Oregon is losing a rising sophomore in their backcourt.
With very limited playing time and room at both guard positions, Kendall Smart, a former top-100 recruit in the class of 2015, opted to transfer on Thursday.
The Anaheim, CA native and true point guard averaged 1.7 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 7.8 minute per game last season. He shot 40 percent from the field, 13 percent from beyond the arc, and 62 percent from the free throw strike.
While Small’s role was already small in year number one, his sophomore campaign was likely headed towards a similar situation. Tyler Dorsey, Payton Pritchard and Dylan Ennis (who broke his foot and didn’t play at all last season) will likely handle the plethora of the minutes at the one and the two positions.
Dorsey, who reportedly has bulked up a bit this off-season, is capable of playing on or off the ball because of his ability to slash into the lane and also hit the three. Pritchard has a similar game, although he is more consistent from long range and isn’t has dynamic with the ball in his hands. Ennis is likely to handle the majority of the lead guard duties because of his experience, size, and playmaking ability. The former Villanova Wildcat can also shoot the ball from the perimeter and guard multiple positions, so the Ducks do have versatility with their top three options.
Small would have seen very little time on the court, even though he plays with great energy at both ends of the floor.
It would be a surprise to see Small transfer far away from home, as he is likely to find multiple schools that will be willing to offer him a scholarship.
The 6’0″, 170 pound guard attacks the basket with ease, can finish through contact, can penetrate due to his ball handling skills and has good strength for his size. If Small develops a jump shot, defends at a higher level and plays better in the pick-and-roll, he could be a dangerous option for any team in any conference.
While transferring at the end of July is frowned upon in most circumstances, this may be a good move for both sides.