In this morning's Bruin Bites, Bellerophon noted the the success of UCLA's All-Transfer team - the players who have left Westwood in recent years to ply their trade in other pastures. All in all they were pretty successful; all of the transfers have seen their seasons extended well into March. While J'mison Morgan is redshirting this season at Baylor, the others played significant roles in getting their teams into March Madness.
The highest profile defections from Westwood were found in Las Vegas, where Mike Moser and Chace Stanback led the Runnin' Rebels to a 26-9 record and a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Moser averaged a double-double on the season for UNLV, while Stanback averaged 12.5 points/game and hit 45% of his shots from behind the arc. While the duo shared the cold shooting that afflicted most of their team, Moser made an impact in UNLV's near-comeback against Colorado, finishing with 9 rebounds, 6 steals and 3 blocked shots to go with his 10 points.
Chase Stanback ended his collegiate career on a bit of a down note with 8 points and 4 rebounds, but his overall play over the last three years for UNLV would have been a great benefit to the Bruin squads of the last couple of seasons. As a refresher, Stanback exhausted his eligibility with his team's departure from the Tourney as a redshirt senior. While he would not have been able to help UCLA this season, the Bruin squads of the two years past would have been helped by his presence.
Aside from Reeves Nelson's dismissal from the program and the fallout which followed, the most explosive separation of player and Coach Howland was Drew Gordon. While the circumstances surrounding Gordon and the Bruin program made his transfer seem pretty logical, he has also found individual and team success at his new home.
After losses to MWC frontrunners San Diego State and UNLV to start conference play, Gordon and New Mexico went on a tear, winning 12 of their final 14 games leading to March Madness, including regular season and MWC tournament wins over then-ranked UNLV and SDSU. Like Moser, Gordon also averaged a double-double for the Lobos during the regular season, as he had the year before. His performance in Tournament play outshone the UNLV pair, with a combined 31 points and 25 rebounds in the MWC semi's and final, as well as double-doubles in a win over Long Beach State (18 points, 13 rebounds) and a close loss to 4th seed Louisville (21 points, 15 rebounds).
Matt Carlino is the one that got away who honestly most people following UCLA Basketball were not too concerned about. His recruitment was seen as an early sign of Howland's recruiting miscues, with his Reeves-related departure seeming to be a short-term blow to the program's depth than anything. And then, after leaving for BYU and sitting out a year, he began to play. While not filling the shoes of the departed Jimmer Fredette, he did lead the Cougars in attemped shots from behind the line, becoming BYU's 3rd leading scorer after becoming eligible in December as a redshirt freshman (12.2 ppg, along with a team leading 4.6 assists). Matt did play a bit like a freshman during the Madness, shooting 4-17 in BYU's two games while turning the ball over 10 times to his 6 assists, but his team did advance to the round of 32 in the Tournament.