ESPN: Why they transferred

tweeterhawk

Team MVP
Gold Member
Mar 22, 2010
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Jack Nunge provides some interesting insights into why he left and his satisfaction with Xavier. Also, Osun Osunniyi and Rasir Bolton talk about transferring to Iowa State.


Jack Nunge (Iowa Hawkeyes to Xavier Musketeers)
Averaged 13.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG and 1.4 BPG in 2021-22 for the Musketeers, after three years at Iowa that were affected by injuries and tragedy. Nunge suffered a season-ending knee injury at the start of the 2019-20 season. Then, his father, Mark Nunge, died days before the start of the 2020-21 campaign. Nunge suffered another season-ending injury toward the end of the 2020-21 season before transferring to Xavier.

What made you initially choose Iowa?

I actually lived in Iowa City for a couple of years. My dad worked at a hospital there, so I was kind of a Hawkeyes fan, just because of that. There was a comfort level. My mom is also from Iowa. I have a bunch of family there. And the program, I thought they had a lot of players, who [were similar to me] and I thought I could be a great fit there.

When did you know that it was time to consider transferring?

I went through some adversity my senior year -- and my junior year, I guess. The ACL tear, and then the pandemic, my dad [dying] and my meniscus injury. There was just a lot of, I don't want to say bad stuff, but just stuff I had to deal with personally. So I thought, I might need a new look, new situation, so I could build a new image for myself.

Who did you turn to when you decided to make the decision and what feedback did you receive?

I was really just talking to my family. My mom, she played a huge role in that. I think even when I first talked to her about it, she was confused. She was like, "What?" But I knew I wanted to come closer to home [Editor's note: Nunge and his family are from Newburgh, Indiana], and see her more often. So she could pretty much come to every game, being only about three hours from home. She was the main person that I talked to about it.

What was your team's and coaching staff's response?

It was a little bit of a double-edged sword at first. They were a little upset because I was so close with all of them. But then they were also like, they understood everything I'd been through. They all supported me through that. They understood. Also, it's hard for me. I love all of them. I didn't want to leave them. It was a tough decision both ways.

What was the recruitment process like the second time around?

I feel like I was just smarter throughout the process. I had a better vision of what I wanted in a program and coaches I would play for. Xavier was obviously the perfect fit. There was no doubt this was the place I was supposed to come to.

How happy are you with the choice you made?

I just feel like I'm honestly blessed to be able to come here. I have a great situation. My wife, she came with me. And my brother [Bobby Nunge], he lives with me now and he's also a part of the team as a walk-on. And I don't think that would have happened if I had stayed at Iowa. So I think it's a great, great situation.

Why was Xavier your final choice?

The resources the school has. The historic basketball program that it has and the location. That was obviously the big aspect. When I was talking to the coaches and seeing their team and they were telling me where I would fit on the roster, there was really no doubt that it was the best place.

---
Osun Osunniyi (St. Bonaventure to Iowa State)

(snip)
How did NIL factor into it?

For me, it wasn't ultimately about name, image and likeness. The whole decision, this is like a million-dollar decision for me. I mean, I could take a certain amount of NIL deals with certain schools, but then not get the best player development to help me get to the NBA, where I can make millions, hopefully. It was mainly just about finding a place where I'm going to get better and show scouts things that they haven't seen before, so that a year from now, when I'm going to NBA workouts, scouts are saying, "Well he didn't do this in his four years at St. Bonaventure but we've seen him do it at Iowa State and it seems like he has potential." And maybe, hopefully, everything goes well and, God willing, I have no injuries and I have a successful year at Iowa State.

Why was Iowa State your final choice?

The player development. I really connected with the coaching staff. They connected with my family really well. They built a great relationship with my family over the recruiting process. And my teammate from St. Bonaventure [Jaren Holmes] is here, so he was throwing his little piece in. I played with him for three years. We have good chemistry, so that was another thing for me.

---
Rasir Bolton (Penn State to Iowa State to Gonzaga)

(snip)
When did you know it was time to think about transferring again?

After the 2020-21 season, I had planned on staying. But Coach T.J. Otzelberger brought guys in and held meetings, and he actually told me to leave. He told me, "You know you probably won't play here next year. We think it'd be best for us and you if you decided to go somewhere else." I appreciate him for that, for being honest and not keeping me there and doing me wrong. Once he told me that, I put my name in the portal once again, explored my options and found an option at Gonzaga.
 

CookyMonster

HR All-American
Nov 27, 2018
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Nothing new with Jack's response on why he left. I'm glad for him that he enjoyed his teammates and his time in Iowa City despite the horrible experiences he had to deal with at the end. Most of us are still pulling for you Jack.

/thread
 

BBHawk

HR Legend
Oct 31, 2001
30,298
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Iowa City
...
Rasir Bolton (Iowa State Cyclones to Gonzaga Bulldogs)
When did you know it was time to think about transferring again?

...Coach T.J. Otzelberger brought guys in and held meetings, and he actually told me to leave. He told me, "You know you probably won't play here next year. We think it'd be best for us and you if you decided to go somewhere else."...
Definition of "Creaning".
 

stender72865

HR MVP
Jan 28, 2014
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It's been a while since that putrid 2-22 year, but Bolton didn't strike me as someone who played very good defense. Maybe that was a factor in TJs decision? Who knows? It worked out for Rasir at Gonzaga, so good for him!
 
Sep 8, 2018
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It's been a while since that putrid 2-22 year, but Bolton didn't strike me as someone who played very good defense. Maybe that was a factor in TJs decision? Who knows? It worked out for Rasir at Gonzaga, so good for him!
That was my point. TJ isn’t going to tell the leading scorer and rebounder to take a hike unless he was an overall detriment to the team.
 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HAWK

HR Heisman
Apr 17, 2002
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It's been a while since that putrid 2-22 year, but Bolton didn't strike me as someone who played very good defense. Maybe that was a factor in TJs decision? Who knows? It worked out for Rasir at Gonzaga, so good for him!
Still can’t believe you beat both of those teams that year.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: BBHawk

stender72865

HR MVP
Jan 28, 2014
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That was my point. TJ isn’t going to tell the leading scorer and rebounder to take a hike unless he was an overall detriment to the team.
Agreed. I heard rumblings of chemistry issues surrounding Bolton as well, but who knows? It's not fair to speculate, and at this point it doesn't matter.
 

BBHawk

HR Legend
Oct 31, 2001
30,298
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Iowa City
It's been a while since that putrid 2-22 year, but Bolton didn't strike me as someone who played very good defense. Maybe that was a factor in TJs decision? Who knows? It worked out for Rasir at Gonzaga, so good for him!
And Gonzaga doesn't normally bring in kids who play good defense? Good to know...
 

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