Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics
With more than 1600 names in the transfer portal there was essentially no program in the country that was not impacted by either incoming or outgoing transfers. In the Southeastern Conference, Eric Musselman has already made a name for himself as an early adopter of the portal, but now everyone else has jumped in on the fun.
Arkansas was extremely active in the portal once again, and nearly every other school added four or more new names not to mention the revolving doors that are living down in Athens, Georgia and College Station, Texas.
With over 100 names moving in and out of the conference, the SEC will look very different next year. The talent level has been on an upswing for years now, but it is shaping up to be as competitive as ever in 2021-2022.
The transfer portal is simply a way of life now for college basketball programs. You either adept or get left behind. The SEC was as active as any conference and as your resident portal expert I have compiled all of the coming and going names for each member school.
Transferring Out: None
Transferring In: Nimari Burnett (Texas Tech), Noah Gurley (Furman)
Despite all of the momentum surrounding Coach Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide program, and past success in the portal with players such as Jahvon Quinerly, Alabama was the quietest team in the conference when it comes to the transfer portal. Coach Oats did still put together a top ten recruiting class though headlined by five-star point guard JD Davidson.
The two transfer portal additions should make instant impacts in Tuscaloosa. Nimari Burnett is a former high four-star recruit that was pursued heavily by the Crimson Tide coming out of high school. Burnett got stuck towards the back of the rotation of the Texas Tech backcourt and decided to leave the program after just 12 games. The 6¨4＞ guard averaged 5.3 points per game game.
Noah Gurley is essentially coming from the opposite situation as Burnett. Not heavily recruited out of high school, Gurley was a key contributor for three seasons at Furman earning All-Southern honors each of the last two years. Gurley is a versatile, athletic forward that averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a junior. His ability to step out and shoot the three at 6¨8＞ will fit perfectly into Nate Oats¨ offensive system.
Transferring Out: Desi Sills (Auburn), Ethan Henderson (Texas A&M), Emeka Obukwelu, Vance Jackson Jr., Abayomi Iyiola (Hofstra)
Transferring In: Chris Lykes (Miami), Au¨Diese Toney (Pittsburgh), Stanley Umude (South Dakota), Kamani Johnson (Little Rock)
Heading into just his third season in Fayetteville, Eric Musselman has already made a name for himself in the transfer portal. His recruiting success led the Razorbacks to the Elite Eight last season before losing to the eventual national champion Baylor Bears.
Arkansas lost five players to the transfer portal following the season, most notably Desi Sills who has been a solid three-year rotation piece for the Razorbacks. Vance Jackson Jr. is the only other contributor of the five leaving the program. Jackson Jr.¨s next stop will be his fourth college in his six year career.
In terms of incoming talent, the Muss Bus loaded up once again. Stanley Umude headlines the group after a stellar career at South Dakota. The 6¨6＞ wing is coming off of a senior season where he was named First Team All-Summit League after averaging 21.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. Chris Lykes, a 5¨7＞ point guard for the Miami Hurricanes, had his senior season cut short when he suffered a season-ending ankle injury just two games into the season. He is a score-first point guard that averaged 16.2 and 15.4 points per game respectively in his sophomore and junior seasons. Au¨Diese Toney averaged 14.4 points per game last year at Pittsburgh while undersized 4-man Kamani Johnson averaged 11 points and 6.7 rebounds as a sophomore at near by Little Rock.
Transferring Out: Justin Powell (Tennessee), Javon Franklin (South Alabama), Jamal Johnson (UAB), Tyrell Jones (South Alabama)
Transferring In: Walker Kessler (North Carolina), Desi Sills (Arkansas), Wendell Green Jr. (Eastern Kentucky), Zep Jasper (College of Charleston), KD Johnson (Georgia)
Bruce Pearl picked up one of the biggest names to hit the portal in 7¨1＞ North Carolina big man Walker Kessler. The former five-star recruit came on strong towards the end of the season including a 16 points, 12 rebound, 8 blocked shot performance in the ACC Tournament.
