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New Year, New Start

New Year, New Start

How D1 Transfers Have Performed So Far

A number of high profile transfers have become eligible over the last few weeks.

Jabari Brown has joined Missouri and his 14.7 PPG is helping mediate the loss of Michael Dixon.

Sidiki Johnson is now eligible at Providence. Oddly his debut has coincided with two of Providence’s worst games of the season, losses to Boston College and Brown.

And Khem Birch has finally joined the UNLV active roster.

It is far too early to evaluate these players, but for the D1 transfers that debuted in November, we’ve already collected a fair amount of data. Today I look at which transfers are performing at a high level, and which transfers have failed to crack the rotation.

With hundreds of D1 transfers, I will not have time to examine them all in this edition, but I’m going to focus on transfers into high major programs, former Top 100 recruits out of high school, and a few other small conference players who have caught my eye.

Let’s start with some of the super transfer teams. Missouri forward Laurence Bowers has overshadowed Alex Oriakhi this season, but by averaging 10 PPG and grabbing 20% of the available defensive rebounds, Oriakhi has certainly been a key cog for the Tigers. Keion Bell was a high volume shooter at Pepperdine, but he no longer has to force bad shots at Missouri. While Bell’s PPG has been cut in half, Bell has become an efficient player with his new team.

Transfers who have gone from one BCS school to another have generally fared very well the last few years, but Kevin O’Neil continues to be offensive kryptonite. Neither JT Terrell or Ari Stewart have been able to play any better offensively in their new home. Their ORtgs of 82.8 and 70.5 are horrific. Eric Wise has been better. Much like Keion Bell, Wise has found efficiency through judicious shot selection.

For Utah, Aaron Dotson was a Top 100 player out of high school and he originally played for LSU. Thus Dotson was earning a lot of press heading into this season. But of all of Utah’s D1 transfers, Dotson has easily been the worst.

Player

Team

PPG

Pct Min

Pct Poss

ORtg

DR%

Ast %

Alex Oriakhi

Missouri

10.3

60.4

20.8

114.0

20.6

2.3

Earnest Ross

Missouri

10.2

63.7

19.9

108.0

14.1

9.4

Keion Bell

Missouri

9.2

54.2

20.3

113.5

14.0

12.1

Tony Criswell

Missouri

6.0

44.5

18.2

107.4

14.3

7.3

Eric Wise

USC

11.4

67.1

19.3

118.4

13.2

12.5

JT Terrell

USC

9.3

61.1

23.7

82.8

8.9

5.5

Omar Oraby

USC

8.0

37.5

24.8

110.9

23.7

9.6

Ari Stewart

USC

2.9

16.7

23.4

70.5

13.5

5.4

Ren. Woolridge

USC

0.9

6.8

13.0

79.8

22.1

0.0

Jarred DuBois

Utah

13.5

74.1

22.2

114.5

10.5

25.3

Glen Dean

Utah

8.2

80.2

14.7

107.8

6.9

17.1

Dallin Bachynski

Utah

7.6

46.8

22.7

104.8

24.1

7.6

Aaron Dotson

Utah

2.9

22.9

17.5

77.4

7.1

21.6

At Boston College, Matt Humphrey was a starter and key contributor. At West Virginia, he is getting lost in the shuffle. Perhaps he got tired of the losing at BC, but right now it doesn’t seem like his transfer has worked out.

Gene Teague has been a huge surprise for Seton Hall. The former Southern Illinois center is turning the ball over less often, and that has allowed the aggressive low-post player to become an incredibly dangerous offensive weapon.

Oregon St. recently lost to Towson and while that was an embarrassing loss, I think it is important to note that this is not the same Towson team that won only one game last year. Jerrelle Benimon, Mike Burwell and Bilal Dixon all played in the Big East previously, and while none of them were obvious stars, all three have blossomed and raised their level of play at Towson.

