From Scout's Evan Daniels comes the news that Auburn shooting guard Dion Wade has transferred to Miami. He'll have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2014-15 season.
Wade came to Auburn from Findlay Prep, a nationally renowned basketball factory that produced the likes of Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson, and newly minted NBA champion Cory Joseph. He was a McDonald's All-American nominee for the Pilots, shooting 38 percent from three and 80 percent from the foul line.
As you'd expect from someone with those credentials, he was highly sought after coming out of college, choosing Auburn over offers from UCLA, San Diego State, Southern Cal, UTEP, and Southern Utah. During his freshman year at Auburn, he played in all thirty games, averaging about three points and eleven minutes per game. But an offseason injury -- one that figures to have him laid up into next season -- left him the odd man out for new coach Bruce Pearl.
And that's where John Cooper and his staff came in. Cooper was an assistant at Auburn for five years before getting the head job at Tennessee State, and he still has deep ties to the program. (Miami's staff generally has strong ties to SEC and ACC country.) When it came time for Wade to transfer, Cooper's connections to Auburn made Miami a logical fit.
Wade has an interesting background. His father, Butch Wade, captained the Michigan Wolverines in the mid-1980s before going on to a pro career in Europe. Dion was born in Antwerp, Belgium when his father played there, and he holds dual American and Belgian citizenship, even playing for the Belgian junior national team. Because of his cosmopolitan upbringing -- he lived in Europe until coming to the States for prep school -- he speaks four languages fluently.
This is a headline-grabbing transfer for John Cooper and the RedHawks. The rebuild of Miami basketball appears well underway.