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Missouri's Frank Haith is one of a handful of coaches relying on transfers
|The full list of the top 40 transfers can be found in the Athlon Sports 2012-13 College Basketball annual available in the online store.|
College basketball transfers are flying through the sport at an unprecedented pace these days. Hundreds of players have changed schools in the last two seasons to become eligible in 2012-13.
The landscape could be a boon both for teams looking to fill a void on their rosters as well as players looking to find the best fit.
The group of players transferring from one program to another is indeed diverse -- McDonald's All-Americans, top-100 recruits, part-timers ready for bigger roles, small conference stars testing their mettle in major conferences.
Whittling down the pool of transfers eligible for the upcoming season to those that will make the most impact on 2012-13 is quite the undertaking.
From the players transferring from one power team to another, the teams depending on two or more transfers, and the rare players transferring form a low-major program to a power conference, here's our look at the transfer scene in college basketball.
Related content: Top 10 Freshmen for 2012-13
10 KEY TRANSFERS
Rotnei Clarke, G, Arkansas to Butler
One of the elite shooters in college basketball during his time at Arkansas, Clarke take on a leading role with the Bulldogs. He averaged 15.2 points while shooting 43.8 percent from the arc two years ago. Butler’s biggest deficiency last season was the outside shot as the Bulldogs shot only 28 percent from beyond the arc.
Larry Drew II, G, North Carolina to UCLA
Drew left North Carolina 21 games into his junior season when Kendall Marshall took over as the primary point guard. He was oft-criticized by Tar Heels fans, but Drew averaged 8.5 points and 5.9 assists in his last full season at North Carolina. Freshman Ryan Anderson may be the Bruins primary ball-handler, but he and Drew could share time on the court.
Luke Hancock, F, George Mason to Louisville
Hancock gives the talented Cardinals another weapon on the wing. The Virginia native averaged 10.9 points and 4.3 assists for George Mason in ’10-11 and scored 18 points in the Colonials win over Villanova in the Rounds of 68 of the NCAA Tournament.
Colton Iverson, C, Minnesota to Colorado State
Iverson didn’t score a lot during his three years at Minnesota — he averaged 5.4, 5.0 and 5.4 points per game — but he is a decent rebounder and has a high basketball IQ. Iverson joins core of four returning starters with hopes of returning to the NCAA Tournament in the first season under Larry Eustachy.
Sidiki Johnson, F, Arizona to Providence
A top-100 in the Class of 2011, Johnson left Arizona after one semester. He is a 6-9 power forward who will give Providence an active body on the frontline. Providence needs Johnson to contribute right away, but the Friars will have to wait until December for the sophomore to be eligible.
Wally Judge, F, Kansas State to Rutgers
The one-time McDonald’s All-American will start immediately, and his 6-9, 250-pound frame will help offset the loss of Gilvydas Biruta, who transferred to Rhode Island. Judge averaged 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds as a sophomore at Kansas State.
Keala King, G, Arizona State to Long Beach State
King, a former top-50 national recruit, bolted Arizona State 13 games into his sophomore season. The 6-4 point guard as averaged 13.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists at the time. He will be eligible at the end of the first semester for a Long Beach State club expected to repeat in the Big West.
Trent Lockett, G, Arizona State to Marquette
Lockett is a graduate transfer who will be a big part of the Golden Eagles’ attack from Day One. He averaged 13.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last season at Arizona State while hitting 41.2 percent from 3-point range. The Golden Eagles have high hopes Lockett will fill some of the scoring void left by Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom.
Mark Lyons, G, Xavier to Arizona
Lyons, a senior, will step in and take over at the point for the talented but young Wildcats. He averaged 15.1 points and shot 39.2 percent as a running mate to Tu Holloway at Xavier last season. On a team expecting freshmen to be major contributors, Lyons’ experience on three Sweet 16 teams will be invaluable. Current Arizona coach Sean Miller recruited Lyons to Xavier.
Amath M’Baye, F, Wyoming to Oklahoma
The Sooners’ best player last season may have been on the practice squad. M’Baye, a native of France, averaged 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds as a sophomore at Wyoming in 2010-11. He is expected to be a big part of the Sooners’ attack this season.
SIX TEAMS DEPENDING ON TRANSFERS
Some teams hope to benefit more from incoming transfers than others. For these six teams, two more transfers will play a major role in their bids for the NCAA Tournament or more.
G/F Will Clyburn (from Michigan State), G Korie Lucious (from Utah)
Clyburn, a former junior college transfer, averaged 17.1 points and 7.8 boards while shooting 40.3 percent from 3-point range in his only season at Utah. He will be asked to take on big role for an Iowa State team that must replace Royce White. Lucious never scored a lot while playing on some talented Michigan State teams, but he is a true point guard who will be expected to start in his only season in Iowa City.
G Keion Bell (from Pepperdine), G Jabari Brown (from Oregon), F Alex Oriakhi (from Connecticut), G Earnest Ross (from Auburn)
A high-volume shooter, Bell averaged 18.9 points as a junior for Pepperdine two years ago. He is a shooting guard who could find a significant role as a sixth man for a Missouri team that should contend for an SEC title. A former 5-star recruit, Brown left Oregon after only two games last season. He is a 6-4 shooting guard who can shoot from 3-point range and take the ball to the basket. Oriakhi was key contributor (9.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg) on the Huskies’ 2011 national title team, but his role diminished last season as a junior. Oriakhi will team with Laurence Bowers (who is back from injury) to give the Tigers a solid presence in the paint. A shooting guard with good size (6-5, 222), Ross led Auburn in scoring (13.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.6 rpg) two years ago. He shot under 40 percent overall and 33.3 percent from 3 with the Tigers, but he can be more selective now playing on a more talented team.