Player

Team

PPG

Pct Min

Pct Poss

ORtg

DR%

Ast %

Juwan Staten

West Virginia

11.1

80.0

19.0

105.5

9.2

18.0

Aaric Murray

West Virginia

10.7

54.7

22.1

113.1

23.0

10.6

Matt Humphrey

West Virginia

4.5

18.4

23.2

100.2

12.6

8.1

Gene Teague

Seton Hall

12.7

69.1

25.5

104.9

18.0

10.6

Brian Oliver

Seton Hall

8.5

56.9

22.6

91.2

14.4

10.7

Kyle Smyth

Seton Hall

5.8

60.7

11.2

129.1

7.6

16.3

Jerrelle Benimon

Towson

16.2

85.8

26.2

107.5

25.0

13.1

Mike Burwell

Towson

8.2

66.6

17.6

99.0

7.6

5.6

Bilal Dixon

Towson

6.2

54.5

19.0

91.3

18.2

0.8

Focusing now on individuals, the transfers I was most interested in watching this fall were mostly at the point guard position.

UCLA’s Larry Drew may not be scoring much, but he has become the ideal passer for Ben Howland’s system.

Arizona’s Mark Lyons has turned the ball over more often, but his scoring (particularly his ability to drive to the basket late in the game) has kept his ORtg above 110.

Other transfers point guards have not fared as well. Korie Lucious is shooting the ball better at Iowa St., but his turnovers are up which has negated his efficiency.

Ryan Harrow has finally earned John Calipari’s trust and he played major minutes in the loss at Louisville, but he is off to a much slower start than expected.

And Tavon Sledge has had the unenviable task of trying to replace Scott Machado at Iona. Sledge hasn’t been horrible, but he hasn’t quite been a superstar transfer either.

Two players whose efficiency hasn’t been perfect, but who probably do deserve more praise are Penn St.’s DJ Newbill and Illinois-Chicago’s Josh Crittle. DJ Newbill wasn’t expecting to be the full-time point-guard for Penn St., but with Tim Frazier going down to injury, Newbill has elevated his game.

Despite posting point guard like stats, Crittle is actually a 6'9" forward, but his passing and scoring has helped add to UIC’s depth. The Flames started the season 9-1 before losing their last three games.

Player

Team

PPG

Pct Min

Pct Poss

ORtg

DR%

Ast %

TO %

Larry Drew

UCLA

6.1

83.9

13.8

117.9

7.9

38.0

20.3

Mark Lyons

Arizona

13.4

68.3

24.7

111.3

6.2

23.8

25.5

Ray Penn

Texas So.

12.3

81.8

26.6

91.4

4.1

37.5

22.0

Nick Russell

SMU

14.0

88.9

26.3

93.9

9.6

30.8

26.0

DJ Newbill

Penn St.

15.8

87.1

28.9

98.5

15.5

29.0

21.1

Charles Carmouche

LSU

9.1

54.7

22.1

109.5

11.0

28.4

23.3

Korie Lucious

Iowa St.

9.7

75.0

22.1

94.2

4.3

28.3

31.4

Josh Crittle

Ill.-Chicago

9.5

67.0

25.5

96.1

13.8

23.7

19.1

Ryan Harrow

Kentucky

8.2

38.7

20.7

102.4

7.7

21.6

7.3

Royce Woolridge

Wash. St.

7.0

73.1

17.5

95.1

9.6

20.2

23.0

Tony Chennault

Villanova

4.4

45.8

16.2

87.6

9.9

19.8

26.4

Tavon Sledge

Iona

7.2

68.3

16.6

99.7

13.6

19.5

24.5

Need some physical rebounding inside, the next group of transfers has delivered that. Let’s start with a lesson about two players who were not very efficient with their former schools.

At Minnesota, Colton Iverson was nicknamed the human two-by-four because of his brutal physicality and lack of a polished scoring game. But suddenly Iverson is a star for Colorado St. His turnovers are down and his scoring is way up. 

