This offseason’s portal activity was beneficial to certain teams while being detrimental to others.
After another hectic year in which more than 1,700 Division I athletes entered the portal, nearly all of the significant offseason transfers in college basketball are over. It’s time to determine who the losers and winners were from a team viewpoint after following the mayhem for the past few months through the top 25 individual moves.
Sometimes all it takes to propel a team to the next level is the inclusion of one extra component. Just take a look at Brady Manek, who last summer made the move from Oklahoma to North Carolina and went on to play a crucial stretch forward position for a team that won the Final Four. Remy Martin, a guard for Kansas who transferred from Arizona State, was another example. After turning things around in the postseason, Remy helped Kansas win the championship.
The Tar Heels and the Jayhawks were undoubtedly a couple of the main beneficiaries from the transfer cycle from the previous season. On the other hand, after losing such effective veterans to the portal, the programs from whom those players came missed the NCAA Tournament.
Let’s examine the winners and losers of the 2022 transfer cycle as the 2022–23 college basketball rosters get closer to being finalized.
It’s no secret that Miami is willing to go above and beyond NIL in order to sign talented athletes for a variety of sports, and this transfer cycle made that fact very clear. Nijel Pack, the No. 2 transfer from Kansas State, and No. 14 Norchad Omier were also added by the Hurricanes. Miami should be well-positioned to absorb the loss of graduation studs Kam McGusty and Charlie Moore and once again be a factor in the ACC since there are no notable outbound transfers.
There is no getting around the reality that Will Wade’s abrupt dismissal caused a major departure for the program, despite the fact that first-year coach Matt McMahon did an amazing job of replenishing the Tigers’ roster. LSU was down to its final two scholarship players from the 2021–22 roster at one point, but a few players chose to stay. In order to staunch the hemorrhaging, McMahon had no choice but to raid his previous program and recruit crucial Murray State players KJ Williams, Trae Hannibal, and Justice Hill.
Both of the Illini’s top-ranked transfers, Matthew Mayer from Baylor and Terrence Shannon Jr. from Texas Tech, were accepted by the team. Andre Curbelo, the No. 17 transfer, went to St. John’s, and Jacob Grandison, another important player, went to Duke. But Illinois is one of the major winners of this portal cycle thanks to the acquisition of two successful and established veterans from the Big 12. The top three scorers from last season have graduated, so the Illini will need to reorganize. However, Shannon and Mayer will make sure that they barely budge.
Last year, Providence’s veteran-heavy roster helped the team succeed, but it will be challenging for the Friars to replace players like Al Durham and Nate Watson overnight. However, after loading up on top-notch depth in the portal, it will have a chance to participate in the NCAA Tournament once more. With 124 games played between Florida and Louisville, Noah Locke has a career 3-point percentage of 38.7; Devin Carter is a guard who made a strong impression as a rookie for South Carolina last season; and Clifton Moore is a standout rim protector from La Salle. Bryce Hopkins from Kentucky and Corey Floyd Jr. from UConn are both former four-star prospects for the Class of 2021, giving the Friars a solid balance of experienced and up-and-coming athletes.
Loser: Texas Tech
After Chris Beard left Texas Tech, Mark Adams showed himself to be a master of the transfer portal with a group of players who helped the Red Raiders reach the Sweet 16 last season. Although our No. 5 transfer, big man Fardaws Aimaq, from Utah Valley, is a crucial acquisition, it will be difficult to repeat last season’s success without No. 6 Terrence Shannon Jr. (Illinois) and No. 19 Kevin McCullar (Kansas). transfer of Gardner-Webb To maintain its pace from last season, Texas Tech will need substantial contributions from D’Maurian Williams and Oregon transfer De’Vion Harmon at the plate.
The team’s No. 21 transfer, Manny Bates, from NC State, was quickly added to the squad by first-year head coach Thad Matta as a rim protector in the middle. Additionally, the Bulldogs added two mid-major players with size in Jalen Hunter (Georgia State) and Ali Ali, as well as four-year Purdue guard Eric Hunter Jr. (Akron). Bryce Golden, a seasoned forward who helped Butler during the transition from LaVall Jordan to Matta, was lost. But overall, it appears that the portal gave more than it did remove.
