ASU men's basketball losing three players to transfer, Bo Barnes will return
It’s already been an eventful offseason for the ASU men’s basketball team just three weeks after its NCAA tournament appearance.
A source confirmed multiple reports Thursday that redshirt freshman point guard Calaen Robinson, junior forward Brandan Kearney and freshman guard Egor Koulechov intend to transfer out of the program.
Robinson had already made his decision public via Twitter. Kearney also replied to a Twitter follower Thursday confirming his departure.
“I enjoyed my time at asu (sic) and its in my best interest to pursue other opportunities so I will be leaving after this semester,” Robinson tweeted Tuesday.
Robinson returned to the team last season after leaving before his true freshman year due to personal reasons. He played just 20 of ASU’s 31 games last season and only averaged 6.2 minutes and 1.6 points per game.
Koulechov saw heavy playing time last season and even started over senior forward Shaquielle McKissic at small forward for seven games. However, Koulechov’s playing time diminished and didn’t play in seven games when McKissic won back the starting spot. Koulechov averaged 3.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game last season.
Kearney transferred to ASU from Michigan State in the middle of the 2012-13 season. He became eligible to play last December and played significant minutes in his first couple games. Kearney couldn’t establish himself as a reliable option at backup point guard, though, and didn’t see much playing time toward the end of the season.
Reports also surfaced last week that assistant coach Eric Musselman is leaving the program with Indian Hills Community College coach Barret Peery replacing him. Musselman’s Twitter bio is disassociated with ASU, and his name no longer appears on the team’s official roster.
The team also reportedly released incoming forward Octavius Ellis’ scholarship. The 6-foot-9 big man was set to transfer from Trinity Valley Community College and played his freshman season at Cincinnati.
ASU is already losing senior center Jordan Bachynski, senior guard Jermaine Marshall and senior forward Richie Edwards to graduation. Redshirt sophomore point guard Jahii Carson has already hired an agent and will enter the NBA Draft this summer as expected.
Prior to the end of last season, the team had filed an appeal for the NCAA to grant McKissic another year of eligibility due to hardship before coming to ASU and is expected to hear back soon.
Redshirt junior guard Bo Barnes was honored in the team’s Senior Night, but a source said Barnes is considering returning to ASU for his final year of eligibility. Multiple reports confirmed Thursday that Barnes will be back on scholarship next season.
Barnes would join junior forward Jonathan Gilling, freshman point guard Chance Murray, sophomore forward Eric Jacobsen and sophomore forward Sai Tummala as the team’s only returners for next season.
ASU will welcome five signees for next season in guard Gerry Blakes (San Bernandino Valley College), guard Tra Holder (Brentwood High School), guard Kodi Justice (Mesa Dobson High School), big man Connor MacDougall (Tempe Corona Del Sol) and guard Roosevelt Scott (Indian Hills Community College).
Coach Herb Sendek will most likely return for the 2014-15 season after ASU athletic director Ray Anderson repeatedly stated after the NCAA tournament that he will not fire Sendek.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Josh_Nacion