Wolf Pack guard Charlie Tooley announced via Twitter last week that he plans to transfer. Tooley did not announce where exactly he has decided to transfer. Tooley was a Pack fan favorite as he first joined the squad as a walk-on during the 2016-17 season. He played a part in the Wolf Pack’s historic comeback against New Mexico in The Pit. Tooley earned a scholarship midway through the 2017-2018 season.
Off the court, the team and the fans will miss Tooley greatly. Tooley was best friends with Josh Hall, as they both joined the team as freshmen in 2016. Tooley received roars from the crowd similar to that of Jordan Caroline, and Tooley did not even have to score to hear them. For a man who rarely played, Tooley resonated with Wolf Pack fans. Was it because he was the token white player on the team or was it because he was an underdog that overcame? Whatever the reason, this era of Wolf Pack basketball fans will not forget Charlie Tooley.
Tooley leaving Nevada does not hurt the on-court product much, if at all. Tooley did not play in 20 of the Wolf Pack’s 37 games this season. In the 17 games he did appear in, he never played more than three minutes. He never had more than two shot attempts in any one game. Tooley missed the three-pointer that would have given Lindsey Drew the last assist he needed for a triple-double against San Diego State, which would have been the biggest statement Tooley could have made all season.
Tooley played in 16 games the year prior and arguably had more success. He played more meaningful minutes then than in this past season. But the addition of Hallice Cooke, Kendall Stephens, Caleb Martin and Cody Martin saw the reduction of Tooley’s minutes. If Tooley decided to stay for the 2018-19 season, he may have never seen the court
The transfer works for both Tooley and Nevada. For Tooley, he can actually get solid playing time for the first time in his college career at a school where he would be an essential piece to a team. Walking on to a top 25 basketball program is a great accomplishment in itself and Tooley should get the playing time and recognition he deserves at another school.
For Nevada, they have now have an additional roster spot. A spot they should use on a big man as height seems to be the teams glaring weakness. Another consideration is that Eric Musselman should try and recruit a player that can play right away, just in case the possibility of losing both Martin twins and Jordan Caroline becomes a reality.
The backcourt situation for Nevada next season is slightly less complicated with Tooley’s departure. Lindsey Drew is recovering from his torn Achilles and the timetable for his return is still up in the air. John Jones is also still slated to be on the team next year as a walk-on.
There are three new guards that are all eligible to play next season after sitting out last season due to the NCAA transfer rules. The first is Corey Henson, a 6’3” guard who is a lockdown defender. Next is Jazz Johnson. Johnson is a high energy player that will most likely provide a spark for Coach Musselman coming off of the bench. Johnson is virtually a more complete version of Charlie Tooley. The last of the newly eligible guards is Nisré Zouzoua. Zouzoua will likely get the most playing time of the three. At Bryant, he was the teams leading scorer in each of his first two seasons and was first-team all-Northeast Conference in the 2016-17 season. Zouzoua and Johnson will each have two years of eligibility left and Henson will have just one. All three are prolific shooters from beyond the arc. If Drew is healthy the Pack will have a dangerous backcourt as good as any school in the country. a high.