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ASU men's basketball roster sees significant changes in offseason

Six ASU men's basketball players have entered the transfer portal and two have entered the NBA draft since the season ended

Kimani Lawrence Feature

ASU senior forward Kimani Lawrence drives against Oregon State at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Arizona on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. ASU defeated Oregon State 75-73.

Although the ASU men's basketball season ended just a little over a month ago, the roster has already undergone dramatic changes.

Since the season ended, six of the 19 players on the 2020-21 roster have entered the transfer portal and two have entered the NBA draft. 

On the other hand, ASU head coach Bobby Hurley has quickly worked to replace those leaving the program as the Sun Devils have brought in four transfers since the season concluded. 

The team announced Wednesday night that senior forward Kimani Lawrence, who finished the 2020-21 season scoring in double digits in seven out of the last nine games, will come back for his fifth season. Every winter sports athlete received an extra year of eligibility due to the NCAA blanket waiver.

Players transferring out

Although six Sun Devils have entered the transfer portal, only four have announced commitments thus far.

Taeshon Cherry

Junior forward Taeshon Cherry announced on April 1 his commitment to in-state rival Grand Canyon University. The forward sat out the last 18 games of ASU's season due to personal reasons after playing in a 76-63 loss to UTEP in December.

When Cherry committed to ASU, he was ranked the third highest-rated ASU recruit in the program's history. During the 2020-21 season, Cherry averaged 3.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in seven games played. Cherry will leave ASU having started 17 of the 62 games he played in during his three-year tenure.

Chris Osten

Junior forward Chris Osten announced on April 2 he would be following former ASU associate head coach Rashon Burno to Northern Illinois University. Burno was named the head coach of the Huskies prior to this year's Pac-12 tournament. Osten transferred into ASU this season from Lee College.

This season, Osten got the opportunity to prove himself when sophomore forward Jalen Graham was out with mononucleosis. Osten started six out of the 24 games he appeared in, averaged 2.7 points per game, 2.3 rebounds per game and was second on the team in total blocks with 17.

Jaelen House

Sophomore guard Jaelen House announced on April 15 his commitment to join the New Mexico Lobos. Jaelen House, son of ASU's all-time leading scorer Eddie House, chose to attend New Mexico over Grand Canyon University.

The sophomore took a big step forward both offensively and defensively this season as he led the team in three-point percentage and steals. Jaelen House's 1.6 steals per game was good enough for third-best in the Pac-12 conference. Jaelen House leaves ASU having played in 51 total games with the Sun Devils.

Holland Woods

Arizona local and former Apollo High School star senior guard Holland Woods announced his intent to join Cherry at Grand Canyon University on April 19.

Woods transferred to ASU before the season from Portland State, where he finished his career as the program's assist and steals leader. 

This season, Woods was the only Sun Devil to play in all 25 games. He averaged 6.7 points per game and led the team in free throw percentage. 

Pavlo Dziuba

Freshman forward Pavlo Dziuba is currently in the transfer portal and has not yet announced any plans for next year.

Dziuba was the youngest player in the NCAA during the 2020-21 season and did not play meaningful minutes for the Sun Devils this season. Dziuba saw time in eight games for a total of 33 minutes.

Kyle Feit

Redshirt sophomore guard Kyle Feit entered his name into the transfer portal for the second consecutive offseason. In three years at ASU, Feit has played in 14 games for a total of 28 minutes.

Players weighing professional options

Josh Christopher

The first player to announce his departure from the program was freshman guard Josh Christopher when he declared for the NBA draft March 31. Christopher came into the program as the highest-ranked ASU recruit in program history, but lower leg and back injuries forced Christopher to play in just 15 games. 

Christopher was named a Pac-12 All-Freshman team honorable mention this season as he averaged 14.3 points per game while shooting 43.2% from the field and 30.5% from three.

Marcus Bagley

Much like his freshman counterpart Christopher, freshman forward Marcus Bagley came in highly recruited as the fourth-highest rated recruit in ASU basketball history.

This season, Bagley also had trouble staying on the court as he was regulated to a mere 12 games due to calf and ankle injuries. Even so, Bagley averaged 10.8 points per game and led the team with 6.2 rebounds per game. Bagley was also named a Pac-12 All-Freshman team honorable mention.

Bagley declared for the draft on April 6 and said he will "explore all of my options" on Twitter.

Remy Martin and Alonzo Verge Jr.

Last year, senior guards Remy Martin and Alonzo Verge Jr. both entered their names into the 2020 NBA draft, but both opted to return for their senior seasons in 2020-21. 

Martin, a preseason All-American nominee, led ASU in scoring with 19.1 points per game and was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team. Meanwhile, the offensive-minded Verge Jr. averaged 14 points per game and led the team in assists with 3.8 per game. 

Neither Martin nor Verge Jr. have announced their plans for next year, but both are eligible to come back to ASU and play another year due to the blanket eligibility waiver issued by the NCAA.

Players Transferring In

AJ Bramah

Former Robert Morris junior forward AJ Bramah announced on March 26 his commitment to ASU. In the 2020-21 season, Bramah led the Colonials with 21 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game. Bramah will bring a much-needed rebounding intensity to an ASU team that finished last year ranked 332nd in the NCAA in rebounding margin.

Jay Heath

Sophomore guard Jay Heath announced on March 27 his intent to transfer from Boston College to ASU. Heath played a crucial role for the Eagles this season as he led the team in points per game with 14.5. During his freshman season, Heath started 30 of 31 games and set a new Boston College freshman record with 65 made three-pointers.

Marreon Jackson

Senior guard Marreon Jackson announced on April 8 his intent to transfer from Toledo to ASU. In his four years with the Rockets, Jackson started 126 out of 127 games. 

In the 2020-21 season, Jackson led Toledo in points per game with 18.1, assists per game with 5.9 and steals per game with 1.8. Jackson was named the 2020-21 MAC Player of the Year and was also named to the All-MAC First Team.

DJ Horne

Former Illinois State sophomore guard DJ Horne announced his transfer to ASU on April 17. In Horne's two years with the Redbirds, he started 42 of 50 games and was named to the 2021 All-Missouri Valley Conference Third Team this season. Horne led Illinois State in points per game with 15.9 and led the team in total steals.

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