D3 transfer rules are different. Baines is eligible to play immediately. I expect that he will be an impact player in that conference, which is not one of the stronger leagues in D3.
Certainly an unexpected blow to Midd's program -- Midd fans now feel the pain that Hamilton, Tufts, and Williams fans have recently experienced. Hart and Robinson's transfers pretty much killed Hamilton and Williams, respectively, for the next two years. But Sabety's transfer may have actually helped Tufts by incentivizing installation of the four-out-one-in system, which has enabled Tufts to thrive in a way it did not with two uber-talented big guys playing together. So, you never know ...
The only connection I could find between Baines and Occidental hoops is that a current senior at his former high school has committed to play for Occidental next season.
Baines's defection shows how uncertain all of our speculations and assumptions can be. I am dismayed because I so looked forward to watching his development at Midd. He had a tremendous "upside" (the cliche of the moment). A special player. From all reports he was a happy camper and a good teammate and student. We do genuinely wish him well (and if we are honest are glad that we don't have to face him wearing other colors).
On many levels, he will be missed. I have experienced Midd basketball for a half-century (amh63 is older!) and can't remember an era when the loss of a talent of Zach's caliber could be absorbed without devastating consequences. Midd's depth has provided an opportunity for others to emerge (Tarantino & Folger).
Midd has a challenging weekend coming up - Tufts in Medford on Friday night and Bates in cozy Alumni Gym on Saturday afternoon. I'm off to Lewiston on Friday! Midd fans are blessed in hoop with this group.
Hope you enjoy another one of your returns to the home turf.
As a reminder, get to Alumni early as it will fill up and they will sadly turn people away. The Lewiston Fire Dept has been vigilant in the enforcement of fire laws in recent years, they don't allow Alumni to really get packed anymore. As you may know the FD has prohibited access to the balcony on the campus end of the floor. That was a great perch where the Bobcat announcers called the game from "high above courtside". My favorite seat no longer exists as they have shut this section down due to lack of fire egress.
Alumni is a great old venue that is truly unique but it has lived a long life and has run its course. It's the second oldest gym in the NCAA (1927) behind only Rose Hill at Fordham (1925)-- which has been significantly renovated at least twice.
I think plans are on the table to replace Alumni. I believe the intent is to preserve the historic structure while modernizing and expanding the overall facility but this is proving to be an engineering challenge. Lets hope they preserve the great history and don't follow the modern trend of oversized facilities with curtains and screens to separate the basketball court from a cavernous field house facility.
It's a great venue, lets enjoy it while it lasts.
Oh, one last thought Old Guy. Should you arrive late and be turned away at the gate something tells me you will find away to get in through the locker room below or a side door.......nobody knows that Gym better than you !
Even if you will be clad in Blue and White on Saturday..... welcome home.