doubles in his seven games at Rutgers last season after averaging 8.4 rebounds a game as a freshman. His arrival is a nice boost for the Bluejays, who only have one returning player who averaged more than 7.5 points per game. Echenique was granted a medical waiver after recovering from an eye injury that curtailed his sophomore season and he will have 2.5 seasons of eligibility left.
Jio Fontan, USC
Fontan was one of the highest ranked point guards in 2008 and was supposed to be the centerpiece of a basketball rebound at Fordham. The St. Anthony's (Jersey City, N.J.) product was named the A-10 Freshman of the Year in 2008-09 after averaging 15.3 points and 4.7 assists per game, despite the Rams' 3-25 overall record. The school refused to give him a release last summer, but after another bad start last season led to the firing of coach Dereck Whittenberg, Fordham relented. He should slip into the starting lineup when he becomes eligible in December.
Juan Pattillo, Western Kentucky
The athletic Oklahoma transfer signed with the Hilltoppers after being dismissed by the Sooners after playing just half a season. He averaged 6.2 points and 3.6 rebounds off the bench for Oklahoma and should fit in nicely in the undersized-but-active Sun Belt.
Swim Daily, Elsa Benitez in Montauk
Bears and Cowboys fighting to gain ground in their divisions