There were rumors floating around in internet land about Boston College basketball players exploring transfers, and when you have an enormous freshman class like the Eagles do, someone is bound to slip through the cracks and decide to leave.
If BC fans were asked to compile a list of players they thought would leave in 2012, Matt Humphrey would be near the bottom. Yet, it was discovered yesterday that Humphrey, after playing just one season at Boston College, is leaving the school. He sat out last season after transferring from Oregon and is wrapping up the fourth year of his education. Humphrey is set to graduate with the current senior class and will spend the final year of his eligibility at another school without having to sit out a season. There is no word yet on Humphrey’s options. We wish him success in his future.
There may be several causes for this transfer. Perhaps he wanted a chance on a team that could win, maybe he no longer agreed with the direction of the program, or there may be other personal or academic reasons involved; the list goes on and on. We do not even know if the departure is on amicable terms, and we may never know. Still, without running the risk of speculating further, many BC fans will probably be inclined to think he had a strong impetus to transfer to his third college after spending a short time here.
Humphrey’s only year at Boston College was a mixed one. Though he ended up being one of the best players on the 2011-12 Eagles by default, he had a stat line that read like this: 10.3 ppg, 35.0% field goals, 31.3% three-point field goals, 61.3% free throws, 3.4 rebounds per game, and 1.6 assists per game. Statistics don’t capture defense or effort, however, and he seemed to do fine in both, though Humphrey did have a habit of sometimes being too out-of-control with his game. From night to night, we never knew if “Good Humph” or “Bad Humph” would show up. Overall, he was aggressive on the defensive end, but offensively, he was streaky and often took too many bad shots which led to one-and-done possessions.
At the end of the day, if Humphrey does not want to play here anymore, then he may go and accept our blessing for doing so. Should it be revealed that he simply no longer wanted to play here, then frankly, BC does not need players that do not want to be part of the team. On the other hand, there’s a reason for this event and we do not know what it is, so it would be advisable to abstain from post-transfer dumping-on-the-guy-who-left without knowing why.
The problem now is that instead of having a senior Humphrey leading the sophomore-heavy team, this Eagles team will get younger again. This vacant roster spot may be filled by a transfer, a new recruit, a walk-on, or nobody at all, and the obvious risk is that whomever the new guy is won’t be as adequate as Humphrey, thereby downgrading the team.
Here’s the other thing: Humphrey is a replaceable player. Even if he had the season of his life in 2012-13, he’d probably still be nothing more than a footnote to BC fans several years from now. There are things to like about Matt Humphrey’s game, but when you boil everything else away, he is an average player. The question now becomes how Steve Donahue and his coaches will fill his shoes, and how the complexion of next year’s team changes with him no longer here. It is far too early in the process to know exactly how the roster and starting lineups will change, but rest assured, there will be necessary changes, and the 2012-13 outlook for the Eagles is more uncertain.
At least we won’t have to hear people calling him “Matt Humphries” anymore.