The Tigers also added a couple of guards that will be perfect in the up-tempo style that Pearl likes to play. KD Johnson and Desi Sills, a pair of intraconference transfers, love to play fast in the open floor. Johnson averaged 13.5 points per game as a freshman and shot nearly 39% from beyond the arc.
Transferring Out: Ques Glover (Samford), Noah Locke (Louisville), Osayi Osifu (Jacksonville), Omar Payne (Illinois)
Transferring In: Brandon McKissic (UMKC), CJ Felder (Boston College), Phlandrous Fleming Jr. (Charleston Southern), Myreon Jones (Penn State)
Myreon Jones, a 6¨3＞ guard from Penn State, and Phlandrous Fleming Jr., a 6¨4＞ guard from Charleston Southern, headline the influx of talent for Mike White. Jones averaged 15.3 points per game as a junior and has shot right around 40% from three each of the last two seasons. Fleming Jr. is a two-time winner of the Big South Defensive Player of the Year award and earned First Team honors as a junior and senior. He averaged 20.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game last year.
On the way out of Gainesville is Noah Locke who has been one of the country¨s best shooters in each of his three seasons for the Gators. Omar Payne and Ques Glover were solid rotation pieces as well.
Transferring Out: Sahvir Wheeler (Kentucky), KD Johnson (Auburn), Toumani Camara (Dayton), Tye Fagan (Ole Miss), Christian Brown (Tennessee State), Mikal Starks, Jaykwon Walton (Shelton State Community College), Justin Keir (Arizona), Andrew Garcia
Transferring In: Jabri Abdur-Rahim (Virginia), Noah Baumann (USC), Braelen Bridges (Illinois-Chicago), Jailyn Ingram (Florida Atlantic), Aaron Cook (Gonzaga)
If you look up the phrase ＾mass exodus￣ you will find a picture of Tom Crean¨s face and the Georgia basketball program. The Bulldogs lost nine scholarship players from last season¨s team including their six leading scorers. That is not a good place to start for a team that finished 7-11 in conference play. It¨ll be a completely new team in Athens this winter.
As far as new faces, the players replacing the outgoing guys simply aren¨t as good. Noah Baumann is a good three-point shooter, Jabri Abdur-Rahim was a four-star recruit, Braelen Bridges was a solid big man in the Horizon League, and Aaron Cook provided backcourt depth for national runner-up Gonzaga. The incoming portal pieces are headlined by Jailyn Ingram from Florida Atlantic. The 6¨7＞ forward has started 105 games in his career and has developed into a very good three-point shooter. Ingram shot 45.2% from deep on over four attempts while averaging 12.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
Transferring Out: Devin Askew (Texas), Cam¨Ron Fletcher (Florida State)
Transferring In: Kellan Grady (Davidson), Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia), Sahvir Wheeler (Georgia), CJ Fredrick (Iowa)
Times are changing in Lexington. After a historically bad 9-16 season, the coaching staff received a shakeup and the recruiting focus has shifted from one-and-done five-star recruits to landing the very best in the transfer portal. That doesn¨t mean that Coach Calipari didn¨t still land a couple of five-stars because he did, but he also put together arguably the best transfer class in the country.
Kellan Grady brings over 2000 career points to Kentucky, Oscar Tshiebwe has been an All-Big 12 performer, Sahvir Wheeler is one of the best playmakers in college basketball, and C.J. Fredrick is one of the best pure shooters in college basketball.
The ｀Cats needed playmaking and they addressed that need. The ｀Cats needed shooting help and they addressed that need. The ｀Cats needed some toughness around the basket and they addressed that need. It is safe to say that the 2021-2022 Kentucky Wildcats will be better than the product on the Rupp Arena floor last year.
