St. John's, Arkansas, Providence atop Andy Katz's transfer third

St. John’s, Arkansas, Providence atop Andy Katz’s transfer third

By Andy Katz
FOX Sports College Basketball Analyst

Building rosters with at least one transfer seems to be a must in men’s college basketball nowadays.

The key is to not lose too many. This is a fluid tier list and will change over the coming weeks. The deadline to be eligible for next season in fall and winter sports is May 1. Full rosters won’t be known until after the June 1 early-entry deadline to withdraw from the 2022 NBA Draft.

But the transfers must move and make up their minds quickly if they want to play next season.

Tier 1: The Leaders

St. John’s: The Red Storm added André Curbelo, the flashy point guard from Illinois. The 20-year-old was never healthy this past season after bouts of a concussion and COVID-19 protocols, but when Curbelo is on, he is easily one of the most dynamic lead guards in the country. Putting Curbelo next to Posh Alexander will give St. John’s the best backcourt in the Big East.

Arkansas: The Hogs have a top-two high school recruiting class, and now they’ve added a tier-one transfer portal haul. All-Pac-12 forward Jalen Graham transferred from Arizona State to join Rhode Island twins Makhel and Makhi Mitchell as well as Missouri’s Trevon Brazile. This crew adds plenty of size and rim protection as well as front court scoring for the Hogs.

Providence: The Friars reached the Sweet 16 on the shoulders of transfers Al Durham and Justin Minaya. The Friars didn’t hesitate to jump back into the portal and reload with a trio of impact players: South Carolina’s Devin Carter, LaSalle’s Clifton Moore and one-time Louisville guard Noah Locke. There is no guarantee these three can duplicate the impact of Durham and Minaya, but they fill significant needs.

Wyoming: Jeff Linder plucked three transfers from the Pac-12 and specifically SoCal with USC’s Ethan Anderson and Max Agbonkpolo and UCLA’s Jake Kyman. The Cowboys are still awaiting the decisions of Graham Ike and Hunter Maldonado. The trio of transfers could be an insurance for Linder or bolster a Mountain West conference favorite.

Tier 2: Next up

Minnesota: Dawson Garcia is coming home. Garcia, who averaged 13 points in 27 games as a freshman at Marquette, played in only 16 games for the national runner-up North Carolina Tar Heels. He left the team on Jan. 22 to return to Minnesota to deal with family medical health issues. If Garcia returns to form, then the Gophers are getting an elite talent in the Big Ten. The Gophers were in desperate need of a big and they have one now in Garcia. The Gophers also got Morehead State’s Ta’Lon Cooper, a point guard and a need on a depleted perimeter.

Alabama: Mark Sears was an elite scorer at Ohio. He averaged 19.7 points, six boards and 4.1 assists a game for the Bobcats. The Tide needs another big-time scorer on the perimeter. Alabama coach Nate Oats, who coached at Buffalo before coming to Tuscaloosa, knows the MAC and can relate to the transition to the SEC level.

Florida: New Gators coach Todd Golden has added three portal transfers so far in LSU’s Alex Fudge, VMI’s Trey Bonham and Belmont’s Will Richard. Golden had great success maximizing talent at San Francisco the past two seasons. Bonham finished strong, averaging 19 points in the final 11 games of the season. Fudge was a backup rotation player as a freshman at LSU but has the potential to be a double-double player for the Gators like he was in high school in Jacksonville. Richard scored a dozen points a game for Belmont. The return of potential All-SEC center Colin Castleton inside for the Gators gives them plenty of experience.

West Virginia: The new Hall of Fame member Bob Huggins will love Iowa’s Joe Toussaint. He’s exactly the type of harassing, sturdy, stocky guard who flourishes in Huggins’ system. Shooter Erik Stevenson, who played at Washington, Wichita State and South Carolina, should help out immediately.

Tier 3: Could surprise

Ohio State: The Buckeyes desperately needed a scoring guard. They got one in Wright State’s Tanner Holden, who averaged 20 points and 7.1 rebounds last season. That should translate well in the Big Ten.

Florida State: The Seminoles needed scoring help. They got it from UCF’s Darin Green Jr., who averaged 13 points a game last season.

Bryant: Yes, the Bulldogs need to be on this list. Bryant got the mustached Doug Edert from St. Peter’s for next season. Edert was a national hit in helping lead the Peacocks to a shocking Sweet 16 appearance. Bryant, moving up from the NEC to the America East this season, also added Memphis’ Earl Timberlake for next season — a major pickup to help on the perimeter. Antwan Walker (URI), Kvonn Cramer (Hofstra) and Chauncey Hawkins (St. Francis, NY) were also added.

Nebraska: Fred Hoiberg desperately wanted to get Sam Griesel back home to Lincoln after he scored nearly 1,000 points in leading North Dakota State to a pair of Summit League titles. The Huskers need perimeter scoring and got it with Griesel.

Tier 4: Sleepers

Saint Louis: The Billikens have done quite well with transfers under Travis Ford and picked up another elite scoring guard when Mizzou’s Javon Pickett transferred to SLU. Pickett is a near dozen a game scorer and should do even more in the A10.

VCUs: Zeb Jackson is a perfect example of a player who will thrive in a new environment. He didn’t get the run he needed at Michigan, but he will fit in better with Mike Rhoades. He will score, harass and be a good pest for the Rams.

Butler: Thad Matta’s first recruit came from Akron. Ali Ali helped lead the Akron Zips to the MAC title. He’s a solid shooter, making 48 3s and should step right in as a scorer/defender in the Big East.

Arizona State: Desmond and Devan Cambridge transferred to the Sun Devils. Desmond from Nevada and Devan from Auburn should give the Sun Devils immediate help in the rotation.

Andy Katz is a longtime college basketball writer, analyst and host. He can be seen on FOX Sports and Big Ten Network platforms, as well as March Madness and NCAA.com, and he hosts the podcast “March Madness 365.” Katz worked at ESPN for nearly two decades and, prior to that, in newspapers for nine years.


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