Often we see players who transfer down to find themselves a large role in College Hoops. There’s plenty of guys who fit the bill in this case and I’ll be examining the ten I envision playing the biggest role.
James Bishop – George Washington
The former top-150 recruit who played sparingly for Will Wade last season but this week received a waiver to play this season. The Baltimore Native will start at the guard spot alongside Jameer Nelson Jr. Bishop was likely not more than a role player for LSU with their surplus of guards coming in, so he decided to head to a place where he knew playing time would be there. He’s a fantastic scorer and will play a large for the Colonials the next Three seasons. I could envision Bishop being an All-A10 player this season.
Khalid Thomas – Portland State
The #2 JUCO prospect in the 2019 class was originally committed to Texas Tech, opted to de-commit, and went to Arizona State. Thomas struggled to find playing time, but it’s not for lack of skill. The 6’9″ Oregon native now returns home. In his lone season as a Sun Devil, he averaged 2.6 points per game while shooting 46% from three on over 40 attempts. That’s a rather small sample size but seemed very comfortable shooting three’s. Thomas struggles on defense at times, just as he was finding his stride, he missed a few games due to suspension for violating team rules. In Big Sky, Thomas has a chance to be an All-Conference player.
Carte’Are Gordon – Grambling State
Gordon has had quite a tumultuous collegiate career. He’s the lone JUCO Player I’ll have here since he didn’t play a whole lot there. In Gordon’s two seasons of college, he’s been on 3 rosters. He originally committed to Saint Louis, where he grew up. As a top-100 recruit, getting that type of talent is significant for any Mid-Major program, the experiment only lasted 13 games. Gordon averaged 8.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting 54.2% from-the-field. Out of nowhere during the season, Gordon left and soon committed to DePaul. Though enrolled at DePaul, he never played a single game for the Blue Demons, opted to transfer once more this time to Northwest Florida State College, a JUCO. Gordon only lasted 11 games there also, then decided to return to the D-1 ranks and head to HBCU Grambling State. In the SWAC, Gordon has a chance to be the Player of the Year in the conference.
Mike Peake – Austin Peay
On Tuesday, the-former Georgia big-man received a waiver to play immediately for Matt Figger’s team. Peake as a Freshman didn’t play a huge role, but late in the season, he had more minutes than previous. He’s a strong big man who is a steady piece at the hoop. He’s no star but he makes life a bit easier for do-it-all forward, Terry Taylor. Peake probably will average around 10 points and 7 rebounds per game, which is something the Governers needed. With two bonafide stars in Terry Taylor and Jordyn Adams, Austin Peay should be the favorites in the OVC this season.
Matt Haarms – BYU
This is the obvious addition to the list, Haarms had a 7.7 BPM last season but I feel like he could be so much more on offense. He’s a great defender and can get easy baskets down-low, but doesn’t always seem content with doing that, it eventually lost him minutes to fellow big man, Trevion Williams. Haarms needs to know what he is, he’s 7’3″ with a soft touch at the hoop. Stop trying to be something you’re not, he’s never going to be a good shooter, just stick to what you’re good at and destroy the competition. I understand shooting 35+% from deep as a big man will get him paid but he hasn’t shown the ability to do so consistently. If Haarms plays the way he can, he’s an All-WCC guy with ease. Putting up solid numbers at Purdue in the Big Ten should only benefit him dropping down a level.
Payton Willis – Charleston
Willis has been around College Basketball for what feels like forever. He spent two seasons playing for Vandy, then following the 2017-18 season transferred to Minnesota. For the Golden Gophers, Willis played 30 MPG while scoring 8.9 points per game while shooting 35% from deep. Playing that much in the best conference in the sport, then translating to the CAA gives a good case to make the list. That shooting ability pieced in with Charleston needing a go-to scorer with the loss of Grant Riller is a match made in heaven for Willis.
Trey Jemison – UAB
Jemison, the former Clemson Tiger now plays for Andy Kennedy’s UAB Blazers. He’s a big 7-Footer who played two seasons at Clemson but never had much of a role for Brad Brownell’s squad. Being in tough environments like Cameron Indoor, The Dean Smith Center, and The Carrier Dome, allowed Jemison to experience things most mid-major players won’t. That’ll play to Jemison’s benefit as he’s now in Conference USA. Adding Jemison alongside fellow transfer, Michael Ertel could make the Blazers a real contender in C-USA, although they probably still fall behind Western Kentucky and North Texas.
Jeremiah Francis – New Mexico
Francis, the transfer from North Carolina was plagued by injuries throughout his High School and early part of his college career. It’s still to be determined to see what Francis will be, though I think he could be a high impact player. He was pretty bad in his lone season at UNC, shooting only 22% from-the-field and 20% from deep. He’s a good play-maker but he just needs to stay healthy and refine his skills more. In the MWC he can be a fantastic player but it’s just so tough to know what we have here. Paul Weir doesn’t have his best team that he’s had but Francis could make the turn-around happen.
Devonaire Doutrive – Boise State
The 6’5″ Combo Guard is a transfer from Arizona after being dismissed early in the season. He was ranked 72nd in the class of 2018. The big-bodied guard showed flashes when he played, but between suspensions and injuries, those were too few and far between. He has one career highlight in College, in a lost 2018-19 for Arizona, he had a put-back layup with time running out to beat Oregon State. He’s a great athlete and high-level defender, I could see him being a first-team All-MWC guy very soon. Alongside Derrick Alston Jr, Abu Kigab, Mladen Armus, RayJ Dennis, and fellow Arizona transfer, Emmanuel Akot, the Broncos may be headed to the NCAA Tournament.
Mahki and Mahkel Mitchell – Rhode Island
So, I guess technically this would make the list ten players but I felt like I needed to include two-in-one. The Twins played 12 games at Maryland before deciding to enter the transfer portal. Both are big strong players who are more of an old-school type. With the loss of Cyril Lamgevine, Rhody needed to get some reinforcements down-low to stay near the top of the Atlantic-10. The Mitchell twins alongside Fatts Russell, Jalen Carry, and Malik Martin give the Rams have a shot to make the tournament.