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The NCAA transfer portal is an absolute beast to follow. With over 1,500 collegiate basketball players taking their talents to the portal this offseason you can easily get yourself lost trying to wade into the abyss. Luckily for you, I’m crazy enough to follow as many names as humanly possible
while also breaking down film to get a feel for what teams are losing or gaining when it comes to the transfer portal.
There are hundreds and hundreds of names still available so this exercise will continue to evolve as an ongoing series over the next several weeks. Different “experts” have different opinions on this topic so it is important to take everything with a grain of salt. I’m very high on some transfers compared to other national writers (shoutout James Akinjo, Xavier Pinson, and Armaan Franklin) while I’m actually selling stock in some big names (hello Walker Kessler, Earl Timberlake, and Kadary Richmond).
Hopefully, this gives a snapshot of what has happened during this college basketball offseason. A ton of movement has already occurred while there is also still plenty to come.
Additionally, more big names will still hit the transfer portal after final NBA Draft decisions are made. The transfer portal is nothing if not ever-evolving. I’ll do my best to keep you all up-to-date and informed so you don’t have to stay glued to the Twittersphere 24/7.
If you missed Version 1.0
or Version 2.0
you can go back and check that out.
Without further ado, here are the 35 best, most impactful transfers so far.
1. Remy Martin: 6’0” 175 lbs, 5th Year Guard
Arizona State –> Kansas
After testing the NBA Draft waters following his junior year, Martin did the same after his senior year at Arizona State before shocking everyone by entering the transfer portal and ultimately landing with the Jayhawks. Martin has been named First Team All-Pac 12 each of the last two seasons and was a Second Team selection as a sophomore. He is excellent in the open floor with a knack for scoring the basketball. The California native averaged 19.1 points and 3.7 assists per game last season while shooting 34.6% from deep on nearly six attempts per game.
2. Marcus Carr: 6’2” 195 lbs, Senior Point Guard
Minnesota –> Texas
Carr surprised a lot of people by withdrawing his name from the NBA Draft late in the process and ultimately decided on joining Chris Beard in Austin. Coming off of a Third Team All-Big Ten seasons where he averaged 19.4 points and 4.9 assists per game, Carr is without a doubt one of the best returning playmakers in all of college basketball. You are splitting hairs when choosing between him and Remy Martin for the top spot in these rankings, but Martin wins out due to a little better efficiency. The high-scoring point guard will be an instant star for the reloaded Texas Longhorns roster.
3. James Akinjo: 6’1” 185 lbs, Senior Point Guard
Arizona –> Baylor
Not only did Scott Drew win the national championship, but he also had the single biggest win from the transfer portal landing James Akinjo. This will be Akinjo’s third school in four years as he spent his first two seasons at Georgetown before becoming a First Team All-Pac 12 performer at Arizona. Akinjo averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 assists per game as a junior while making 40.8% of his five three-point attempts per game. There are other bigger names and flashier moves, but this is the single most impactful transfer of the offseason.
4. Timmy Allen: 6’6” 198 lbs, Senior Forward
Utah –> Texas
Allen earned Second Team All-Pac 12 honors as a sophomore and was a First Team selection this past season as a junior. Chris Beard made an instant splash after taking over head coaching duties for the Longhorns and landed one of the best available players from the transfer portal. Allen is an efficient scorer, gets to the foul line a lot, and plays with a lot of physicality. He averaged 19.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game as a junior. Allen will immediately become one of the best players on Texas’ roster.
5. Marreon Jackson: 6’1” 200 lbs, 5th Year Point Guard
Toledo –> Arizona State
This is the type of transfer that you only get to see in 2021. Marreon Jackson has started 125 of 127 games in his four-year career but is using the NCAA waiver to come back for a fifth and final season. After scoring 1,817 points and dishing out 572 assists at Toledo, Jackson is moving on to play for Bobby Hurley out at Arizona State. Jackson was named MAC Player of the Year as a senior after averaging 18.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game.
6. Kellan Grady: 6’5” 205 lbs, 5th Year Guard
Davidson –> Kentucky
Grady is another four-year player who started 113 of 115 games at Davidson while scoring over 2,000 points in his career. The sharpshooter will play his fifth season of college basketball for John Calipari in Lexington. Grady has never averaged less than 17 points per game in a season and is a three-time All-A-10 selection. Most importantly for Kentucky, Grady shot 38.2% from beyond the arc as a senior on 6.9 attempts per game. He is a career 36.6% three-point shooter.
