The Green Bay Phoenix have landed another high quality Division I transfer.
Cody Schwartz, a 6’8” forward from nearby De Pere, announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon that he is transferring to Green Bay. He played the past two seasons at San Jose State and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer rules.
“Today I announce that I will be transferring from San Jose State and will continue my schooling and my basketball career at UW-Green Bay,” he wrote on Twitter. “I thank the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play at SJSU and for helping me progress as a player and a person. I thank all the fans for the support you have given me throughout my seasons here. Finally, thank you to all the teammates I’ve had these past two years. I appreciate all of you and have a lot of great memories from you guys.”
A 4-star recruit according to ESPN, he ranked as the 35th best power forward in the country and the 6th best player in Wisconsin’s impressive 2015 class. That class has two players currently in the NBA – Diamond Stone and Henry Ellenson – as well as two more playing large roles at Marquette (Matt Heldt) and Wisconsin (Brevin Pritzl).
After receiving interest from Marquette, Creighton, and Nebraska amongst a host of other schools in high school, he eventually chose to attend San Jose State over scholarship offers from Green Bay, Northern Iowa, and Toledo.
His career got off to a hot start in 2015/2016 when he appeared in all 31 games as a true freshman starting all but five games for the Spartans. That year he averaged 7.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game and also knocked down 52 three pointers, most among all freshman in the Mountain West Conference, connecting on 34.0% from beyond the arc.
This past season he played in all 30 of the team’s games and made 7 starts but saw his playing time basically cut in half and his production suffered. He averaged 3.8 points and 1.2 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game as a sophomore. He improved his three point shooting to 38.2% this year for San Jose State, who finished 14-16 overall and 7-11 in the Mountain West Conference.
Schwartz will join former Bay Conference rival Sandy Cohen as the two Division I transfers that are part of the Phoenix massive eight player 2017 incoming class. Others in the class include JUCO transfers Paul Turner and Sukhjot Bains as well as incoming high schoolersWill Chevalier, PJ Pipes, Trevian Bell, and Manny Patterson.
Barring any other roster defections, the Phoenix roster seems to be set as all 13 scholarships have now been filled for the 2017/2018 season. Green Bay returns just five scholarship players from last year’s team that finished 18-14 overall and lost in the first round of the CBI last month.
It’s looking more and more likely that a new team or two will be calling the Horizon League home in the very near future.
Whether or not any current members ditch the conference this summer remains to be seen.
One thing that’s for sure is that the NCAA conference realignment carousel is ready to start up again as Wichita State is set to leave the Missouri Valley Conference and join the American Athletic Conference – possibly as soon as Friday.
That means the MVC could poach a Horizon League team as they did back in 2013 when they added Loyola to replace Creighton who left for the Big East.
The most commonly mentioned names for MVC replacements are current Horizon League members Valparaiso and UIC along with Belmont, Missouri-Kansas City, and Nebraska-Omaha.
Other possible options, according to several media outlets including the Peoria Star Journal, include current Missouri Valley Football Conference members North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota, and South Dakota State.
MVC athletic directors and presidents are scheduled to meet Sunday in St. Louis to discuss conference membership. It is unknown at this time if the league is looking at add one school to remain a 10-team league or add three to boost the conference to 12-team, two division league.
The Horizon League, meanwhile, was already exploring expansion possibilities prior to the Wichita State news.
Conference commissioner Jon LeCrone touched on it at his annual state of the conference press conference last month in Detroit. According to the Detroit News, the league is “exploring adding a school or even multiple schools” and that “there have been preliminary discussions” but nothing is imminent.
“Certainly, there are conversations that are pretty active,” LeCrone said, via the News.
Then there’s a report from the Omaha World Herald that the conference is looking to expand and that Nebraska-Omaha and Denver are two potential targets.
According to the newspaper, “several sources say the Horizon League is looking to expand by two schools, and perhaps four. The reason: improving the league’s basketball profile but also providing more conference games and, thus, more home game revenue for members.”
Kerem Kanter will play his final season of college basketball at Xavier this upcoming year if he does not keep his name in the NBA Draft this summer.
The 6'9" forward from Istanbul, Turkey entered his name in the NBA Draft last month but will not hire an agent, leaving open the opportunity to play one more season of college basketball should he withdraw his name from the Draft by June 12.
We now know the extent of the back injury that caused Green Bay’s prized freshman point guard to miss over a third of the past season.
According to Scott Venci of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Anderson suffered a fracture in his back only 7-minutes into Green Bay’s 83-73 win over Cleveland State at the Resch Center back on January 23rd. The significance of the injury at that time wasn’t known with some speculation that it might be back spasms.
Green Bay's loss in the Horizon League Tournament quarterfinals to UIC marked the end of the most successful four year period in the program’s Division I basketball history.
It also marked the end of the college basketball careers of Green Bay’s six seniors – Kenneth Lowe, Turner Botz, Tevin Findlay, Charles Cooper, Jamar Hurdle, and Warren Jones.
After Thursday's news that Cody Schwartz was transferring to Green Bay from San Jose State it appeared that the Phoenix 2017 recruiting class was finished and that the 2017/2018 roster was set.
That is not the case anymore.
According to Scott Venci of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, JUCO commit Paul Turner will not be attending UWGB and playing for the Phoenix this fall due to not being able to meet the NCAA's Division I academic requirement.
Turner was a 3-star recruit in high school and had offers from several high major schools including Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, and DePaul among others.
However, he spent the past two seasons at the JUCO level at the College of Central Florida where he averaged 17.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this past season. After committing to Green Bay this past November he was recently ranked as a top 100 JUCO prospect according to JucoRecruiting.com.
Turner was expected to play a large role for the Phoenix next season as the program has just five scholarship players returning from last year's team. He was likely going to challenge for a spot in the starting lineup and play significant minutes to provide a scoring punch.
Green Bay now has one scholarship available for the 2017 recruiting class that includes JUCO player Sukhjot Bains, high school players PJ Pipes, Will Chevalier, Trevian Bell, and Manny Patterson, as well as Division I transfers Sandy Cohen and Cody Schwartz.
The Phoenix could look for a graduate transfer, JUCO transfer, or possibly another high school prospect but will likely need to find a player that is eligible to play immediately as Cohen and Schwartz will both have to sit out next season, though Cohen could possibly be eligible to play in January.
More recruiting news:
Green Bay head coach Linc Darner and the Green Bay Phoenix have added another JUCO prospect to their 2017 recruiting class.
Sukhjot Bains, a 6'6" guard from Delta, British Columbia in Canada, recently finished his sophomore season at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming.
Bains led the Trappers in both scoring and rebounding this past season averaging 13.4 points and 8.0 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per game
Jason Whitens is an intriguing prospect that has incredible credentials.
Fresh off another perfect season and another state championship, the 6’5” star from tiny Powers, Michigan – just 100 miles north of Green Bay in the Upper Peninsula – now turns his attention towards where he will continue his basketball career.
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