Arizona State forward Vitaliy Shibel enters transfer portal
Shibel, a 6-foot-9 junior who played sparingly last season, is in line to earn an undergraduate degree after just three years at ASU, a source told SunDevilSource.com. If that happens he could play elsewhere with two remaining seasons of eligibility. If not, he’d have to sit out the 2019-20 season and have one additional year of eligibility.
After missing 2016-17 due to a torn left ACL, Shibel started in 20 of 32 appearances for the Sun Devils the following season as a redshirt freshman. He averaged 1.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in 10.4 minutes and the Sun Devils won the first 12 games in which he started. ASU coach Bobby Hurley said he liked the way Shibel helped the Sun Devils stretch the floor with his shooting ability.
Shibel earned much less court time last season, falling out of the regular rotation and playing in just 17 of the team’s 34 games. He averaged just 3.0 minutes-per-game with 0.4 points and 0.4 rebounds. A lot of his minutes went to first-team all-conference player Zylan Cheatham, a transfer from San Diego State, and highly regarded freshman Taeshon Cherry.
A member of a five-man 2016 recruiting class for the Sun Devils, Shibel arrived from Lee Academy in Maine by way of his native Ukraine. Shibel committed to the Sun Devils in January of 2016 over Boston College, Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. He was a three-star prospect, the No. 80 power forward in the class in the 247 Sports Composite.
Shibel played for Ukraine in the U18 European Championships in the summer before his arrival at ASU. In eight games in the event, Shibel averaged 10.3 points and 5.8 rebounds, while also connecting on seven of his 13 three-point attempts.
“I am a 6-foot-9 stretch power forward that can really stretch the floor and knock down threes,” Shibel said at the time. “I like transition game because of my quickness and also ability to put the ball on the floor. I believe that I could defensively guard multi positions, players on perimeter and inside type of players.”
In the frontcourt, the Sun Devils have now lost Cheatham and backup center De’Quon Lake to graduation. They return junior starting forward Romello White, junior forward Kimani Lawrence, sophomore forward Taeshon Cherry, sophomore guard/forward Elias Valtonen and redshirt freshman center Uros Plavsic. They also could have the services of senior forward Mickey Mitchell, who played in just six games last season due to back trouble.
ASU has signed four players to its 2019 class including 6-foot-9 Phoenix Mountain Pointe High School forward Jalen Graham. They are also reportedly recruiting multiple graduate transfer candidates including Derrik Smits, a 7-foot-1 center from Valparaiso who averaged 12.2 points and 5.7 rebounds last season. Smits is also said to be considering Butler and NC State.