In highly unsurprising news, Tom Herzog today announced his impending transfer to Central Florida. Herzog will be petitioning for immediate eligibility, as he'll graduate from MSU later this summer and immediately start a master's program at UCF; other players in similar circumstances have been granted the waiver, and MSU certainly won't oppose the petition.
"I accomplished a lot of team goals at MSU, but I was unable to fulfill a couple of individual goals," Herzog said. "I was happy at MSU, but I wanted to find some place that would be a better fit for me. I visited a couple of schools, and I really fell in love with UCF. I really like Coach [Donnie] Jones, and I think that's going to be a great fit for me."
That's about right. Herzog was a very highly touted recruit; he averaged 17.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.3 blocks during his senior year at Flint Powers, was rated by Rivals as the 7th best center in the country, and finished second in the 2006 Mr. Basketball voting. However, at MSU he struggled from the beginning with his offensive game, and was never able to put on enough weight to be a defensive force. Nonetheless, his skill set is still there, and he very well may benefit from a change of scenery. He is, by all accounts, a classy guy, and he never complained publicly during what could only have been a very frustrating four years in East Lansing. Here's hoping that his year in Orlando is productive and worthwhile.
MSU benefits here too. Herzog's departure opens up a scholarship, which likely will go to either Austin Thornton or Mike Kebler -- both of whom are deserving. Inevitably, questions will arise as to whether an earlier transfer announcement would have helped MSU land Trey Zeigler -- and the answer is almost certainly no. As intrpdtrvlr pointed out, once Trey's father received a contract extension from CMU, his decision to play in Mt. Pleasant was almost inevitable. Furthermore, it's not like Herzog's decision will come as a shock to the coaching staff; Herzog said today that "[m]y coaching staff at MSU [was] helpful in making the decision. They were very supportive and helped me figure out where I could go." Surely MSU let Zeigler know that Herzog was on the way out, and that a scholarship was available. That he went to CMU anyway is certainly understandable given the circumstances.