Reports surfaced early Friday morning that reserve center Yuat Alok is transferring from TCU’s basketball team.
TCU’s Yuat Alok (3.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg) is transferring, source told @WatchStadium. Third reserve for the Horned Frogs to transfer at the break, joining Angus McWilliam and Kaden Archie (2.1 ppg, 1.5 rpg). Alok was a highly recruited kid coming out of junior college.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) January 11, 2019
Alok is following in the footsteps of Angus McWilliam and Kaden Archie, both of whom left the team in recent weeks. McWilliam is still on campus at TCU, while Archie is preparing to transfer to another school.
Alok has been with TCU since June of 2018, coming to Fort Worth after transferring from Chipola Junior College in Sarasota, Florida. Alok was the No. 1 rated JUCO center for his recruiting cycle. He also held offers from Baylor and LSU prior to committing to the Horned Frogs.
Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, Alok averaged 13.1 minutes in 10 games played this season, producing 3.3 points and 2.5 rebounds/game in that time. It’s likely that playing time is the main reason for the transfer.
The loss of Alok means that TCU will move forward without a big-body backup for starting center Kevin Samuel. TCU has found a small-ball rotation that features JD Miller at center and Kouat Noi at the four, that has been moderately successful overall, but extremely successful on the offensive end of the court.
This smaller lineup has likely taken minutes away from Alok, as Samuel has stepped up as the featured big man in the main rotation of players. The Frogs, when healthy, have a main rotation of about eight guys, and Alok seemed to be No. 9.
Alok had not played in TCU’s previous two games - against Baylor and Kansas - reportedly due to an injury.
While Alok isn’t what you would consider a “key contributor” he was definitely a valued depth player for this team. Without him, TCU becomes particularly thin at center, especially when you consider the size of most frontcourts in Big 12 play.
The Frogs do have true freshman Russell Barlow at center as well, but he hasn’t appeared in a game this year and is presumed to be redshirting.
The Frogs still have the talent to compete with the best in the Big 12 (they showed that against Kansas on Wednesday), but losing depth like Alok and Archie definitely hurts the cause a bit.