UCSB is restocking its men’s basketball roster with three transfers, but only one will be able to play next season after an NCAA decision this week to delay voting on a major rule change.
Destin Barnes, a 6-foot-6 wing player from Jacksonville who announced his transfer to UCSB last week, will be eligible immediately as a graduate student. He’ll be UCSB’s fifth graduate transfer since Joe Pasternack took over as the Gauchos’ head coach before the 2017-18 season.
The NCAA Division 1 Council, however, tabled a resolution this week that would have also granted immediate eligibility to undergraduate transfers. They would have included two other UCSB additions: sophomore Calvin Wishart of Georgia Southern and freshman Josh Pierre-Louis of Temple. They will both have to redshirt next year before becoming eligible to play for the Gauchos in 2021-22.
UCSB will be Barnes’ fourth college in five years. He played his freshman season at Boston University, averaging 5.5 points, but he redshirted just two games into his sophomore season when he injured his shoulder.
He led Florida Southwestern to a fifth-place finish at the 2019 junior college national tournament in 2018-19. He then transferred to Jacksonville, where he earned Atlantic Sun Conference Newcomer of the Year honors last year while averaging a team-high 12.6 points on 39.5% shooting (32.5% from three-point range) and 3.4 rebounds.
Barnes entered the transfer portal last month and was hearing from the likes of DePaul, Virginia Tech, Arkansas, New Mexico, Old Dominion, Portland and Charleston before choosing the Gauchos.
He called UCSB a “great program that will give me the best chance to get to the NCAA tournament.”
The Gauchos had originally intended to redshirt Wishart and Pierre-Louis next season. They recruited them to help replace three guards — JaQuori McLaughlin, Devearl Ramsey and Brandon Cyrus — who will be seniors next year.
The NCAA’s Transfer Waiver Support Group had recommended in February that all transfers be allowed immediate eligibility. The NCAA Board of Directors, however, released a statement in April, which said that changes to its waiver rule process are “not appropriate at this time” because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Division 1 Council took heed of that on Wednesday and tabled the proposal for a “one-time transfer waiver” until the NCAA Convention in January.
Both undergraduate transfers figure prominently in UCSB’s future plans.
Wishart, a 6-foot-1 guard, led Georgia Southern in three-pointers (59), three-point percentage (38.3%), and assists (79) last season. He averaged 9.4 points for an Eagles’ team that went 20-13 overall and 12-8 in the Sun Belt Conference, finishing fourth among a dozen teams.
He entered his name in the transfer portal, however, after Georgia Southern head coach Mark Byington accepted the coaching job at James Madison.
Pierre-Louis, a 6-3 point guard, helped Roselle Catholic High win the New Jersey State Championship as a high school junior in 2018. He committed to UNLV that September, turning down offers from such schools as Georgia and Oklahoma State.
After the Runnin’ Rebels fired their coach, however, he signed with Temple to join his older brother, Nate. Josh Pierre-Louis averaged 3.8 points in 12.7 minutes of playing time for Temple last season, shooting 37.8% from the three-point line and establishing himself as both a playmaker and defensive stopper off the bench.
“I’m a very gritty player,” Pierre-Louis said. “I love to play great defense and get my hands on the ball.”
He put his name into the transfer portal after his older brother declared for the upcoming NBA Draft.