Transferring Out: Aundre Hyatt (Rutgers), Jalen Cook (Tulane), Charles Manning Jr. (South Alabama), Josh Gray, Bryan Penn-Johnson
Transferring In: Xavier Pinson (Missouri), Tari Eason (Cincinnati), Seneca Knight (San Jose State), Adam Miller (Illinois)
The wheels just keep on turning for Will Wade and the LSU Tigers. It is clear that nobody in and around Baton Rouge is worried about potential NCAA sanctions. The Tigers landed one of the most sought portal recruits in Illinois¨ Adam Miller. The former four-star recruit averaged 8.3 points and started all 31 games for the Big 10 Tournament champion Illini.
Xavier Pinson was another big backcourt addition. Pinson averaged 13.6 points in his junior season for Missouri. He should thrive playing in the fast-paced, wide-open offensive system for LSU.
The Tigers lose quite a bit in Javonte Smart, Darius Days, and Trendon Watford, but in terms of the transfer portal, the incoming talent certainly outweighs what they lost.
Transferring Out: Deivon Smith (Georgia Tech), Reggie Morris, Keondre Montgomery (Alcorn State), Andrew Junkin, Jalen Johnson, Abdul Ado (Cincinnati), Quentin Post (Boston College)
Transferring In: Garrison Brooks (North Carolina), D.J. Jeffries (Memphis), Shakeel Moore (North Carolina State), Rocket Watts (Michigan State)
It was quite the offseason for Coach Ben Howland. The Bulldogs were quietly big winners in the transfer portal landing one of the biggest names in Garrison Brooks, a versatile forward in D.J. Jeffries, and a pair of impact guards in Shakeel Moore and Rocket Watts.
Mississippi State did lose D.J. Stewart to the NBA Draft, but with Iverson Molinar returning, and the incoming talent, it should be a good season down in Starkville. Even with a few other rotation players leaving the program, it was definitely a net positive offseason for Ben Howland and the Bulldogs.
Transferring Out: Xavier Pinson (LSU), Mark Smith (Kansas State), Torrence Watson (Elon), Parker Braun (Santa Clara), Drew Buggs (Winthrop), Ed Chang
Transferring In: Amari Davis (Green Bay), Jarron Coleman (Ball State), DaJuan Gordon (Kansas State), Ronnie DeGray (UMass)
Losing both Xavier Pinson and Mark Smith to the portal was a tough way to begin the offseason for Cuonzo Martin. The addition of two-time All-Horizon League selection Amari Davis will certainly soften the blow, but the Tigers will have some big shoes to fill next season.
Along with Davis, Mizzou added other solid rotation pieces led by Ball State¨s Jarron Coleman. The 6¨6＞ wing averaged 13.8 points per game as a sophomore on 42.5% shooting from deep on over five attempts per game.
Transferring Out: KJ Buffen (UAB), Antavion Collum (Cal-State Bakersfield), Dimencio Vaughn (Rider), Khadim Sy, Shon Robinson (San Jose State)
Transferring In: Jaemyn Brakefield (Duke), Nysier Brooks (Miami), Tye Fagan (Georgia)
Duke transfer Jaemyn Brakefield headlines the incoming class for Kermit Davis as a former Top-50 recruit. Brakefield, a 6¨8＞ forward, averaged 3.5 points in just over 12 minutes per game for the Blue Devils. 7¨0＞ big man Nysier Brooks brings four years of experience from stops at Cincinnati and Miami including averaging 7.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Hurricanes last season.
Slashing guard Tye Fagan rounds out the incoming class coming over from Georgia where he averaged 9.2 points while starting 25 games for the Bulldogs. The portal additions will look to replace starting forward KJ Buffen and rotation backup big man Khadim Sy.