7. Garrison Brooks: 6’10” 240 lbs, 5th Year Forward
North Carolina –> Mississippi State
The 2019-2020 ACC Most Improved Player had a disappointing senior season, but he is still the best post player from the transfer portal. Brooks will join his father--who is an assistant coach for Ben Howland in Starkville for his fifth season of college basketball. The Alabama native averaged 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds as a junior before regressing to just 10.2 points and 6.9 rebounds last season. Brooks is super physical and should excel for the Bulldogs as a “super-senior.”
8. Tre Mitchell: 6’9” 240 lbs, Junior Center
UMass –> Texas
Mitchell was a dominant force for two seasons at Massachusetts earning A-10 Freshman of the Year honors and Second Team All-A10 as a freshman before developing in to a First Team All-A10 performer last season. The skilled big man averaged 18.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while improving his three-point percentage to 37.5% on over one make per game. Having a big man as skilled as Mitchell will really open up the offense for Coach Beard and his treasure chest full of transfer portal talent.
9. Caleb Mills: 6’3” 175 lbs, Junior Guard
Houston –> Florida State
Mills was named Second Team All-AAC as a freshman and was picked as the Preseason AAC Player of the Year heading into his sophomore season. However, some injuries and personal issues caused him to step away from the program after just four games. Finding a new home with Coach Leonard Hamilton and the Seminoles should be the change of scenery that the talented scorer needs. Don’t be surprised to see him become an All-ACC performer next season.
10. De’Vion Harmon: 6’2” 198 lbs, Junior Point Guard
Oklahoma –> Oregon
Coach Dana Altman at Oregon is one of the most underrated coaches in the country as the Ducks seem to make noise in the NCAA Tournament year after year. Their roster got better this offseason by landing Oklahoma’s second-leading scorer in De’Vion Harmon. Harmon averaged 12.9 points per game on 47.7% shooting for the Sooners as a sophomore.
11. Oscar Tshiebwe: 6’9” 260 lbs, Junior Forward
West Virginia –> Kentucky
The big man from Congo wanted to go to Kentucky out of high school but ended up at West Virginia. After an excellent freshman season where he averaged 11.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game and earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors, Tshiebwe sputtered as a sophomore. After just 10 games Tshiebwe decided to transfer to Kentucky where he was able to practice with the team towards the end of the season. Tshiebwe is the best offensive rebounder in college basketball and will give the Wildcats a major boost around the basket.
12. Matt Bradley: 6’4” 220 lbs, Senior Guard
California –> San Diego State
The two-time Second Team All-Pac 12 selection is one of the leading scorers coming out of the transfer portal. Bradley scored 18 points per game as a junior on impressive 45.5%/36.4%/82.1% shooting splits. After averaging over 15 points per game in his three-year career at California, don’t be surprised to see Bradley become a Mountain West Player of the Year candidate this coming season for the Aztecs.
13. Sahvir Wheeler: 5'10" 180 lbs, Junior Point Guard
Georgia –> Kentucky
John Calipari's momentum kept rolling with the addition of Second Team All-SEC point guard Sahvir Wheeler. Just a couple of weeks after Nolan Hickman was released from his letter of intent and the Wildcats had zero point guards on the roster, Coach Cal went out and added a five-star high school player and the SEC's leader in assists from last season. Wheeler is small, isn't a three-point shooting threat, and turns the ball over too much, but he is also one of the best playmakers in all of college basketball.
14. Adam Miller: 6’3” 180 lbs, Sophomore Guard
Illinois –> LSU
A former Top 50 recruit, Miller started 31 games for the Big 10 Tournament champion Illini as a freshman. The 6’3” lefty averaged 8.3 points and shot 34% from three-point range on nearly five attempts per game. His transfer stemmed from wanting to have an opportunity to take on more of a ball-handling role. At LSU, Miller will share the backcourt with fellow transfer Xavier Pinson and 4-star guard Brandon Murray.
15. Dawson Garcia: 6’11” 230 lbs, Sophomore Forward
Marquette –> North Carolina
After entering the transfer portal late in the process at the end of June, the Marquette freshman quickly became one of the most sought after names in the country. Garcia averaged 13 points and 6.6 rebounds per game with solid efficiency numbers. At 6'11", Garcia can step out and shoot the three making one per game last season at a 35.6% clip. The former McDonald's All-American is oozing with potential and has just scratched the surface of how good of a college player he can be.
