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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Eagles’ sophomore guard Simon Wheeler enters NCAA transfer portal

Wheeler caps off his time as an Eagle averaging 13.4 points, 5.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds a game
Ben Nichols
Eagle guard Simon Wheeler holds up two fingers after making a basket against the Lake Erie College Storm.

Ashland, Ohio – From Detroit, Mich., to Ashland, Ohio, to a new home coming soon.

Ashland University men’s basketball guard Simon Wheeler has officially entered the NCAA transfer portal. The sophomore guard, who helped guide the injury-ridden Eagles in the 2023-24 campaign, will look to call a new place “home” in the 2024-25 season.

“Looking at my time at AU I’d describe it as none other than a great experience,” said Wheeler. “I’ve learned a lot of new things since being in Ashland, on the court and off the court.

“I’ve also been introduced to a lot of great people that have my best interest in life and that made me a better player and person in these two years.”

In his freshman season, he quickly exploded onto the scene for the Eagles.

From the opening contest, Eagle Head Coach John Ellenwood trusted him in the starting lineup alongside senior Brandon Haraway. The two would form a formidable duo, helping guide the team to a Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) title.

En route to the team’s success, Wheeler would be lauded with the GMAC Freshman of the Year award.

After a highlight-worthy first year, he would be able to find continued success in his sophomore season posting a career-high in points-per-game at 15.7. Alongside his scoring, he was able to find a 42% clip from the field while averaging 5.4 assists a contest.

“At the end of the day, it was a very hard choice to make being in such a great place in Ashland,” he said. “Obviously, there is a big thing in NIL at that level and I have an opportunity for that and ultimately for me, I want the best shot possible at a professional career after college.

“Me and my family thought that this was the best decision to make in taking a step closer to that.”

Wheeler caps off his time as an Eagle averaging 13.4 points, 5.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds a game,

“Nothing about Ashland was wrong at any point and I will always be an Eagle, we just felt the opportunity was best for me now to take that step closer to my ultimate goal as a player.”

The announcement of his decision to enter the portal was made on social media via @verbalcommits on March 12.

He looks to take his next step toward Division I basketball, and the chance at making his name known in the professional scene. As of now, he has received one offer from Mount St. Mary’s, a D-I university.

“In the process with all the schools involved, I’ve just expressed being able to bring a leader to a team that can help a team win more games,” he said. “I’m looking to help a program make a push at the post-season and hopefully get to the big stage in March.

“I know it won’t be easy and I understood that the day I entered the portal but I’ve always held myself to high standards and look forward to making it happen.”

Alongside Wheeler, Verbal Commits has confirmed that both guard Trevell Adams and forward Victor Searls are in the transfer portal from the Eagles as well.

Adams’ lone season with the Eagles saw an average of 7.8 points per game while shooting 41.7% from the field. His best contest came against the Walsh Cavaliers at home where he found a season-high 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting.

On the other hand, after playing just 18 total games in the 2020-21 and 2021-222 seasons, Searls was catapulted into the starting lineup in his third season.

He would go on to play in 32 contests, starting in all of them.

His efforts would be good for 11.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and a 64% field goal percentage.

In the most recent 2023-24 campaign, he knocked down 121 of his 178 shots for 15.4 points a game. Not only did he record a career-high in points per game, but he was also able to secure 7.5 rebounds an outing, another career-high.

However, the loss of Searls paves the way for the Eagles’ forward Maceo Williams to find more minutes and touches.

The Eagles will look to new faces to fill the newly-found voids in the upcoming offseason.

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