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Turnover: Assessing the impact of TCU Basketball’s offseason transfers

The Frogs have a turnstile leading to the locker room these days.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Kansas State vs TCU Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

TCU basketball added one and lost another on Friday afternoon. Taryn Todd is in the transfer portal, according to Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star Telegram. The Frogs also added Shahada Wells from UT-Arlington, who announced his commitment earlier Friday afternoon.

Todd is the seventh transfer from TCU this season, and the 16th to transfer away from the program since Jamie Dixon took over the helm in 2016. On the flip side, Wells is the ninth transfer into Dixon’s program over the same time span.

Transfers Out Under Jamie Dixon

Name Out Recruiting Class Yrs @ TCU Transferred To Transfer Year
Name Out Recruiting Class Yrs @ TCU Transferred To Transfer Year
Taryn Todd 2019 2 TBD 2021
Jaedon Ledee 2019* 2 TBD 2021
Kevin Easley Jr. 2019* 2 TBD 2021
Mickey Pearson 2019 2 TBD 2021
Owen Aschieris> 2018 3 TBD 2021
Dylan Arnette 2018 3 TBD 2021
Diante Smith 2019 2 South Alabama 2021
Russell Barlow 2018 2 California Baptist 2020
Kendric Davis 2018 1 SMU 2019
Angus McWilliam 2018 1 UC-Riverside 2019
Lat Mayen 2017 2 Nebraska 2019
Kaden Archie 2018 1 UTEP 2019
Yuat Alok 2018 1 Southern Utah 2019
Jaylen Fisher 2016 3 Declared intent to transfer, then went pro 2018
Shawn Olden 2017* 1 Texas Southern 2018
Josh Parrish 2016 1 Rice 2017
>grad transfer *transferred in

Transfers In During the Dixon Era

Name In Transferred From Yrs @ TCU Transfer Year
Name In Transferred From Yrs @ TCU Transfer Year
Shahada Wells UT-Arlington TBD 2021
Maxwell Evans Vanderbilt TBD 2021
Chuck O' Bannon USC TBD 2020
Jaedon LeDee Ohio State 2 2019
Kevin Easley Jr. Chatanooga 1 2019
Edric Dennis Jr. UT-Arlington 1 2019
Jaire Grayer George Mason 1 2019
Ahmed Hamdy VCU 1 2017
Shawn Olden New Mexico JC/Pepperdine 1 2017

Before we get too far it needs to be noted: transferring is far, far more common in this current era of basketball then it ever has been before. SMU has also seen seven players transfer out of the program this year. Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Texas have all had players leave the program, albeit those are results of coaching changes.

That being said seeing seven guys leave the program in a single season is disconcerting, especially when a good portion of them were contributors.

Kevin Easley started 13 games, and although he moved to a bench role as Big 12 play progressed he averaged close to 20 minutes per game.

Jaedon LeDee and Todd were both counted on for big minutes this past season, too, both averaging more than 15 minutes a contest. LeDee was a big who - although a bit undersized - was willing to be physical down low, while Todd led the team in 3-point shooting percentage (min. 40 attempts).

Pair their departures with RJ Nembhard leaving for the NBA, and TCU’s rotation is going to look quite different in 2021-22. If I had to make a way-too-early prediction on TCU’s starting five for 2021-22 it would be Mike Miles, Francisco Farabello, PJ Fuller, Chuck O’Bannon, and Kevin Samuel.

While Evans and Wells both look like solid additions on paper, that’s two more guys, along with TCU’s one high school commit for 2021, who will have to get to know the players, learn Dixon’s system, and adjust to life at TCU next year.

Continuity is certainly difficult to come by for Dixon and Co., as they’ve now seen their leading scorer leave for the NBA in both of the last two seasons. While spots opening up is also an opportunity to improve, continuity in college basketball is equally as important as talent.

Look, for instance, at Baylor. Baylor, this year’s national champion, started all juniors and seniors, all of whom had been in the program for at least three seasons. Gonzaga was a slightly different story, starting three upperclassmen, a sophomore, and a freshman, but only one was a transfer (Nembhard from Florida).

As much as it might suck to be a TCU fan watching your rival win a title, Baylor’s coaching staff has managed to maintain a talented core of players who chose to stick around in an era where transferring is far more popular than sticking it out.

If TCU is going to take the next step under Jamie Dixon, retention has to be a part of the plan.

But that’s where we are right now - wondering how much further Jamie Dixon can elevate the program. He’s brought it from “six feet of crap, and then there’s us” to a program that is competing on a nightly basis and producing NBA talent.

This year certainly didn’t do Dixon any favors as he finished with a losing record for the first time in his coaching career. Yes COVID was a major issue for TCU more so than a lot of other programs, and because of that I’m partially willing to brush off this season.

The reality is though, TCU hasn’t made it back to the NCAA Tournament since Dixon’s second season at the helm, and they haven’t had a winning record since the 2018-19 season. It’s reasonable to ask how much longer we have to wait until we see TCU take the next step, after the several they’ve already taken under Dixon’s leadership.