According to an article by Sean Brennan of the New York Daily News, former Maryland forward Ashton Pankey chose to transfer to Manhattan College after visiting the school on Friday. Pankey had also been recruited by Manhattan rivals Iona and Fordham during the last number of weeks.
As a redshirt freshman, Pankey averaged 4.7 points per game and 4.3 rebounds per game for the Terrapins during the 2011-12 season. His season-high 17 points came on 6-of-8 shooting against Radford.
Pankey, a native of the Bronx, wanted to transfer to a school closer to his home. "It's a personal situation with my mom," he told the Daily News. According to an article by Adam Zagoria, Pankey will apply for a hardship waiver from the NCAA to give him eligibility for the 2012-13 season. If his request is not granted, he will have to sit out the upcoming season and then play in 2013-14.
If Pankey does become eligible for the 2012-13 season, he will make Manhattan a clear favorite in the MAAC next year, along with Loyola (MD), and possibly even Iona or Niagara.
The Jaspers, who finished third in the MAAC last season, struggled at points due to a lack of size. Their biggest post presence who received consistent playing time was 6'7" Roberto Colonette. With the 6'8" Pankey, Manhattan would have a high-quality big man whose size fits his position, which can be a rarity at the mid-major level.
If eligible, he will most likely be starting in the front court alongside rising junior Rhamel Brown—the reigning MAAC Defensive Player of the Year.
In addition to Pankey, Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello is bringing in four freshman: guards C.J. Jones and Paul Bayt, forward Shane Richards and center Adam Lacey.