One of the few bright spots in an otherwise discouraging Penn State basketball season, Babb decided to transfer despite solidifying his hold on the starting shooting guard role by scoring in double figures in 10 of the Lions' 18 Big Ten games. Neither the sophomore nor his family has indicated why he chose to leave, but father Mike Babb said Thursday that "it was not just wins and losses."
Babb, a Topeka native whose family moved to Texas when he was in high school, intends to transfer somewhere in the Midwest. A number of schools from the Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conference have expressed interest, but Mike Babb said the only visit the family has set up so far is one to Illinois State next week. The family cancelled a previously scheduled visit to Missouri State because they didn't like that the program was losing scholarships for academic failures.
"The main thing he's looking for is a program where he can use his redshirt year to get better and get back to having fun again," Mike Babb said. "We're going to take our time and start figuring out which school is the best fit."
D.J. Seeley, SG, Cal
Seeley was expected to be an impact recruit when he chose Cal over Duke, UCLA and Memphis among others, but the sophomore shooting guard averaged only 2.4 points per game last season behind starters Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher. Although plenty of playing time would have been available, Seeley decided immediately after Cal's second-round loss to Duke that he needed a fresh start.
According to his high school coach Gary Porter, Seeley intends to remain on the West Coast at a mid-major program where he can flourish as a scorer. Saint Mary's and San Francisco have recruited the former Modesto Christian High star especially hard so far, but UNLV and Fresno State also may be options as the process moves along.
"It was hard when Ben Braun left because Braun recruited him," Porter said. "Really D.J. is not the style of player (Mike) Montgomery is used to having. I think somewhere along the line he lost some confidence in himself, coming from being a star in high school to not playing much in college. He really needs to go somewhere that he can find his identity."
Elston Turner, SF, Washington
Although Turner was the most obvious candidate to replace Quincy Pondexter in Washington's startin lineup, the sophomore announced he was transferring Thursday because he wasn't happy with how he was being used in the Huskies' offense. Turner had emerged as the team's most dependable sharpshooter, but he told the Seattle Times he wanted to showcase his all-around game.
Turner mentioned Houston and Texas A&M as possibilities for where he'd like to transfer, but moving closer to his Houston home will not be the only factor in his decision. "I'm not going to put just staying close to home as my top priority because I do want to go where it's best for me and not just because it's close," Turner told Seattle's KJR-AM radio.
- Penn State