Transferring Out: Trey Anderson (San Jose State), Justin Minaya (Providence), Trae Hannibal (Murray State), T.J. Moss (McNeese State), Jalyn McCreary (South Florida), Patrick Iriel, Seventh Woods
Transferring In: Chico Carter Jr. (Murray State), James Reese (North Texas), Erik Stevenson (Washington), A.J. Wilson (George Mason)
The offseason was busy for Frank Martin and the Gamecocks as they saw seven players elect to leave the program while also landing four guys from the portal. Unfortunately for South Carolina fans, the incoming players have limited high-major basketball experience. Only Erik Stevenson, who spent his junior season at Washington after leaving Wichita State, has played at a power conference school. Stevenson averaged 9.3 points per game as a starting guard for the Huskies.
The biggest shoes to fill will be four-year contributor Justin Minaya who is headed to Providence to use his fifth year of eligibility. Minaya was the Gamecocks leading rebounder at 6.3 per game. Former UNC Tar Heel and viral high school mixtape sensation Seventh Woods, Jayln McCreary, Trae Hannibal, and T.J. Moss were all solid rotation pieces as well.
Transferring Out: E.J. Anosike, Davonte Gaines (George Mason), Drew Pember (UNC-Asheville), Corey Walker (South Florida)
Transferring In: Justin Powell (Auburn)
It was a pretty quiet offseason in Knoxville as the biggest news on the ＾recruiting￣ front was John Fulkerson announcing he would use his additional eligibility to play a fifth season for the Volunteers. Rick Barnes did make a decent splash in portal though landing Auburn transfer Justin Powell. Before suffering a season-ending concussion, Powell was averaging 11.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 4.7 assists while shooting 44.2% from beyond the arc.
Transferring Out: Emanuel Miller (TCU), Jay Jay Chandler (South Alabama), Savion Flagg (Sam Houston State), Kevin Marfo (Quinnipiac), Jonathan Aku (Stephen F. Austin), LaDamien Bradford (Louisiana Tech), Cashius McNeilly (TCU), Jaxson Robinson (Arkansas), Jackson Young
Transferring In: Javonte Brown (UConn), Ethan Henderson (Arkansas), Marcus Williams (Wyoming), Henry Coleman III (Duke), Jordan Hall (St. Joseph¨s)
Much like Georgia, Texas A&M will feature a nearly entirely new roster next season after losing nine players to the transfer portal. The most notable loss is sophomore Emanuel Miller who burst onto the scene last season by averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds. His efficiency sky-rocketed along with becoming one of the best offensive rebounders in the country. Savion Flagg and Jay Jay Chandler each averaged over eight points per game as well to round out three of the Aggies five leading scorers exiting via the portal.
Buzz Williams will look to replace the mass exodus with a talented group of five newcomers led by Wyoming guard Marcus Williams. Williams had a fantastic freshman season averaging 14.8 points and 4.3 assists on his way to being named Mountain West Rookie of the Year. He will be joined in the backcourt by 6¨8＞ guard Jordan Hall who also had a quietly excellent freshman campaign at Boston College averaging 10.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game.
Transferring Out: Dylan Disu (Texas), Clevon Brown (Florida International), Maxwell Evans (TCU), D.J. Harvey (Detroit), Ejike Obinna (St. Joseph¨s), Issac McBride (Oral Roberts), Akeem Odusipe
Transferring In: Liam Robbins (Minnesota), Terren Frank (TCU), Rodney Chatman (Dayton)
The Jerry Stackhouse experience in Nashville has been an interesting one. He has been able to land some high-level prospects, but it just hasn¨t yet translated to on-court success. This offseason didn¨t help anything with star sophomore Dylan Disu leaving town to Texas. Disu averaged 15 points and 9.2 rebounds per game last season.
Also exiting the program are Maxwell Evans and D.J. Harvey who were staples in the rotation for the Commodores. They will be replaced by a solid trio of incoming transfers led by Minnesota big man Liam Robbins. The 7¨0＞ Robbins averaged 11.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game as a junior for the Gophers after a Second Team All-Missouri Valley sophomore season at Drake.