F Nikola Cerina (from TCU), F Jared Swopshire (from Louisville)
Cerina and Swopshire will be asked to contribute on a Northwestern front line that must replace All-Big Ten performer John Shurna. Cerina, a 6-9, 245-pound forward, averaged 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds for TCU in ’10-11. Swopshire averaged 3.3 points for Louisville last season while slowed by injuries. In his last healthy season, Swopshire averaged 7.5 points and 6.1 rebounds in 2009-10 while averaging 25 minutes per game.
SAN DIEGO STATE
F James Johnson (Virginia), F JJ O’Brien (from Utah), F Dwayne Polee II (from St. John’s)
O’Brien and Polee will bolster the Aztecs’ frontcourt. O’Brien started 21 games two years ago as a freshman at Utah and averaged 6.4 points and 5.5 rebounds. Polee averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 boards for the Red Storm. The addition of the 6-9, 248 pound James Johnson from Virginia will further bolster San Diego State’s size in the frontcourt.
G/F Brian Oliver (from Georgia Tech), G Kyle Smith (from Iona), C Gene Teague (from Southern Illinois)
Oliver was billed as a top-level shooter, but he shot a disappointing 33.9 percent from 3 in two seasons at Georgia Tech. Two years ago, as a sophomore, he averaged 10.5 points per game. He likely will start for Seton Hall. The 6-9, 290-pound Teague is a space-eater in the paint who averaged 8.6 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 60.6 percent from the field as a sophomore at Southern Illinois. Smith is a 3-point is a 3-point shooting specialist from Iona.
F Khem Birch (from Pittsburgh), G Bryce Dejean-Jones (from UCLA)
A top-10 national recruit, Birch lasted only one semester at Pittsburgh. He didn’t contribute much during his stay with the Panthers (4.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg), but he is an elite talent who will be a factor for the Runnin’ Rebels. A 6-5 shooting guard from Southern California, Dejean-Jones will have an opportunity to play a major role on a loaded UNLV team. Dejean-Jones averaged 7.6 points with the Trojans as a freshman in 2010-11. His arrival, however, will be delayed by broken hand sustained earlier this month.
G Matt Humphrey (from Boston College), C Aaric Murray (from La Salle), G Juwan Staten (from Dayton)
Both Murray and Staten were considered recruiting coups for the Atlantic 10 team that signed them. Alas, neither led their respective teams to the NCAA Tournament and instead transferred to West Virginia. Murray is a seasoned big man who averaged 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks as a sophomore at La Salle. He has the size (6-10, 240) to be major factor in the paint but can also step out and knock down jump shots. Ranked among the top-40 recruits in the Class of 2011, Staten lasted only one season at Dayton, where he averaged 8.5 points and 5.4 assists. He will start at the point for West Virginia. Humphrey will conclude his career in the Big 12 after spending two seasons in the Pac-10 (Oregon) and one in the ACC (Boston College). He averaged 10.3 points per game last season for the Eagles.
SEVEN LOW-MAJOR TO HIGH-MAJOR TRANSFERS
Most transfers occur with players moving from a high-major to a mid-major or low-major. A handful of players are expected to make an impact despite moving from a lower level to a major conference.
Glen Dean, G, Eastern Washington to Utah
The Big Sky Freshman of the Year in 2009-10, Dean twice led Eastern Washington in scoring and assists and also shot over 40 percent from the 3-point arc in both seasons. He will start at the point and could team with another Seattle native — Aaron Dotson from LSU — in all-transfer backcourt.
R.J. Evans, G, Holy Cross to Connecticut
A graduate transfer who will have one season of eligibility, Evans will give a UConn team in transition some veteran leadership. He averaged 11.5 points as a junior for Holy Cross.
Evan Gordon, G, Liberty to Arizona State
The younger brother of standout NBA guard Eric Gordon will bring some much-needed offensive punch to an Arizona State team that is need of some scorers. Gordon averaged 14.4 points as a sophomore at Liberty but shot only 38.8 percent from the field.
Julius Mays, G, Wright State to Kentucky
The well-traveled Mays will end his career at Kentucky after stops at NC State and Wright State. He averaged 14.1 points last season while shooting over 40 percent from 3. He’s a combo guard who likely will see minutes both at the point and at shooting guard.
Isaiah Philmore, F, Towson to Xavier
Philmore didn’t win a lot of games at Towson — the Tigers went 4–26 in ’10-11 — but the 6-8, 230-pound forward put up solid numbers (15.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg). He will battle for a starting spot on a front line that must replace Kenny Frease and Andre Walker.
Eric Wise, F, UC Irvine to USC
A small forward with good size (6-6, 240), Wise averaged 16.3 points and 8.1 rebounds in his final season at UC Irvine. He will contend for a starting spot on a much-improved Trojan team.
Trey Zeigler, G, Central Michigan to Pittsburgh
A former top-75 national recruit, Zeigler signed with Central Michigan to play for his father, Ernie Zeigler. Dad got fired, so the son bolted for the greener pastures of Pittsburgh, where he will be eligible immediately. The shooting guard averaged 15.6 points and 6.7 boards for the Chippewas last season.
Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
8. Ohio State
10. Michigan State
11. NC State
14. North Carolina
15. San Diego State
19. Notre Dame