Dusty Hannahs only got to play two seasons at Arkansas after starting his career at Texas Tech, but he’s actually a little wary of giving a golden pass for college players to start jumping around.
“There needs to be a reason,” he told Tye Richardson and Tommy Craft on ESPN Arkansas’ Morning Rush on Tuesday. “If not it’s just going to turn into the Wild West. Everybody will be leaving after every season and it’ll just be weird.”
Hannahs went to Lubbock out of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock to play for Billy Gillespie and never got to play a game for him. He was fired amidst a myriad of problems from the NCAA to drinking.
“I played my freshman year for one of our assistants, then my sophomore year was Tubby Smith,” Hannahs said. “I knew that whole year I was leaving … it just didn’t feel right.”
He had a reason. The coach he signed on to play for was gone for the season. But Hannahs thinks players need a reason.
“Sometimes stuff happens that just affects your career,” Hannahs said. “When a coach switches, yes you committed to a university but obviously as a student-athlete your primary reason for going to a school most of the time is the coach. Once you lose the coach that’s the time most people look at transferring.
“I don’t agree with players getting to transfer just because they don’t like it.”
Hannahs was also asked about a little dust-up with LSU’s Ben Simmons at Bud Walton back in 2016.
“He kept bumping me during the game,” he said. “We weren’t really talking. I only really talk if a guy starts jabbering, then it’s on … I’ll talk all day. I kept walking to set up a play and he would just put a shoulder in my chest. He wouldn’t move out of the way. After the third time I realized he was doing this on purpose.”
Then Hannahs changed his attitude.
“We get to the free-throw line and I just took it upon myself to just start talking trash. I remember him being from Australia I started saying ‘you wanna put some shrimp on the Barbie, mate?’ and some choice words after that. I can’t really say all the words I said but that was like but that was like the premise of what I said.”
Losing to eventual national champion North Carolina in the 2017 NCAA Tournament is also something that hasn’t gone away.
“I still haven’t watched the game and don’t plan on it,” Hannahs said. “I just remember being so hurt over the calls and how the game felt.”
But he’s not reviewing any film of it.
“It was a tough night for months after that,” Hannahs said. “Even after I moved back to Little Rock in the summer every time I’d think of that game it was a bad thought. I didn’t like the feeling that thought gave me so I tried to block it out.”
Now he’s playing for the Memphis Hustle, the G-league team of the Memphis Grizzlies. He’s had a couple of 10-day contracts and was drawing some interest from other teams.
“When I heard it was a gut punch,” Hannahs said. “I got the word from my agent that another team was going to give me a shot and I was really excited.”
Now he’s in the waiting game caused by the coronavirus.
Along with the rest of us.