Wichita State sophomore guard Erik Stevenson has decided to transfer to Washington, as originally reported by The Seattle Times’ Percy Allen and subsequently confirmed by Stevenson himself on his Twitter.
One of the most sought-after transfers on the market in an extended offseason, Washington basketball has landed the highly touted Erik Stevenson. He averaged 11.1 points and 4.7 rebounds last season, but openly spoke about a fraying relationship with the Wichita State coaching staff that led to a decline in both his performance and the team’s as the season progressed.
“When I had the confidence from Coach (Gregg Marshall) and the staff and I wasn’t looking over my shoulder after every mistake, I was the leader of the team and we were winning games and winning by big margins,” Stevenson told the newspaper. “But when the confidence from the staff went away and the one-mistake, come-out rule went into place, that’s when things started to go downhill. I think the former players know exactly what I’m talking about.”
Marshall himself admitted in an interview that he “didn’t have a great relationship” with numerous players, including Stevenson. He’s one of five Shockers that have announced they will be transferring over the offseason.
Stevenson averaged 14.1 points per game in Wichita State’s 15-1 start, but notched double figures in just four of the team’s final 15 games. In the 68 games WSU played since his freshman year, he played in all of them, starting 32 and averaging more than 23 minutes per game in that span.
A native of Lacey, Washington, Stevenson was also considering Gonzaga, Oregon, Maryland, and San Diego State. Instead, he will join a UW roster that will be needing every bit of depth it can get. Coach Mike Hopkins has no incoming freshmen for next year as of now, and it is likely that multiple players will be declaring for the NBA Draft soon.
With two years of eligibility left, Stevenson could be eligible to play next season if the NCAA approves a widely-expected change allowing first-time transfers to be eligible immediately. But even if the NCAA doesn’t approve the rule change, he could likely still apply for a waiver given the tumult between him and his former coach.
If he does play next year, Stevenson slots in well as a high-volume shooter who can generate explosive scoring bursts in any given game. His verticality and transition ability is a premium as well.
He’s unlikely to be the No. 1 option with the ball in his hands, but he will stretch the floor by forcing opposing defenses to respect him beyond the arc. His choice to head to Seattle could be a pivotal addition for a Huskies team with plenty of unknowns coming into next year.