On the other hand, Wally Judge didn’t mesh with Frank Martin at Kansas St. And now at Rutgers his turnover rate is at a career high. At one time Judge was considered to have more potential than Iverson, but Iverson is the player who has succeeded more in his new home.

The story of Allan Chaney returning to basketball after missing three seasons remains a touching one and he has done the job at High Point. But big man DeShawn Painter cannot be happy with his debut at Old Dominion. While Painter has been scoring efficiently and rebounding at a high rate, ODU is having one of the worst seasons of head coach Blaine Taylor’s career.

Valparaiso has a handful of transfers who have been little more than bench players, but with Indiana now near the top of the rankings, it is fun to recall the time when Bobby Capobianco was counted on to be a significant contributor for the Hoosiers.

Player

Team

PPG

Pct Min

Pct Poss

ORtg

DR%

Ast %

Arsalan Kazemi

Oregon

8.5

52.5

17.6

114.5

31.9

11.4

Allan Chaney

High Point

13.5

54.3

26.0

116.8

24.6

15.0

Colton Iverson

Colorado St.

14.5

70.0

24.6

120.9

23.5

11.1

Wally Judge

Rutgers

7.9

59.3

20.9

95.4

23.3

13.7

Bobby Capobianco

Valparaiso

6.7

31.8

23.1

96.4

22.8

8.0

Devonta Abron

TCU

6.5

42.6

24.3

98.1

22.8

4.6

DeShawn Painter

Old Dominion

11.3

67.3

23.1

105.3

21.0

6.2

Isaiah Armwood

G. Washington

13.3

76.8

22.3

104.5

20.3

12.0

Amath M'Baye

Oklahoma

9.8

57.9

24.1

98.4

18.8

6.5

Will Clyburn

Iowa St.

14.1

73.2

24.7

105.9

18.3

15.1

Isaiah Philmore

Xavier

6.3

47.4

17.9

95.6

16.6

6.3

Manny Atkins

Georgia St.

13.0

86.8

22.3

102.1

15.9

15.5

Jared Swopshire

Northwestern

8.8

76.7

17.4

108.7

15.4

16.5

Need some big time scorers? This next group of transfers has provided some scoring punch.

First, I have to laugh that the story in the offseason was that Rotnei Clarke might be the point-guard for Butler. His passing has improved, but Clarke will always be at his best as a perimeter scorer. Clarke is shooting 47 percent from three-point range this season.

Dez Wells on the other hand, was expected to be a primary off-guard for Maryland. But with Pe’Shon Howard’s continued turnover problems, Wells' passing has proven to be a nice asset.

Bryce Jones was a top 100 pick out of high school, and has always been capable of putting points on the board, but he has never been an efficient scorer. And on a deep and talented UNLV team, his low ORtg is a killer. But he played probably his best game of the season in the narrow loss against UNC, and his athleticism continues to earning him playing time.

Taran Buie’s 97.8 ORtg might be justifiable given his aggressive shooting (27% of possessions when on the floor), but I mainly included him in this table to remember how much more talent Buie could have had around him. UConn transfer Jamal Coombs-McDaniel was expected to be playing at Hofstra and Hawaii transfer Shaquille Stokes was supposed to be in the mix as well. But Coombs-McDaniel is out for the year with a knee injury and Shaquille Stokes was arrested and suspended. Not every transfer works out.

Player

Team

PPG

Pct Min

Pct Poss

ORtg

DR%

Ast %

Rotnei Clarke

Butler

18.1

80.3

25.3

116.6

8.3

15.1

Taran Buie

Hofstra

15.1

62.4

27.0

97.8

11.1

15.5

De'End Parker

San Francisco

15.0

82.6

23.9

104.1

10.1

11.5

Vee Sanford

Dayton

12.4

69.3

22.5

107.4

11.1

16.2

Dez Wells

Maryland

12.3

63.0

24.2

111.7

14.3

22.5

LaShay Page

South Carolina

11.7

45.8

23.1

106.5

13.5

7.4

Evan Gordon

Arizona St.

