College athletes are being granted more rights these days and that is an absolutely wonderful thing. Guys can transfer and be eligible right away now. And the custom of not transferring within the same conference? That’s also gone the way of the Triceratops.
Indiana Hoosiers forward Miller Kopp is a classic example of this trend. The 6-7 Jr (remember, everyone was granted another year of eligibility, on account of the pandemic, so it’ll be the same class as ’20-’21 for everybody) played three seasons at Northwestern, and his side visits NU Feb. 8, for their lone regular season meeting.
We asked Northwestern coach Chris Collins about it at the Chicago College Basketball Media Luncheon.
“Yeah, I’m sure it will be weird,” he responded during our exclusive conversation.
“Any time you have a guy for three years. He’ll always be a Northwestern guy to me, and appreciative of what he brought. I’m sure it will be weird, initially when you see him, and then once the game starts you lock in and try to play.
“It will be definitely be a little strange.”
Miller Kopp played 87 game for Northwestern, starting 74. He scored 832 points and grabbed 250 rebounds. He also connected on 132 3-pt field goals.
He’s not the only one to go this route. We mentioned Spike Albrecht, the Michigan guard who announced his arrival in the 2013 National Title Game, before later finding himself an important role player on Purdue’s 2017 Sweet Sixteen team.
“I think Max Bielfeldt who went from Michigan to Indiana,” Collins continued.
“There have been a couple other instances- Jamari Wheeler, Penn State to Ohio State, so I think you’re going to see that more, now with the way the transfer rules are, and you don’t have to sit out.
“I’m sure it will be a game our guys are excited to play, because he was a great friend of there’s.”
“When you’re with guys for three years, there’s relationships there. He’ll do well, obviously, he’s a great player and hopefully that night we can beat ’em. Other wise I’ll be cheering for him.
Miller Kopp and Indiana open the season Nov. 9 against Eastern Michigan. Northwestern commences their 2021-22 campaign the same date against Eastern Illinois.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”Follow paulmbanks