As the NCAA Tournament is being watched by millions of fans across the country, Oklahoma Sooners fans were hit with some news on Saturday afternoon when sophomore guard Jordan Shepherd announced his decision to transfer from the program.
What an experience.. I have been truly blessed to able to be around such a great campus and even better people. But with that being said... my family and I have decided that it best for me to transfer schools. Thank you. ❤️#BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/V5u8Ia248U— Jordan Shepherd (@Jordan_Shep13) March 24, 2018
Originally from Asheville, North Carolina, Shepherd arrived in Norman before the 2016 season and earned the role of back-up to senior point guard Jordan Woodard as a freshman. His statistical averages in two seasons playing for Lon Kruger may not have been spectacular, but his potential and athleticism were evident throughout — particularly as a freshman. Shepherd’s best game came in his starting debut for the Sooners against Memphis in 2016, when the 6’2” guard posted a career-high of 18 points along with two rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal as he played a team-high 37 minutes in a 99-94 OT loss to the Tigers.
His all-around game was sometimes effective in back-up duties to freshman phenom Trae Young this past season, and he had plenty of fans looking forward to seeing his development as a junior. Against Rhode Island in the NCAA tournament — in what was ultimately his last game in an OU uniform — Shepherd was instant dynamite off the bench in the first half and gave the Sooners a boost on both ends of the floor, including this explosive put-back dunk:
However, Shepherd clearly isn’t the answer for the Sooners at point guard in 2018-19, so this is best for both parties.
After Young announced his decision to turn pro earlier in the week, the Sooners are left rather thin at the point guard position going into 2018. Luckily, Kruger and company have been active in the transfer market, pursuing a handful of experienced prospects across the country, including Maine graduate transfer PG Aaron Calixte, Evansville wing Ryan Taylor and Hutchinson CC guard Devonte Bandoo.
It is also worth noting that Jamal Bieniemy, the four-star combo guard prospect from Katy, Texas, was recruited to play the point at Oklahoma. Listed at 6-5, the nephew of former Colorado Buffaloes running back and current Kansas City Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy signed with the Sooners last November and certainly has the skills to develop into a solid playmaker and scorer at the collegiate level.
Following a disappointing finish to the 2017-18 season that included plenty of rumors of turmoil, this may not be the end of current Sooners on the roster considering a transfer. We’ll just have to wait and see how it all unfolds.