16. Qudus Wahab: 6’11” 237 lbs, Junior Center
Georgetown –> Maryland
The Terrapins have quietly put together an excellent offseason with several transfer portal additions. Qudus Wahab headlines the incoming class after leading Georgetown to a surprising Big East Tournament championship. Wahab averaged 12.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.
17. Walker Kessler: 7’1” 245 lbs, Sophomore Center
North Carolina –> Auburn
There is a ton of hype surrounding Walker Kessler’s transfer and he is typically ranked much higher than this in other transfer portal lists. However, production matters, and despite some obvious flashes towards the end of the season, Kessler has to prove himself before being ranked any higher. The 7’1” Kessler had a strong month of February that flashed his 5-star prospect potential and put up an impressive 16-point, 12-rebound, 8-block stat line in the ACC Tournament. Still, with Bruce Pearl’s propensity to play fast, Kessler has a way to go before reaching the level of some of the other very good big men ranked higher on this list.
18. Dylan Disu: 6’9” 220 lbs, Junior Forward
Disu is your prototypical big man for the “modern” style of basketball. He is a good three-point shooter while also being efficient around the rim and an excellent rebounder. Last season as a sophomore he shot 36.9% from beyond the arc on nearly four attempts per game. He doubled his scoring output from his freshman year to 15 points and pulled down 9.2 rebounds per game.
19. Kevin Obanor: 6’8” 225 lbs, Senior Forward
Oral Roberts –> Texas Tech
Obanor became more of a household name while helping lead 15-seed Oral Roberts to the Sweet 16 during March Madness, but he was a heck of a player well before stepping onto the national stage. The pick-and-pop forward was Summit League Freshman of the Year in 2019 before earning First Team honors as a junior after averaging 18.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. He also connected on an outstanding 46.3% of his threes while making two per game. That sort of offensive skill, along with his ability to rebound at a high level, will absolutely transition nicely to the Big 12.
20. DeVante’ Jones: 6’1” 200 lbs, Senior Guard
Coastal Carolina –> Michigan
When talking about players in the portal with highly productive college careers already to their name, DeVante’ Jones has to be towards the top of the list. Jones was named Sun Belt Rookie of the Year in 2018-2019, Second Team All-Sun Belt in 2019-2020, and then was Player of the Year last season after averaging 19.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 2.8 steals per game. He will make an instant two-way impact for the Wolverines.
21. Christian Bishop: 6’7” 220 lbs, Senior Forward
Creighton –> Texas
Chris Beard and the Longhorns absolutely loaded up in the transfer portal. Bishop has started every game over the last two seasons and is one of the best finishers around the basket in all of college basketball. Built like a truck, Bishop shot 68.1% from the field last season while averaging 11 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He is a non-shooter but is extremely effective inside.
22. Jayden Gardner: 6’7” 235 lbs, Senior Forward
East Carolina –> Virginia
There simply aren’t many players in the transfer portal that have had as productive of careers as Jayden Gardner. The undersized interior player finished in the top 10 in scoring all three seasons in the AAC including leading the conference in scoring as a sophomore at 19.7 points per game. Last year as a junior, Gardner averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He isn’t much of a threat from the perimeter, but around the basket he is dominant. Look for Gardner to be a real matchup problem moving from the AAC to the ACC.
23. Xavier Pinson: 6’2” 170 lbs, Senior Guard
Missouri –> LSU
Already one of the more talented scoring guards in the Southeastern Conference, Pinson just relocated from Columbia, Missouri to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Pinson improved his three-point shooting a year ago while also drastically increasing his volume. As a junior, he shot 33.6% from deep on just under five attempts per game. Pinson averaged 13.6 points to go along with 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He should thrive in Will Wade’s fast-paced system.
24. Armaan Franklin: 6’4” 195 lbs, Junior Guard
Indiana –> Virginia
Armaan Franklin was one of the most improved players in the Big 10 last season. Thought of as a high-level shooter coming out of high school, Franklin connected on just 26.6% of his shots from three-point range as a freshman. However, that percentage improved to 42.4% as a sophomore while also doubling his attempts per game. Franklin averaged 11.4 points per game and should excel in Virginia’s offensive system.
25. Stanley Umude: 6’6” 210 lbs, 5th Year Guard
South Dakota –> Arkansas
Eric Musselman has quickly made a name for himself in the transfer portal and that continued this offseason as the Razorbacks added a handful of players headlined by Stanley Umude. Umude is a three-time All-Summit League selection and is coming off of a senior season where he averaged 21.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists per game.
