Which Transfers Will Have the Biggest Impact in College Basketball in the 2020-21 Season?
Every year we talk about the highly-touted freshmen who move on to bigger and better things. Heck, John Calipari rotates in a new crop year after year in Lexington.
What doesn’t receive nearly as much attention are the top transfers in college basketball. I’m talking about the guys who switched schools and are ready to provide a major boost to their new team.
Let’s check-in and see who’s cleared for takeoff.
- Old Team: Marquette
- New Team: Virginia
The arrival of Sam Hauser is a big reason I think we’ll see the Cavaliers in the 2021 Final Four. One of the best players in college basketball, Hauser is everything Tony Bennett could want in a player and more.
He’s got good size (6’8”, 218 pounds) and fits the profile of a blue-collar defender. Most importantly, Hauser gives Virginia the capable and dependable scorer they needed. Hauser shot 92.4% from the free-throw line as a junior topped 40% from downtown in each of his three seasons in Marquette.
Interestingly enough, Sam’s brother barely missed out on being recognized as one of the best transfers in college basketball. Joey Hauser takes his talent from Marquette to Michigan State.
- Old Team: Radford
- New Team: Louisville
The Cardinals patiently waited in 2019-20 as Carlik Jones was forced to sit out. Now that the 2020-21 NCAAB season has arrived, Louisville’s new point guard is ready to take center stage.
In a Twittersphere filled with grim news, how about some good news?— Shannon Russell (@slrussell) November 23, 2020
Louisville grad transfer @carlikjones has earned the gold jersey at practice this week.
In fact, the guard has been U of L's best player in 5 of the 7 weeks since basketball practice started.
After averaging 15.7 ppg, 5.8 apg, and 5.2 rbg as a sophomore at Radford, Jones was even more productive as a junior. The shifty PG tallied 20.0 ppg and still contributed more than 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game.
In a conference that’s littered with gifted guards, Jones could wind up being the best of the bunch.
- Old Team: Wake Forest
- New Team: Kentucky
The rich just get richer. As if Coach Cal needed more prowess in the frontcourt, Kentucky landed one of the top transfers in college basketball in Olivier Sarr. The seven-foot Frenchman dropped 13.7 ppg and 9.0 rbg for the Demon Deacons in 2019-20.
Sarr is a nightmare matchup in the post who has great touch at the foul line (76.1%). Playing alongside some of the best freshmen in college basketball, Sarr appears to have found the perfect destination to cap off his collegiate career.
- Old Team: Virginia Tech
- New Team: Memphis
A lot of hype surrounds Moussa Cisse – an incoming frosh who Penny Hardaway is super excited about. However, the presence of Landers Nolley is what makes Memphis an intriguing bet to win the American Athletic Conference. Especially considering the way the bookies have priced the AAC basketball tournament odds.
As far as what makes Nolley a captivating NBA prospect and one of the best college basketball transfers – here are the cliff notes.
Landers possess great size on the wing at 6’7” and 220 pounds. He can shoot off the dribble and get to the lane, and his motor on defense never shuts off.
Did I mention Nolley is just a rising sophomore?
- Old Team: Howard
- New Team: UConn
Dan Hurley injects instant offense into his starting five on the heels of R.J. Cole transferring into Storrs. A 22.5 ppg scorer during two seasons at Howard, R.J. Cole is a left-handed PG who terrorizes defenders in the half-court.
You can’t force Cole right because he has an uncanny ability to finish with either hand at the rim. You can’t lay back or he’ll nail threes in your eyes, but you can’t double-team him either due to his extraordinary court vision (6.4 apg).
In other words, Marcus Zegarowski and Collin Gillespie may have some competition this season for the title of “best point guard in the Big East.”
- Old Team: CSUN
- New Team: San Diego State
Perhaps I’m a bit biased as an SDSU alum, but don’t sleep on Terrell Gomez being one of college basketball’s top transfers. Stepping in for Malachi Flynn is undoubtedly a big pair of shoes to fill, but something tells me Gomez will be up to the task.
That “something” is based around the 19.8 points per game he averaged as a junior at Cal State Northridge, but it gets even better if you read in between the lines.
Terrell is a career 43.6% three-point shooter and is coming off leading the country in free-throw %( 94.8%). We’re talking about a prolific scorer who’s ready to put the MWC on notice.