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ASU men's basketball is once again battling massive turnover this offseason

ASU men's basketball lineup may look completely different when they enter their first season in the Big 12 next season


ASU men's basketball head coach Bobby Hurley looks up at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 in Las Vegas, NV. ASU lost 90-57.

This year, ASU men's basketball's star guard broke the single-season steal record – but what has followed has been a nightmarish repeat of last season, during which the Sun Devils saw a mass exodus from within. 

This week, sophomore Louisville transfer Kamari Lands became the latest Sun Devil to enter the portal after finishing his second year averaging 4.5 points in Tempe.

The recent player transfers and coaching changes have significantly affected the team. Record-holder and junior guard Frankie Collins has left, and the team's defensive backbone, Jermaine Kimbrough, has taken an assistant coach job with ASU’s next-door neighbor, GCU. 

Collins took to Instagram to announce that he was going to enter the transfer portal, keeping ASU in the picture as he cut his list of options down to six. Ultimately, Collins decided to commit to conference opponent TCU.

The TCU program has been to the NCAA Tournament for three straight years. 

Most recently, they fell to Utah State in the first round. In 2023, they beat Collins and the Sun Devils but fell in the second round; in 2022, they fell in the same fashion.

Collins' edge on both ends of the floor was loved in Tempe as a leader on the Sun Devil squad for two seasons. His play style fit perfectly with what ASU tried to build. He was an efficient transition player who could get out and run and then attack the rim with a reverse layup, a jam or a bucket in traffic. 

He was known as a defensive menace. He broke ASU's single-season steal record, averaging 2.6 steals and ranking sixth in the country, and led the Pac-12. He also grabbed more than three defensive boards a game and more than four in total, second on the team. 

Besides being a good fit for his play style, Collins was also averaging nearly 14 points per game and 4.4 rebounds, which are both career highs.

Losing Kimbrough is a rough loss for the team – for more than 20 years, he has either been coaching or working in the front office. Most of that time was spent at Cleveland State, where he helped take them to three NIT’s and one NCAA Tournament. 

He also helped recruit and coach NBA talent, most notably two-time NBA champ Norris Cole. 

He spent some time coaching at Loyola Chicago, where he helped lead them to a Sweet Sixteen and multiple successful seasons. Silver Waves Media recently voted him one of the top 50 most impactful high major assistants in Division I basketball. 

Kimbrough said that he went to GCU to learn, grow and be part of a winning culture.

In addition to these two major losses, the program now has nine other players in the transfer portal. Of these eight, junior guard Jamiya Neal, senior forward Zane Meeks and junior forward Bryant Selebangue are the biggest losses. 

Neal led alongside Collins and was a threat off the dribble, could knock down the occasional three and could attack the lane with force.

Although Meeks was hurt for most of the season, he had a great year in San Francisco before he came to ASU and could be a key player when healthy. 

Selebangue is the type of player everyone wants on their team. He's keen to find offensive rebounds and bring the ASU experience while also being a spark of energy.

Despite all these losses, there has been a win for ASU in the form of Basheer Jihad. He's a junior forward who has spent his career at Ball State and, in his most recent season, took the bull by the horns. 

He averaged 18.6 points and 8 rebounds, all team highs. He also averaged a steal and almost two assists. 

He is the newest Sun Devil and a piece for head coach Bobby Hurley to build around as he looks to shape his first roster in the Big 12's new territory. 

Edited by Alfred Smith III, Sadie Buggle and Grace Copperthite.

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