Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Tyler Cavanaugh will transfer from the program, dealing a significant blow to the roster for the upcoming season, reports Griffin Kurzius of SB Nation. The to-be-junior was expected to become a starter in 2014-15 after a solid sophomore year in Winston-Salem.
With new head coach Danny Manning taking over in Wake Forest after the unfortunate Jeff Bzdelik era, Cavanaugh was expected help tide things over while the program reconfigures. Instead, coming off a 17-16 season that represented the peak of Bzdelik’s four years with the team, Manning will need to build his frontcourt around someone else.
As a sophomore, Cavanaugh averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game under Bzdelik. The 6’9, 230-pound big man saw an expanded role as the season wore on, and had easily his best game of the season in a stunning upset of then-No. 4 Duke in March, going off for 20 points and six rebounds in the 82-72 win.
Cavanaugh is a floor-spacing forward who shoots often from beyond the arc (nearly one-third of his shots are threes). He could be efficient, though, having shot just 32 percent from three and 42 percent overall last season. As a freshman, he was even worse, shooting 32 percent from the field, but improvement has been steady since then.
A native of Albany, N.Y., Cavanaugh still has two years of NCAA eligibility remaining, though he’ll likely have to sit out the 2014-15 season due to transfer restrictions. However, he’ll likely be popular in the coming weeks as schools look to bring him in as a big man who can shoot and space the floor.