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Arizona State head baseball coach Willie Bloomquist is not thrilled about the way in which his star shortstop transferred out of the Sun Devils program. And that’s putting it nicely.
Bloomquist had some harsh words for Luke Hill, who committed to play for Ole Miss on Monday. Players departing a program during the offseason has become a normality in the transfer portal era, but the 45-year-old skipper’s reaction was not.
Hill, a former top-100 prospect, grew up in Baton Rouge and headed out West in the Class of 2022. His freshman season in Tempe was fantastic.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound infielder hit .314 over the course of his first year on the collegiate level and carried an .845 OPS with six home runs and 42 RBIs. Hill’s bat was a crucial component to the Arizona State lineup.
However, after his breakout spring, Hill chose to enter the transfer portal and will be the next high-profile shortstop to play for Mike Bianco and the 2022 national champions in Oxford.
Bloomquist was pissed. Rather, he was thrilled?
While speaking to the media on Tuesday, Bloomquist did not hold back on Hill’s departure. He even went so far as to say that his team may be better off without him.
Bloomquist also took a shot at Hill’s attitude and said that some of his teammates are glad he’s gone. Oof.
The Sun Devils have not made the NCAA Tournament in either of the first two years under Bloomquist’s direction. With Hill — one of the better hitters on the team — gone, he believes that his team may have a better chance of doing so in 2024. Or so he said in haste, at least.
Interestingly enough, a similar situation played out with Arizona State’s football program last year after quarterback Jayden Daniels transferred to the SEC. It was more player-led in that instance, unlike what went on with Hill’s transfer and his now-former head coach’s comments.
Must be a Tempe thing?