During the first 20 or so years of Krizancic's time at Mentor, there was only one "AAU transfer" - Collin Barth. He came from Olmsted Falls for his senior year to play with AAU teammate Cole Krizancic. He fit right in and even maintains a much better relationship with the Mentor coaching staff than anywhere else despite being there only one season. Counting Taggart, that makes a total of (at least) six players in three seasons.
In the 2020-21 season, the AAU teammates of Chicone (Waag and Key) became instrumental parts of an undefeated regular season and a run to the state semifinals. Last season we saw the impact that the Iopollo brothers had on the team as key parts of the starting lineup on a team that won a district title. A third transfer (from Harvey) never saw the floor due to his ACL injury. Of all the six, the Iopollo's make the most sense as their dad played for Krizancic.
Now we see a third Riverside Beaver join. I do feel bad for the Riverside coaches, program, and the players "left behind." These three former Riverside players may end up being the three best players on Mentor's team this year. Would they have the same kind of individual or team success if they stayed at Riverside? Who knows. Do I love the direction that Mentor (and other teams) are going with this transfer lifestyle? No, not really. But it is the culture, especially in basketball. This appears to be players recruiting their friends, not the coaches recruiting.
I have to say I am surprised the well of "Mentor talent" dried up so quickly. The classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 are incredibly bare if you remove the transfers. Luke Chicone is a top dog. After that, it is a far cry from the kind of talent we saw on the court for most of Krizancic's time. I'm not sure what that is about. The football team is also starting to see a possible decline. After nearly 20 years of football and basketball excellence, Mentor was "due" for a step back in talent I guess.