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ASU Basketball: Sophomore guard Jaelen House enters transfer portal

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High-energy player leaving?

Washington State v Arizona State Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In a move that can only be described as nothing short of a complete surprise, Jaelen House, Arizona State’s sophomore guard and, somewhat more importantly, a legacy of the Sun Devil basketball program as the son of Arizona State great Eddie House, has entered the transfer portal.

House was a four-star recruit from local Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix, signing with ASU head coach Bobby Hurley as the headliner of the 2019 recruiting class. He hit the ground running in his freshman season with the Sun Devils.

Twice in non-conference play that year, House scored 20 points and attacked offenses with his style of defense that resembles an annoying fruit fly swarming around your ear. Less than a month ago against Washington, House collected a career-high four steals.

Coming off a strong freshman campaign, there were bullish expectations on the rising sophomore to take the next step in his development, with the most optimistic of those painting him as a potential Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year.

But with the Sun Devils returning Remy Martin and Alonzo Verge Jr., as well as adding superstar recruits Josh Christopher and Marcus Bagley, House seemed to get lost in the crowd through the first half of the season.

Through the first seven games of the year, House was averaging just 12.7 minutes per game. As COVID-19 and injuries plagued the Sun Devils in the second half of the season, House saw his minutes nearly double.

With that increase in playing time, the sophomore began to blossom. After Arizona State hosted Stanford on Jan. 30, House never played less than 20 minutes in a game.

The next game after Stanford was at home against Oregon, and from that game on, House increased his points per game average and scored in double-figures twice.

He played a crucial role in the Sun Devils victory over Washington State in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament. He scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds and dished five assists in 25 minutes of action.

It appeared the sophomore had turned a corner and was realizing the potential that he has hyped with when he arrived in Tempe.

His play down the stretch, combined with the improved performance of sophomore forward Jalen Graham, had Sun Devil fans believing a dynamic Jalen to Jaelen duo would headline the lineup for the next two years.

Maybe, House would be able to carve his own legacy and come out from the shadow of his father, the all-time leading scorer in Sun Devil basketball history.

That is what has made today’s news so surprising, and concerning. This is the second transfer in as many days for the program.

On Monday, Taeshon Cherry announced his decision to transfer away from the program. Are there more transfers to come? What will the roster look like next season?

These are all questions we couldn’t fathom at the start of the season. But with today’s news of House transferring, they are worth considering.