This transfer cycle has been good for the Blue Jays thanks to the inclusion of Baylor Scheierman, our No. 16-ranked transfer, and the losing of only a little amount of production through the portal. For a South Dakota State squad that finished the previous season 30-5, Scheierman averaged 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. Guard Francisco Farabello, a TCU transfer who has played in 73 games and has a career 3-point shooting percentage of 40.2 percent, was also added by Creighton.
Loser: Iowa State
During his brief time at ISU, second-year coach T.J. Otzelberger has seen both the highs and lows of living in the portal. During an unlikely run to the Sweet 16 last season, the Cyclones benefited immensely from transfers Izaiah Brockington (Penn State), Gabe Kalscheur (Minnesota), and Caleb Grill (UNLV). However, they are currently losing Big 12 Freshman of the Year Tyrese Hunter to Texas while failing to sign A.J. Green of Northern Iowa, who was in the portal before deciding to turn pro despite the fact that his father works at ISU. It hurts to lose Hunter and miss out on Green despite a sizable incoming transfer class that includes Tre King (Eastern Kentucky), Jaren Holmes (St. Bonaventure), Osun Osunniyi (St. Bonaventure), Jeremiah Williams (Temple), and Hason Ward (VCU).
Winner: Ohio State
Justin Ahrens and Meechie Johnson Jr., two reliable role players for the Buckeyes, were lost to the portal. Tanner Holden, our No. 12 transfer from Wright State, coupled with former West Virginia 3-point shooter Sean McNeil and former Oklahoma State guard Isaac Likekele gave them an increase overall. Coach Chris Holtmann will most likely rely heavily on the incoming trio because Ohio State is losing a lot of players to graduation.
Loser: Kansas State
Nijel Pack, who was Kansas State’s third-leading scorer in the Big 12, left for Miami in a pricey NIL deal. For the Wildcats, Pack scored 17.4 points per game on 43.6 percent 3-point shooting. In the wake of Bruce Weber’s departure and the arrival of Jerome Tang, some excellent depth players also left, and 2017 appears to be a season of rebuilding.
With Kentucky forward Keion Brooks Jr., Washington State guard Noah Williams, and Oregon big man Franck Kepnang, the Huskies gained three excellent power conference transfers. Emmitt Matthews Jr., who was their second-leading scorer and is returning to West Virginia, was lost. But ultimately, this transfer haul represents a net gain for coach Mike Hopkins, who is in his sixth season.
The No. 9 recruiting class in the country is visiting the Trojans’ campus, and because USC didn’t put anything on the portal, that four-player bunch may be expected to contribute significantly. Max Agbonkpolo and Ethan Anderson, two supporting players, left for Wyoming after three seasons of consistent performance. This team appears to be lacking in established depth because there are no new transfers to take their place.
With the use of the portal, new coach Todd Golden was able to secure the services of Will Richard of Belmont, Kyle Lofton of St. Bonaventure, Trey Bonham of VMI, and Alex Fudge of LSU, assuring that his first Florida squad will be competitive. While Fudge, a versatile former four-star prospect, played 13.9 minutes per game for LSU last season, the top three guards all averaged double digits in scoring last year.
Loser: Washington State
In Kyle Smith’s third season as coach, the Cougars improved, going 11-9 in Pac-12 play and winning the NIT. The roster then suffered a blow. Tyrell Roberts, a double-figure scorer, and veteran guard Noah Williams both left for San Francisco after their roles were reduced in the second part of the season. Efe Abogidi, a former Pac-12 All-Freshman center, leaving for the G League Ignite program may have been the hardest blow. Justin Powell, a guard transfer from Tennessee, is a wonderful find, but in order to have an impact, he will need to recover the form he showed as a rookie at Auburn in 2020–21.
Winner: St. John’s
Veteran coach Mike Anderson recruited David Jones and Andre Curbelo as good transfers to help offset the production loss when versatile wing Julian Champagnie graduated. Jones, a 6-foot-6 stat-sheet filler who averaged 14.5 points for DePaul last season, and Curbelo, a point guard who was Illinois’ sixth man of the year in the Big Ten in 2020–21, are two different types of players. Curbelo will be a factor in the Big East if he can recapture the form he displayed as a freshman.