By Kyle Wills
Several Youngstown State University athletes have entered the NCAA Transfer Portal over the last few weeks. Notable names include senior Mary Dunn and freshman standout Nneka Obiazor from the women’s basketball team and junior Darius Quisenberry from the men’s basketball team. Antoine Cook, junior defensive end, also entered the transfer portal from the football team.
Last fall, the NCAA proposed a one-time transfer rule to give all Division I student-athletes the ability to transfer and compete immediately once during their collegiate career without suffering the penalty of sitting out. The rule has since been approved.
In order to be eligible to transfer, athletes must leave their previous school academically eligible. Athletes are prohibited from playing in the same academic season at two different schools. An athlete’s previous school does not have any ability to object to the transfer.
Obiazor turned in one of the best seasons from a freshman in the history of the women’s basketball program. The freshman averaged 15.3 points per game shooting 48.9% from the field and 42.5% from behind the arc. She also contributed on the glass averaging 8.1 rebounds per game.
Obiazor’s 15.3 points per game ranks her third all-time by freshmen. During the season, Obiazor was named Horizon League Freshman of the Week four times, and her season performance was strong enough to earn her the title Freshman of the Year, as well as All-Horizon League Third Team.
Dunn, who received a medical redshirt following a knee injury last season, was a force in the paint, averaging 16.4 points per game, shooting 51.6% while averaging 5.9 rebounds. She earned All-Horizon League Second Team and is entering the portal with one year left of eligibility.
Following the conclusion of the men’s basketball season last year, Quisenberry declared for the NBA Draft before withdrawing and returning to YSU for this past season. This season, the junior averaged 14.9 points per game with 3.1 assists while shooting 35.6% from the field.
Cook was a leader on YSU’s defensive front. He had 17 tackles with 3.5 sacks this season. Cook also spent a lot of time on the field last year as well.
During the weekly press conference this past Tuesday, head football coach Doug Phillips talked about his view on the transfer portal and why student-athletes are choosing to jump in.
“I try to focus on what I can control. I can’t control that,” he said. “I know the portal has benefited us and I’m sure every program can say it has benefited. For coaches, it’s a double-edged sword. Some kids choose to jump in the portal because maybe they cannot get on the field and they want to play and they want to play where they can get more reps. It’s the lifestyle we’re living in right now.”
The Jambar will continue to provide updates on YSU student-athletes entering the transfer portal.