Following the loss to Ohio State, one of the first discussions to happen was "okay, who is likely to transfer this time around". While a number of names were thrown around, I would bet most people did not name Ryan Spangler. And, of course, here we are and Jim Meehan of the Spokesman Review is confirming the rumor that the former two-sport star from Oklahoma will transfer to a school closer to home.
Ryan appeared in 22 games a season ago, mostly in mop up time. He averaged a couple points and rebounds per game and was a guy many were looking at to break out in the 2012-13 campaign. What will likely draw the most reaction from people is that his best game was actually Gonzaga's last win of the season against West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. Spangler had four points and eight boards in that game.
The popular explanation for Ryan's decision is being homesick. Going from Oklahoma to Spokane, WA is a big culture swing. However, I'd be flat out lying if I said that a small part of me didn't see this coming. Ryan's career at Gonzaga started out oddly as he did not redshirt this season even though he saw very limited game action. I have to assume that the staff offered him the chance to sit out a year as they knew his minutes would be scarce. When you look ahead to next season, it is likely that Ryan thought he might not get the minutes he felt he deserved and that tipped the scales towards transferring. Kelly Olynyk will come off a redshirt season, Sam Dower is back, Elias Harris will likely return, and the staff is close to adding another big to replace Rob Sacre that should be able to contribute right away. While Spangler was a guy I really liked, if you add up the different elements of his career at Gonzaga, I think this move will probably end up making sense for both parties.
We wish nothing but the best to Ryan and will update folks as he makes his next decision.