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Sam Cunliffe transfer: Scholarships an issue for Gonzaga

As it stands right now, he probably won’t be thinking about the Zags.

NCAA Basketball: UNLV at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State Sun Devils community was rocked by news that prized 2016 recruit Sam Cunliffe has declared his intention to transfer from the school after just 10 games this season.

The freshman combo-guard is averaging 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, and had pieced together some nice showings of why he was so hyped: including a 23 point effort.

Why does this matter at all for The Slipper Still Fits community? Simple: the Zags tried to recruit Cunliffe. The 6’6 guard out of Rainier Beach High School, in Seattle, held offers from Gonzaga, Utah and Colorado (among many other schools) before finally settling on Arizona State.

It turns out Cunliffe wants to get a bit closer to home.

Unfortunately, as it stands right now, Cunliffe’s tweet is the only reasoning we have available. There will be plenty of eager teams to snatch up his services if he decides to come knocking, and you have to expect the Zags’ staff has their ears and eyes open.

Only one slight, minor problem exists for the Zags. As it stands right now, the Zags don’t have the scholarships available to retain his services.

Realistically, the Zags don’t looked primed to change the scholarship chart much next season. There isn’t a single Bulldog on DraftExpress’ 2017 NBA Mock Draft board, and this team is almost too balanced for any one player to really make a big enough impact to garner the eyes of NBA scouts this season. Perhaps Nigel Williams-Goss works his way into the mix, but that might be far-fetched at this point.

It also doesn’t seem like anyone will be too interested in transferring. Silas Melson has hit his stride this season and Josh Perkins is playing stellar basketball. Perhaps Bryan Alberts or Ryan Edwards would try their hands as graduate transfers, but Cunliffe will most likely have his decision made prior to that announcement.

In short, don’t get too excited at the idea of Sam Cunliffe in a Zags uniform.