Commentary

2008 sees more big-name hoops transfers

Updated: September 9, 2008, 2:16 PM ET
By Ryan Canner-O'Mealy | ESPNRISE.com

In case you stop following high school hoops around state championship time and pick up when school starts up again, you've missed a lot.

[+] EnlargeDoron Lamb
Kelly KlineDoron Lamb is taking his skills to Oak Hill Academy.

Looking more and more like NBA free agency, a staggering number of top high school players transferred this summer. Some left their previous schools for more competition or exposure, while others needed to improve their grades to become eligible for college.

The highest-profile move came courtesy of John Henson, a senior forward who has committed to North Carolina. Henson, who is rated No. 3 in the ESPNU 100, averaged a double-double at Round Rock (Round Rock, Texas) last year. But after his father took a job in Florida, Henson takes his prodigious talents to Sickles (Tampa, Fla.).

Senior guard Avery Bradley, No. 15 in the ESPNU 100, left Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, Wash.) for Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.). His move, made because of academic issues, means Abdul Gaddy, No. 14 in the ESPNU 100, will run the show at Bellarmine.

As usual, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) reloaded, thanks to some key transfers.Junior guard Doron Lamb -- No. 12 in the ESPNU Super 60, from Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) -- gives the Warriors one of the nation's best backcourts.

Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) lost two of its best players: forward Terrell Vinson, the No. 46 player in the ESPNU 100, who's now at St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.); and Tristan Spurlock, the No. 52 player in the ESPNU 100, who's attending Word of Life (Springfield, Va.). But coach Stu Vetter's team answered by bringing in the No. 43 player in the ESPNU Super 60, junior shooting guard Terrance Ross from Jefferson (Portland, Ore.), and the No. 27 player in the ESPNU 100, senior forward Mouph Yarou from Massanutten Military Academy (Woodstock, Va.).

One of the nation's top sophomores, point guard LaQuinton Ross, left Callaway (Jackson, Miss.) for Murrah (Jackson, Miss.). Ross originally was going to attend Word of God (Raleigh, N.C.) but decided to stay close to home. That wasn't an issue for senior center Keith "Tiny" Gallon, the No. 21 player in the ESPNU 100, who played at Oak Hill last year but will suit up for Word of God this year.

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One player who is staying put is sophomore guard Tony Wroten Jr. of Garfield (Seattle, Wash.), arguably the nation's top player in the Class of 2011. Wroten's family decided to move into Garfield's school district so he didn't have to transfer.

Other key moves: the former St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.) duo of Kevin Parrom, No. 83 in the ESPNU 100, and St. John's-bound Omari Lawrence left the Ravens for South Kent Prep (South Kent, Conn.). Junior Syracuse recruit Dion Waiters, No. 10 in the ESPNU Super 60, left South Kent for Life Center (Burlington, N.J.), while junior Tobias Harris, No. 18 in the ESPNU Super 60, left Half Hollow Hills West (Dix Hills, N.Y.) for Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.).