Georgia, Mike White land transfer Russel Tchewa, a 7-foot, 285-pound center

On3 imageby:Joe Tipton05/01/23


Former USF big man Russel Tchewa has committed to Georgia, he told On3.

“I’m excited to play for the coach and staff and want to contribute/help us have a special, special year,” Tchewa says.

The 7-foot, 285-pound graduate transfer center originally from Cameroon averaged 11.1 points and 8.6 rebounds this past season for the Bulls, who finished eighth in the American conference.

Tchewa began his college career at Texas Tech, but played sparingly, averaging 1.7 points per game. He’s spent the last three seasons at South Florida, earning his degree in the meantime. Tchewa will now finish out his college career in Athens under head coach Mike White.

The Georgia Bulldogs finished the 2022-23 season 11th in the SEC with an overall record of 16-16.

UGA is revamping its roster heading into next season. The ‘Dawgs have now landed a total of six commitments, three from the transfer portal and three from the high school ranks. Four-star guard Silas Demary Jr. (No. 60) is the latest high school player to pledge to Mike White after recently backing out of his National Letter of Intent to USC. He joins four-star power forward Dylan James (No. 90) and three-star wing Mari Jordan (No. 145). Tchewa becomes the third transfer to land in Athens, joining Illinois’ RJ Melendez (6.0 PPG) and VCU’s Jalen Deloach (9.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG).

Russel Tchewa headed to Athens, transfer portal background information

The NCAA Transfer Portal, which covers every NCAA sport at the Division I, II and III levels, is a private database with names of student-athletes who wish to transfer. It is not accessible to the public.

The process of entering the portal is done through a school’s compliance office. Once a player provides written notification of an intent to transfer, the office enters the player’s name in the database and everything is off and running. The compliance office has 48 hours to comply with the player’s request and that request cannot be refused.

Once a player’s name shows up in the portal, other schools can contact the player. Players can change their minds at any point and withdraw from the portal. However, once a player enters the portal, the current scholarship no longer has to be honored. In other words, if a player enters the portal but decides to stay, the school is not obligated to provide a scholarship anymore.

The database is a normal database, sortable by a variety of topics, including (of course) sport and name. A player’s individual entry includes basic details such as contact info, whether the player was on scholarship and whether the player is transferring as a graduate student.

A player can ask that a “do not contact” tag be placed on the report. In those instances, the players don’t want to be contacted by schools unless they’ve initiated the communication.

The portal has been around since Oct. 15, 2018 and the new calendar cycle within the portal begins each August. For example, the 2021-22 cycle started Aug. 1. During the 2020-21 cycle, 2,626 FBS football players entered the transfer portal (including walk-ons). That comes after 1,681 entered during the 2019-20 cycle and 1,709 during the abbreviated 2018-19 cycle. In comparison, 1,833 Division I basketball players entered the portal during the 2020-21 cycle after totals of 1,020 in 2019-20 and 1,063 in 2018-19.