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College Basketball: Week 3 Transfer Portal Power Rankings

On3 imageby:Jamie Shaw11/28/23


Feast Week is in the books for the college basketball season. We plan for this to be an ongoing piece, updated every other week or so by Jamie Shaw who is on the Naismith Men’s College Basketball Board of Selectors. This list looks at the players who are having the biggest effect on the sport through their in-season play.

Let’s discuss the top ten transfers in college basketball, so far in the 2023-24 season.

1. C Hunter Dickinson, Kansas

The Buzz: Hunter Dickinson averaged 19.0 points and 16.3 rebounds throughout the Maui Invitational, including two 20-plus rebound games. Dickinson has been a force on the interior so far for a Kansas team that is 5-1 and No. 5 in the current A.P. Poll. 

2. F Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

The Buzz: Dalton Knecht has provided a scoring punch that Tennessee so desperately needed. The 6-foot-6 Northern Colorado transfer has put up 17.5 points this season while shooting 37.9 percent from three. With a pair of top-five losses in Maui, Tennessee now sits at 4-2 on the season and No. 10 in the A.P. Poll. They will next travel to No. 17 North Carolina in the ACC/SEC Challenge.

3. G LJ Cryer, Houston

The Buzz: Houston is now No. 6 in the A.P. Poll as they sit at 7-0 after winning the Charleston Classic. Over his last five games, LJ Cryer has averaged 19.0 points and shot 45.2 percent (19-42) from three. Cryer led the Big 12 in three-point shooting last season and seems to be hitting his stride with this Houston team, as a featured piece.

4. G Cam Spencer, UConn

The Buzz: UConn won the national championship last season and subsequently lost two draft picks and the Final Four MVP. Cam Spencer has proven to be a big addition for UConn to this point. Not only do his 16.3 points per game lead the team, but the 6-foot-4 fifth-year senior is also shooting 47.8 percent from three on 6.6 attempts per contest. 

5. F Matthew Cleveland, Miami

The Buzz: Matthew Cleveland was asked to replace Jordan Miller this season, the most important player on a Final Four team. While Cleveland and Miller are not a one-to-one comparison, Cleveland has done an admirable job producing. His 16.8 points are second on the team in scoring and he is third on the team in rebounds, assists, and steals. He also is carrying shooting splits of 67.6/50.0/81.3. Miami is now 5-0 and sitting at No. 8 in the A.P. Poll with an upcoming matchup at Kentucky in the ACC/SEC Challenge.

6. G Aaron Estrada, Alabama

The Buzz: Losing five of its top six scorers from last season, it was assumed that Alabama would have to rely heavily on transfers. Aaron Estrada, a Hofstra transfer, has stepped into what appears – to this point – to be a seamless fit for Nate Oats’ style of play. In Alabama’s last two games, Oregon and Ohio State, Estrada is averaging 20.5 points and 4.0 assists while shooting 55.2 percent from the field. Estrada has scored fifteen or more points in four of the six games played. He has also dished out four, or more, assists in four of the six games played. Alabama is now 5-1 and No. 23 in the A.P. Poll. They will next play Clemson, at home, in the ACC/SEC Challenge.

7. F David Jones, Memphis

The Buzz: David Jones opened eyes with a 36-point outburst against Arkansas in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Jones averaged 20.0 points and 5.0 rebounds as Memphis finished 2-1 in the event. Jones has scored in double figures each game this year, and his 17.8 points lead Memphis in scoring. He is also shooting 44.4 percent from three. After playing in the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship game, Memphis is now 5-1 and was the first team out of this week’s A.P. Top 25 Poll.

8. G RayJ Dennis, Baylor

The Buzz: Baylor is now 6-0 and ranked No. 9 in the A.P. Poll. While freshman Ja’Kobe Walter has been the leading scorer, it is the veteran presence of RayJ Dennis that has provided a steady hand for the Bears. Dennis is averaging 13.8 points and 6.0 assists on 55.2 percent shooting from the field. Over Baylor’s last three games, wins over Florida, Oregon State, and Kansas City, Dennis is putting up 14.3 points, 7.3 assists, and shot 57.6 percent from the field. Baylor’s next three games are against Nicholls State, Northwestern, and Seton Hall.

9. F Tre Mitchell, Kentucky

The Buzz: While other Kentucky players may have outplayed Tre Mitchell, it has been Mitchell’s value to the team that has been the most important. With three seven-footers out, Mitchell is the only Wildcat over 6-foot-9 who is playing in 13 or more minutes per game this season. Mitchell is also leading the team in minutes played with 34.3 minutes per contest. He is averaging 15.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1.7 steals, and shooting 38.1 percent from three. Kentucky is home against Miami in the ACC/SEC Challenge.

10. G Javian McCollum, Oklahoma

The Buzz: Javian McCollum has been a steadying factor in the Oklahoma backcourt, and continues to get better. The Siena transfer has been a central figure in the Sooners’ 6-0 start and their A.P. No. 25 ranking. In Oklahoma’s last two games, Iowa and USC, McCollum has averaged 16.0 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 36.3 percent from three. In the five games, McCollum has played more than 25 minutes this season, he is averaging 15.4 points and shot 52.5 percent from the field. Oklahoma’s next three games are against Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Providence, and Arkansas.