11.4

79.0

19.0

103.5

8.8

15.6

Dan Jennings

Long Beach St.

10.8

62.5

25.0

97.7

13.2

7.7

Juwan Howard

Detroit

10.8

69.0

16.8

118.6

10.5

8.3

Garrick Sherman

Notre Dame

9.5

41.1

24.5

109.5

15.2

3.8

Bryce Jones

UNLV

9.2

58.6

24.2

89.4

14.1

18.8

Julius Mays

Kentucky

8.8

82.2

14.9

111.0

7.0

16.6

Dexter Fields

Murray St.

8.7

72.0

13.0

122.7

8.1

10.2

This next group of transfers has just kind of been there. None of these players has been terrible – they have all made their team’s rotations – but they don’t seem to be doing too much.

Sam McLaurin of Illinois is a huge puzzle. The forward has grabbed 14 percent of the offensive rebounds this year, but only 8 percent of the defensive rebounds for the Illini.

I think Luke Hancock is a bad fit at Louisville. He isn’t really a spot-up shooter; he’s actually a versatile wing player. But at Lousville, he isn’t a better driver than Peyton Siva or Russ Smith. And so Hancock never gets the ball in his hands. The result is that his free throw rate is at the lowest point of his career. I think he was a much better fit at George Mason where he would get the ball in an attacking position much more frequently.

Player

Team

PPG

Pct Min

Pct Poss

ORtg

DR%

Ast %

Trent Lockett

Marquette

7.3

59.2

20.8

94.2

14.2

11.9

Daniel Bejarano

Colorado St.

6.6

55.7

16.2

118.9

20.3

12.3

Martino Brock

South Florida

6.0

55.1

16.1

104.8

8.7

5.8

Luke Hancock

Louisville

5.8

51.5

18.1

96.8

10.3

15.9

Sam McLaurin

Illinois

4.3

49.9

14.4

104.5

7.6

4.2

Kore White

South Florida

5.1

44.8

16.2

105.7

12.2

7.5

Jake O'Brien

Temple

8.2

43.9

18.9

116.9

10.8

4.2

Melvin Tabb

Kent St.

6.1

38.8

19.4

118.1

13.6

6.2

Jake Thomas

Marquette

2.9

34.0

11.8

107.8

12.7

11.7

Logan Aronhalt

Maryland

6.0

29.6

16.7

129.0

9.3

4.8

Matt Derenbecker

Dayton

5.0

28.9

15.1

124.1

12.1

6.4

And finally, we have a group of transfers who have been disappointing. These players haven’t really brought anything to the table, no passing, no rebounding, and no efficient scoring. Bo Barnes hasn’t even scored yet in 10 appearances. Barnes did start a few games as a freshman at Hawaii, so it wasn’t out of the question for him to do something this year.

And Trey Zeigler has looked nothing like a former Top 30 recruit out of high school. Clearly his DUI caused Jamie Dixon to lose trust in the versatile guard, but for Zeigler to be averaging one third of the PPG he averaged last year has to qualify as a major disappointment.

Player

Team

PPG

Pct Min

Pct Poss

ORtg

DR%

Ast %

Trey Zeigler

Pittsburgh

4.8

32.9

21.4

91.0

7.6

12.2

RJ Evans

Connecticut

4.6

32.7

14.6

93.3

6.4

4.7

Dwayne Polee

San Diego St.

3.0

30.1

15.3

96.8

13.9

4.5

Andrew Van Nest

B. College

5.0

27.3

19.8

106.6

15.2

10.9

Dalton Pepper

Temple

2.5

25.4

16.3

83.2

13.1

7.5

Bo Barnes

Arizona St.

0.0

8.2

7.8

29.5

4.5

7.0

Drew Barham

Gonzaga

1.8

8.1

26.7

88.6

13.8

12.4

 

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