GVSU continues to build program with transfers

GVL / Robert Mathews
Sophomore transfer Kristers Zeidaks (13)

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews Sophomore transfer Kristers Zeidaks (13)

Bryce Derouin

If you looked at the roster for the Grand Valley State University men’s basketball team, chances are you wouldn’t be able to recognize some of the names.

That’s because GVSU added six transfers to their roster for the 2012-2013 season, which has become a common practice within their program.

“You’re kind of aware of some of the guys, you’ve known through high school and maybe you had some contact with them before they chose other schools,” said head coach Ric Wesley. “Once they go somewhere where it doesn’t work out, quite often they call us and if you had a relationship or you’ve had a chance to evaluate them before, it certainly makes it an easier decision on whether or not you decide to add them to your program.”

Three of the top four leading scores entering Saturday’s game for the Lakers are players who have transferred. Including senior Tyrone Lee (11 points per game), who transferred last year from Oakland Community College and was named to the GLIAC All-Defensive team last year and one of the team captains for this season.

For Lee, coming to GVSU was a completely different experience for him on and off the court.

“It’s so difficult to change your whole mindset from what you came from — to this system and this program,” Lee said. “You have to change the way you sleep, everything. The way you carry yourself, the way you dress. It was totally different when I first came here. You gotta know the players. It takes time. You gotta know how to rub people right. Everybody on the team has a different personality, so you gotta know how to approach guys certain ways.”

In a sport where chemistry and being on the same page is vital to a team’s success, getting adjusted to a constant slew of new players can sometimes be a hurdle.

Senior Tony Peters has had to get acclimated to new players in each of his four years, whether it is from recruiting or incoming transfers.

“It takes a while,” Peters said. “Experience comes with time. That’s one thing the team needs is chemistry. It just takes time to build so we’re looking to do that right now and I think it’s coming together. It comes with game experience. Open gym is a lot different than actual game experience. So that’s where you learn guys’ spots and what they like to do. Once we get a few games under our belt, I think that’s when we start the most gellin’.”

While getting used to one another may be a challenge, an advantage by adding transfer athletes for GVSU is their increased depth and competition within the team. Therefore, Wesley has more options available to him as a coach.

“We needed some bodies,” Wesley said. “We didn’t have the numbers that we needed. It makes for good, healthy competition and lots of options if everybody buys into the system and everyone is willing to sacrifice. That is often what makes the Grand Valley teams in every sport what they are is our depth and hopefully that will continue to be an asset for us.”

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