Seven Transfers Alter ACC Lineups

Rodney Purvis averaged 8.3 points per game for NC State as a freshman.
Rodney Purvis averaged 8.3 points per game for NC State as a freshman.

Seven ACC basketball players from the 2012-13 season will be playing the remainder of their college careers at other schools. The transfer rate in Division I men’s basketball has hovered above 10 percent since 2008-09, and this season does not appear to be any different.  As such, there will be some familiar faces to ACC fans in new places next year.

The most noticeable of ACC transfers is NC State’s Rodney Purvis. Purvis, along with fellow freshman T.J. Warren, would have been one of the major returnees for the Wolfpack next season after the departures of C.J. Leslie, Richard Howell, Scott Wood, and Lorenzo Brown.

Purvis averaged 8.3 points per game for NC State. However, Purvis was concerned about his fit in Mark Gottfried’s offense, while also citing his relationship with Gottfried was “not the best.” Purvis had started 23 of NC State’s first 25 games, but saw his playing time drop to 18 minutes per game after being replaced by Warren in the lineup. After the required year off per transfer rules, Purvis will join the Connecticut Huskies.

Three other regular starters will be transferring from ACC schools this offseason.  Pe’Shon Howard, a junior guard for Maryland, came off the bench for most of conference play. Howard moved into the starting lineup for the Terrapins in March, where he stayed throughout the team’s run to the NIT semifinals.

While he wasn’t scoring a lot, Howard averaged 3.0 assists per game during that stretch. Howard was also a key perimeter defender for Mark Turgeon’s squad, which held opponents to 30.7 percent shooting beyond the arc.  However, the California native has decided to play his senior season closer to home and his sick grandmother.

Virginia’s Paul Jesperson started nearly every game for the Cavaliers in 2012-13.  Jesperson averaged 4.3 points per game while playing 25.7 minutes per contest. However, with an influx of talent next season for Virginia (Darion Atkins and Malcolm Brogden were both limited or sidelined by injuries, and Anthony Gill sat out per transfer rules), Jesperson would have been hard-pressed to find starter’s minutes next season.

As a high schooler, Jesperson won Wisconsin’s Gatorade Player of the Year award, averaging 22.5 points per game as a prolific shooter.  That shooting prowess appeared at times during Jesperson’s stay at Virginia. During a four-game stretch in February, Jesperson made 11 of 16 three-point attempts, including a perfect 4-of-4 against Maryland.  Jesperson finished the season with a 37-percent shooting rate beyond the arc, a vast improvement from his 22.6-percent clip as a freshman.

Virginia Tech will also lose sophomore Robert Brown. A four-star recruit in 2011, Brown started 25 games for the Hokies. However, the year was a struggle for Brown, as the 6’5” guard made just 23.5 percent of three pointers and 33.1 percent of his shots from the floor.  According to Brown’s father, he is transferring in order to be closer to his family in Florida.

Robert Brown was 82nd in’s Top 100 prospects in the class of 2011. Just behind him in 83rd was Bernard Sullivan, who will transfer from Clemson this offseason.  Sullivan played sparingly for the Tigers, averaging 9.1 minutes per game during his sophomore season.  Sullivan’s best game was against Georgia Tech, when he scored seven points and three rebounds. The Gastonia, NC native has transferred to the Charlotte 49ers and will sit out 2013-14.

Julian Royal will also be transferring from Georgia Tech, while Chase Fischer transfers from Wake Forest.  Royal had played considerable minutes as a freshman, but the arrival of Robert Carter reduced Royal to a role player for the Yellow Jackets.  Fischer played 14.2 minutes per game for the Demon Deacons, but shot 42.2 percent from three-point range and started three games.

Incoming ACC members will also be dealing with transfers next season.  Pittsburgh’s Trey Zeigler averaged 4.4 points and 2.0 rebounds per game for the Panthers this season as a junior.  Zeigler transferred to Pittsburgh from Central Michigan after his father, Ernie Zeigler, was fired as head coach of that team.  Zeigler felt he did not fit Pittsburgh’s system.  During a four-game stretch in January, Zeigler averaged 11.3 points per game, but averaged 14.2 minutes per contest afterwards and his production suffered.


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