26. Xavier Johnson: 6’3” 200 lbs, Senior Point Guard
Pittsburgh –> Indiana
The Hoosiers needed a playmaker, and they got a good one in Pittsburgh transfer Xavier Johnson. Johnson took strides as a junior in terms of efficiency becoming a much better finisher inside and has steadily improved his free throw shooting each season. The 6’3” guard averaged 14.2 points and 5.7 assists per game last year and will be a welcomed addition to Indiana’s backcourt.
27. Quincy Guerrier: 6’7” 220 lbs, Junior Forward
Syracuse –> Oregon
Guerrier is a matchup nightmare as a super-strong forward. He is an excellent rebounder for his size on both the offensive and defensive glass. Guerrier started to develop a bit of a three-point shot last season at Syracuse. If he can take another step forward from beyond the arc this coming season he should be an All-Pac 12 performer. He earned Third Team All-ACC honors as a sophomore averaging 13.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
28. Tyson Walker: 6’0” 162 lbs, Junior Point Guard
Northeastern –> Michigan State
The little guard from Northeastern was one of the best non-Power 5 players in the transfer portal after earning CAA Defensive Player of the Year honors in his sophomore season. The First Team All-CAA point guard averaged 18.8 points, 4.8 assists, 2.4 steals per game. The only question mark here for Tom Izzo is whether Walker’s efficiency will be able to translate to the much more physical style of play in the Big 10.
29. K.D. Johnson: 6’1” 190 lbs, Sophomore Guard
Georgia –> Auburn
K.D. Johnson is a relentless competitor. He should thrive in Bruce Pearl's up-tempo style just as he did as a freshman for Tom Crean. Johnson averaged 13.5 points per game last season along with 1.8 steals. He has the ability to be a really disruptive force on the ball defensively. Johnson hasn't showcased much ability as a distributor, but he is a high percentage shooter (38.7% from 3) and is extremely quick with the ball. If he can harness some of his energy he should have a standout sophomore season.
30. Emanuel Miller: 6’7” 208 lbs, Junior Forward
Texas A&M –> TCU
Coach Ben Howland had a lot of success in the transfer portal this offseason, but the Aggies also experienced some tough attrition with the loss of Emanuel Miller. The athletic forward burst onto the scene during his sophomore campaign averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds on 57.1% shooting. He will make an immediate major impact for Jamie Dixon and the Horned Frogs.
31. Paul Atkinson: 6’10” 220 lbs, Senior Forward
Yale –> Notre Dame
Due to the Ivy League opting out of the 2020-2021 season this is a tough one to evaluate. However, when you consider that Atkinson was Co-Player of the Year in the Ivy League as a junior in 2019-2020 the production would indicate that he will play a big role for the Fighting Irish. Atkinson averaged 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds and has shot 66.1% from the field over the course of his career.
32. Marcus Williams: 6’2” 180 lbs, Sophomore Point Guard
Wyoming –> Texas A&M
After being lightly recruited out of high school, Marcus Williams would not typically be a name you would think of when considering the best freshman in college basketball. Williams earned Mountain West Rookie of the Year honors after averaging 14.8 points and 4.3 assists per game while leading the Cowboys to their first winning season since 2017-2018.
33. Fatts Russell: 5’10” 165 lbs, 5th Year Point Guard
Rhode Island –> Maryland
This is a polarizing transfer portal move. On one hand, Fatts Russell has had one of the most productive college careers of anyone on the market. After earning a First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection as a junior he regressed a little bit to the Third Team as a senior. 1,594 career points and 411 career assists in 119 college games speaks for itself though. On the other hand, Russell is a career 35.6% shooter and just 28.1% from deep. He is the definition of a volume producer.
34. CJ Fredrick: 6’3” 195 lbs, Junior Guard
Iowa –> Kentucky
Kentucky certainly addressed their need for perimeter shooting this offseason. Fredrick is one of the best pure shooters in all of college basketball with a career 46.6% mark from beyond the arc. He is also an underrated secondary ball-handler who doesn't turn the ball over. His ability to make shots and attract attention off-the-ball for the 'Cats will be big for Coach Calipari's offense.
35. Earl Timberlake: 6’6” 215 lbs, Sophomore Guard
Miami (FL) –> Memphis
There are a lot of reasons to like Timberlake. He is a strong, physical guard that was thought to develop into a first round pick after a one-and-done season at Miami. However, some injury issues and a lack of production derailed that plan and he decided to enter the portal and go play for Penny Hardaway. The physical talent is there, but does he have the ball skill to develop into the player he was expected to become? Time will tell.