Kristian Sjolund, Asanti Price transferring from Georgia Tech

Asanti Price vs. Arkansas,. November 25, 2019, McCamish Pavilion (Clyde Click/Georgia Tech Athletics)

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Asanti Price vs. Arkansas,. November 25, 2019, McCamish Pavilion (Clyde Click/Georgia Tech Athletics)

Georgia Tech has two more basketball players in the transfer portal following junior forward Evan Cole, who put his name in the portal Monday. Forward Kristian Sjolund, who redshirted this past season after playing as a freshman in 2018-19, and freshman guard Asanti Price have both entered their name into the transfer database, coach Josh Pastner confirmed Wednesday.

Pastner said all three were expected.

“We’re doing the right things to hold onto people,” Pastner told the AJC. “This is just the climate of college basketball. We treat the young men right, but this is the climate.”

After the 2018-19 season, there were about 1,100 Division I men’s basketball players who entered their names into the transfer database. That's about three per team. There were 110 teams that had three or more players go into the portal, according to the NCAA. Pastner lost two scholarship players off of the 2018-19 roster – guard Curtis Haywood and forward Sylvester Ogbonda.

The nationwide numbers could well increase in the upcoming offseason, as the NCAA is expected to approve legislation in April that would permit athletes in baseball, basketball, football and men’s ice hockey to be permitted to transfer once without having to sit out a year, the same conditions available to athletes in the other NCAA sports.

Pastner wished both Price and Sjolund well in leaving Tech. Sjolund actually put his name in the transfer database in December, but decided to return after exploring his transfer options between semesters. Sjolund redshirted the past season, at Pastner’s urging, to develop his skills and strength for his final three seasons of eligibility.

Sjolund played in 21 games as a freshman in 2018-19, scoring 63 points in 198 minutes.

“He’s going to go elsewhere and we support him and we’re behind him,” Pastner said. “He’s a fine young man.”

Price played in Tech’s first nine games, averaging 19.3 minutes. He played in six of the Jackets’ final 22 games, totaling 48 minutes. His decline in playing time coincided with guard/forward Jordan Usher becoming eligible in the ninth game of the season, as well as point guard Jose Alvarado returning from an ankle injury in the 10th game of the season.

“Jordan, Jose came back, but he got great experience in that first part, and he’s a good player,” Pastner said. “And he’s going to continue to get better. Wherever he goes, he’s going to continue to improve and we wish him the very best.”

With Cole, Price and Sjolund in the portal, Pastner is freed to recruit other players to Tech. Of particular interest is a post player who can replace senior center James Banks. With Banks’ eligibility completed and Cole expected to transfer (Cole said he could return but expects to leave), Pastner only has one returning post player, forward Moses Wright, with one center signee in the fold, Saba Gigiberia.

“We’ll recruit guys this spring, whether it’s a high school kid or a kid in the portal,” Pastner said. “We’ll be recruiting.”

Pastner said he did not expect anyone else on the roster to transfer.

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