It has been a rough 24 hours or so for the Tulane basketball program. Yesterday, within 20 minutes of each other, sophomore Caleb Daniels and freshman Connor Crabtree announced that they would be entering the NCAA transfer portal. The third blow came this afternoon when freshman Moses Wood also announced that he would be looking to transfer.
Many fans were optimistic that Tulane might escape this coaching change without any transfers. In his introductory press conference, new Head Coach Ron Hunter stated that there were players that wanted to transfer when he arrived who no longer did after meeting him.
The announcements leave Tulane with only six scholarship players committed to play for the Green Wave next season. None of the three players ruled out returning to Tulane, but the announcements are unsettling nonetheless and there could be more to follow.
While all three players are young wings with high potential, a loss of Daniels would be the one that would hurt the most. Daniels averaged 6.4 points per game, 1.5 assists per game, and 2.2 rebounds per game in his freshman season. He followed that up with a breakout sophomore season where he averaged 16.9 points per game, 3.3 assists per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, and was considered the Green Wave’s best player.
As an unranked prospect coming out of high school, Tulane and LIU Brooklyn were Daniels’ only known scholarship offers. He will without a doubt have much more interest this time through the recruiting process. Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), and Oklahoma are all major conference schools that could be looking for a transfer guard.
Daniels also stated that he will be entering his name into the NBA Draft in order to work-out in front of NBA scouts and get feedback on if he is ready to play at the next level yet. If he does not get the response he wants from scouts, he will be able to withdraw his name from the draft anytime before 5 p.m. ET on June 10th. Like Crabtree and Wood, Daniels did not rule out returning to the Green Wave for the 2019-20 season either.
Connor Crabtree initially committed to UNC Asheville out of high school, but then decided to attend Hargrave Military Academy for a year of prep school before eventually selecting Tulane.
During his freshman year at Tulane, Crabtree averaged 7.1 points per game, 1.1 assists per game, and 2.0 rebounds per game. He was frequently one of the first players off of Mike Dunleavy’s bench and was primarily a three-point shooter. He had a 36.7% success average from behind the arc.
When he committed to Tulane, Crabtree’s most notable other offers were Campbell, Ohio, and Lehigh. However, after hiring Penny Hardaway, Memphis engaged Tulane in a recruiting battle that left many uncertain as to where Crabtree would end up. The Green Wave managed to hold off the Tigers for Crabtree’s services, but now Hardaway and many other college coaches will get a second chance to recruit Crabtree to join their program.
Some major programs which gave Crabtree a look out of high school, but did not offer him that could now be in need of a shooting guard include Butler, Georgetown, Illinois, Oklahoma St., TCU, and Tulsa. Like Daniels, Crabtree could also opt to remove his name from the transfer portal and stay put in New Orleans.
The final Green Wave player to announce his entrance into the transfer portal was freshman small forward Moses Wood. Wood averaged 4.5 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game, and 0.9 assists per game in his sole season for Tulane. Wood was Tulane’s most effective three-point shooter, scoring at a 37.3% clip from three-point range.
Besides Tulane, Wood’s only other two offers out of high school were from La Salle and Hofstra. Wood is from Las Vegas and it would not be a surprise to see him playing for a Mountain West or West Coast Conference program next season. Some schools in those conferences that could be interested in a small forward include Colorado St., Fresno St., Nevada, San Jose St., Pacific, and Portland. As with Daniels and Crabtree, Wood also left the possibility of remaining with the Green Wave on the table.
Assuming Daniels, Crabtree, and Wood do not return, the Green Wave now have seven open scholarships to work with. Ron Hunter and staff have already hit the recruiting trail and offered multiple 2019 prospects. 3-star prospects Jalen Windham, Ronnie DeGray, and R.J. McGee are all names to look out for.