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College Basketball's Top Impact Transfers for 2017-18

The college basketball landscape is littered with transfers. Whether they come via the traditional route — sitting out a year after leaving a four-year school — or have gained immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer, these newcomers often make a huge impact at their new school.

 

Malik Newman, a former top-10 player, headlines the list of four-year transfers after making the move from Mississippi State (his father’s alma mater) to Kansas, where he will team with senior Devonte’ Graham to form one of the Big 12’s top backcourts.

 

Several of the grad transfers will be instant contributors, most notably Mark Alstork at Illinois, Egor Koulechov at Florida and Elijah Brown and MiKyle McIntosh at Oregon.

 

Four-Year Transfers to Watch

 

Cane Broome, Sacred Heart to Cincinnati

Broome’s transfer flew under the radar, but the 2015-16 NEC Player of the Year will be a key player for a very talented Cincinnati team. Broome, a 6'0" guard, averaged 23.1 points per game while shooting 44.5 percent from the field as a sophomore at Sacred Heart two years ago.

 

Kory Holden, Delaware to South Carolina

Holden, who averaged 17.7 points as a sophomore at Delaware in 2015-16, will have an opportunity to play significant minutes for South Carolina, which must replace three perimeter starters from the Final Four team.

 

Jalen Hudson, Virginia Tech to Florida

Hudson is a gifted offensive player but will need to be more efficient to make a big impact at Florida. He averaged 8.4 points in 20.0 minutes as a sophomore with the Hokies in 2015-16 but shot only 40.1 percent from the field.

 

 

Caleb and Cody Martin, NC State to Nevada

Making the move from the Wolfpack to the Wolf Pack, the Martin twins will be expected to make a big impact on a Nevada team picked to win the Mountain West. Caleb averaged 11.5 points in 2015-16, while Cody shot 42.9 percent from 3.

 

Charles Matthews, Kentucky to Michigan

The former four-star recruit struggled to get playing time for a star-studded Wildcats team in 2015-16, his only season in Lexington. This year, Matthews could emerge as Michigan’s second option on offense (behind Moritz Wagner), and he will also provide some much-needed defense on the perimeter.

 

Malik Newman, Mississippi State to Kansas

A consensus top-10 player in the Class of 2015, Newman was a disappointment in his only season at Mississippi State. He averaged 11.3 points per game but shot under 40 percent from the field and scored in double-figures in only one of his final eight games. Still, Newman is an elite talent who figures to be rejuvenated after a year on the sidelines at Kansas.

 

Kendrick Nunn, Illinois to Oakland

After running into some legal issues at Illinois, Nunn landed at Oakland, where he will play a big role for Greg Kampe’s talented Grizzlies. Nunn, a former top-75 recruit, averaged 15.5 points per game for the Illini two years ago.

 

Derryck Thornton Jr., Duke to USC

Thornton graduated high school early to enroll at Duke for the 2015-16 season, but the California native wasn’t the answer at the point for the defending national champs. He is joining a talented USC team that is poised for a run at the Pac-12 title.

 

Issac Vann, Maine to VCU

New coach Mike Rhoades needs an immediate contribution from Vann, who averaged 16.4 points and 5.9 rebounds at Maine two years ago, to keep the Rams in contention in the A-10.

 

Devin Watson, San Francisco to San Diego State

A prolific scorer at San Francisco — he averaged 20.3 points per game two years ago — Watson will be asked to be more of a playmaker for the Aztecs. He will team with Trey Kell and Jeremy Hemsley to form an outstanding trio of guards for new coach Brian Dutcher.

 

Grad Transfers to Watch

 

Mark Alstork, Wright State to Illinois

Alstork was a huge get for new Illinois coach Brad Underwood. The 6'4" guard averaged 19.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season at Wright State. He also got to the foul line 6.5 times per game. 

 

Elijah Brown (New Mexico) and MiKyle McIntosh (Illinois State) to Oregon

The Ducks lost four starters from their Final Four team but have reloaded with some youth (five-star recruit Tony Brown) and two high-level grad transfers in Brown and McIntosh. Brown, the son of former Cavs and Lakers head coach Mike Brown, averaged 20.3 points in two years with the Lobos on 40.4 percent shooting. McIntosh, a 6'7" forward, averaged 12.5 points and 5.6 boards for Illinois State last season.

 

Markel Crawford, Memphis to Ole Miss

Part of the mass exodus at Memphis, Crawford will be making the short trip to Oxford, where he joins a backcourt loaded with scoring options. The Memphis native averaged 12.8 points in a breakout 2016-17 season for the Tigers. 

 

James Daniel III, Howard to Tennessee

Daniels led the nation in scoring (27.1 ppg) two years ago but played in only two games in 2016-17 due to an injury. The hope is that he can become a more efficient scorer in the SEC after shooting under 40 percent from the floor during his time at Howard. 

 

Cameron Johnson, Pittsburgh to North Carolina

The rare grad transfer with two years of eligibility, Johnson averaged 11.9 points per game while shooting over 40 percent from 3 for the Panthers last season.

 

Egor Koulechov, Rice to Florida

Koulechov, a one-time Arizona State Sun Devil, averaged 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds for Rice a year ago. He will team with KeVaughn Allen to form a potent duo of wing scorers for the Gators.  

 

Cullen Neal, Ole Miss to Saint Mary’s

The well-traveled Neal will finish his career at Saint Mary’s (the school with which he originally signed) after three years at New Mexico and one at Ole Miss. He averaged 9.4 points on 40.9 percent 3-point shooting for the Rebs in 2016-17.

 

Jaaron Simmons, Ohio to Michigan

Now on his third school, Simmons will be asked to step in and help replace the production lost with the departures of Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin. Simmons, a 6'1" guard, averaged 15.9 points and 6.5 assists last year for the Bobcats. 

 

Darius Thompson, Virginia to Western Kentucky

Thompson averaged just under 20 minutes per game on two Cavalier teams that went a combined 24–12 in the ACC. He should thrive at Western Kentucky, where he will become a primary scoring option.     

 

Geno Thorpe, South Florida to Syracuse

Could a grad transfer lead Syracuse in scoring for a second straight season? Thorpe could very well follow in Andrew White’s footsteps for the Orange.