Ten Major Transfer Portal Moves Of This College Basketball Offseason
Once a rarity we would see from players from year to year, transfers have now become a constant in the college basketball atmosphere as players will jump ship more and more often to a new home where their skills could be better utilized. Gone are the days of players fully committing to one school for their entire tenure now. A lot of that changed due to new transfer rules making it easier for players not to have years of eligibility taken. Last season we saw transfers like Brady Manek make an immediate impact with North Carolina and help lead them to a national championship appearance. National Player of the Year recipient Oscar Tsiebwe was a transfer as well, going from West Virginia to Kentucky and making an immediate impact. Transfers are changing the game of college basketball significantly so it’s important to know major players that will shake up the landscape as we jump into some of those players that made the jump this offseason:
Coming from: Iowa State
Going to: Texas
Guard Tyrese Hunter will be a huge addition to Chris Beard’s Texas Longhorns after a great season with Iowa State where he won Big 12 Freshman of the Year. In his freshman year the 6-foot guard averaged 11 points and 4.9 assists. He helped get the Cyclones to a Sweet 16 appearance last season. Teaming up with Marcus Carr in the Texas backcourt will certainly make Texas ready at the guard position and will help Hunter continue to get better in his sophomore season.
Coming from: Baylor
Going to: Illinois
The consistent sharpshooter from Baylor will be making a big splash in the Big Ten as he joins Illinois in his fifth year of eligibility. Illinois had plenty of departures with Kofi Cockburn declaring for the draft and Andre Curbelo transferring for a veteran player like Mayer who has seen championship success will be a great addition to Brad Underwood’s team. Mayer shot 39.5% from deep during Baylor’s championship run in 2020-21 and even though his percentage dropped a little when he entered the starting lineup last season he still showed consistent scoring averaging 9.8 last season. With Illinois losing some of their offensive stars from last year, expect the transfer to be a key player for them in the Big Ten next season.
Coming from: Northwestern
Going to: North Carolina
After four impressive years at Northwestern in the Big Ten, Pete Nance will be a huge addition to Hubert Davis’ Tar Heels who are fresh off a trip to the national championship. Transfer Brady Manek was a huge contributor to that team and Nance might be just the guy to feel his shoes next season. Nance averaged 14.6 points last season and shot 45.6% on 3-point shots. The stretch forward is projected to join a veteran starting lineup alongside Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, and Leaky Black. Nance stands at 6-foot-10 and averages 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists as well. His experience, shooting ability, and size will make him a major transfer to watch out for.
Coming from: Chattanooga
Going to: Gonzaga
As Gonzaga gets ready for another high ranked season and chance at a deep run in the NCAA tournament, adding on Malachi Smith will certainly help their cause. Smith will enter his fourth season as a member of the Gonzaga Bulldogs after three seasons with Chattanooga. The 6-foot-4 guard won SoCon Player of the Year last season where he averaged 19.9 points. He helped Chattanooga win their conference championship and a NCAA tournament berth where they eventually lost to Illinois. Smith will join a hungry Bulldog team and fill a guard-void left by the departure of Andrew Nembhard to the NBA draft. Smith is considered a top transfer and shot 38.3% from three last season as well which will certainly give Gonzaga plenty of artillery to make Gonzaga an offensive juggernaut yet again as he joins returning guard Rasir Bolton in the backcourt.
Coming from: Illinois
Going to: St. John’s
Illinois suffered a big loss in Kofi Cockburn but also in their Sixth Man Andre Curbelo who was a major contributor to the Illini in his two seasons. Winning Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year his freshman year, his stats went a little down his sophomore year due to a concussion. Coming off the bench he was able to average 7.5 points, but expect his numbers to rise and for him to have a bigger role as he returns home to New York and joins St. John’s. Curbelo was able to average close to five assists his freshman year and is a great dribbler of the basketball but shot poorly from deep his sophomore year. If he can return to the promises he showed his freshman year, he can be a great addition to St. John’s and their fight in the Big East.
Coming from: Missouri State
Going to: Missouri
Isiaih Mosley returns to his hometown of Columbia, Missouri after spending his first three seasons at Missouri State. Mosley showed his skill and dominance during his time there averaging 19.8 and 20.4 points his sophomore and junior season. It’ll be interesting to see him taking his talent to an SEC program in Missouri that will be undergoing their first season with new head coach Dennis Gates. If he continues his shooting at over 50% then he will be a sure star with the Tigers.
Coming from: Utah Valley
Going to: Texas Tech
The six-foot-eleven Fardaws Aimaq will be a big addition to Texas Tech and the Red Raider this Big 12 season. Coming from Utah Valley where he averaged 18.9 points and 13.6 rebounds last season, he also was able to show his ability to hit from deep last season hitting 43.5% from three. Entering this season as a senior, Aimaq has been a two-time Defensive Player of the Year in the WAC. That type of play will be quite welcome under Texas Tech coach Mark Adams who is known for defensive schemes. Expect Aimaq to continue his defensive anchoring ability once he arrives in Lubbock.
Coming from: SMU
Going to: Memphis
One of the biggest moves in the transfer portal this season is Kendric Davis. Kendric Davis comes to Memphis as a 5th year senior after a 4-year stint with SMU. Memphis did lose a major player in former five-star recruit Emoni Bates to the transfer portal, but expect Davis to make a strong impact with the Tigers upon his arrival to Penny Hardaway’s team. Davis has averaged 19 points at SMU his past two seasons. He has also shot 37% from 3-point range in those two seasons as well so Davis has been able to show how consistent he can play at a high level. The guard stands at five-foot-eleven and was able to rank fourth in the country in assists last season with 7.6 assists per game. Davis will be a major player to look out for next season.
Coming from: South Dakota State
Going to: Creighton
Creighton is coming into this upcoming season as a predicted top-ten team and transfer Baylor Scheierman is a big reason because of that. Scheierman is a top offensive threat player who was able to shoot 46.9% from three last season. He also averaged 16.2 points with South Dakota State last season in a campaign that led him to win Summit League Player of the Year. He helped lead the Jackrabbits to the NCAA tournament in a first-round loss to Providence. Now giving his talents to Greg McDermott and Creighton, the 6-6 guard will be a major factor in helping Crieghton fight for the Big East Title.
Coming from: Kansas State
Going to: Miami(FL)
Another major name that entered the transfer portal this season is junior Nijel Pack. Nijel Pack was an all Big-12 First Team member last season with Kansas State as he averaged 17.4 points. Pack has also been a consistent 3-point shooter during his tenure with Wildcats as he has shot over 40 percent both of his freshman and sophomore season. Pack will be joining the Miami Hurricanes this season and will most likely be able to keep those numbers up so he will be a major player to keep your eye on.