Resetting the Transfer Market

By Kevin Sweeney

Verbal Commits has record of 918 transfers as of Friday morning, a record during its time compiling a transfer list. However, with the recent commitments of Kerry Blackshear (Florida) and Quentin Grimes (Houston), the market has cooled significantly. There are very few guys out there right now that would make an impact at a high-major school, especially on the grad transfer market. However, there are still several players who could put a team over the top, whether that be at the low-major, mid-major, or high-major level.

Grad Transfers:

High-Major Starters

In my mind, there’s only one left: Shakur Juiston. Juiston, the former highly-touted JUCO product who was excellent at UNLV, has had his list whittled down to three for over a month, with Seton Hall, Oregon, and Grand Canyon still in the mix. It’s odd that Juiston hasn’t made a final decision yet, but wherever he lands stands to gain a high-impact player whose athleticism and nose for the ball make him a useful add for anyone.

High-Major Role Players

  • Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey (Tennessee State)
  • Tyler Scanlon (Boston University)
  • DJ Williams (George Washington)

With Fitzpatrick-Dorsey and Williams, we have background on their abilities at the high-major level. Both transferred down after failing to get major minutes. Their experience and scoring ability would be best used off the bench on a high-major team, or as a starter on better mid-major clubs. Scanlon is on the borderline– a good passer who can step out and shoot as a 6-7 combo forward. He’d ideally be a second-unit guy, but could probably be plugged in as a starter.

A Reach For a HM, But Maybe Worth a Shot

  • Jerekius Davis (Louisiana)
  • Dujuanta Weaver (Eastern Kentucky)

Weaver is a recent add to the grad market, with Evan Daniels of 247 reporting that Arizona, New Mexico, and Saint Louis have recently offered the diminutive combo guard. Weaver feels like a big reach for Arizona and would struggle to find minutes with fellow grad transfer Max Hazzard taking up bench guard minutes, and New Mexico is at the scholarship limit. Shooting is a premium, and Saint Louis certainly needs some. The A10 or MVC level seems right for Weaver. The same goes for Davis, an athletic combo forward who shot it well from 3 this season. He could perhaps be plugged into a high-major rotation, but would be best at another mid-major.

The Remaining Big Men

  • Moustapha Diagne (Western Kentucky)
  • Shaquillo Fritz (Arkansas State)
  • Dusan Kovacevic (Davidson)
  • John Carlos Reyes (Boston College)
  • Jethro Tshisumpa (Mississippi State)

I figured I’d group all these guys together, as they all fall into the category of “guys I don’t love, but are probably worth grabbing if you need a big and have a scholarship”. I’m not sure any of these guys are playable at the high-major level, but quality mid-majors with big man questions (I’m looking at you, Nevada) could grab a guy from this list and add experience and depth with little downside.

Other Names Worth Mentioning

Tyson Batiste (CCSU), Brad Calipari (Kentucky), Karl Harris (Northern Arizona), Kamar McKnight (Tennessee State), Zack Moore (UCSB), Jaylen Shead (Texas State), Alonzo Walker (Idaho State)

Sit-Out Transfers:

The Big Names Left

  • Jaylen Fisher (TCU)
  • Donnie Tillman (Utah)
  • Cormac Ryan (Stanford)

All three profile as high-major starters down the line. Fisher is a tremendous talent– a clear all-conference player at TCU before injuries derailed his career. His recruitment remains quiet, but his talent is worth the risk. Tillman and Ryan were late adds to the transfer market, but both possess considerable upside.

On the Fringe

  • Ithiel Horton (Delaware)
  • Damari Milstead (Grand Canyon)
  • Shawn Williams (East Carolina)
  • Michael Weathers (Oklahoma State)
  • Troy Baxter (Florida Gulf Coast)
  • Ledarrius Brewer (SEMO)

This next group is 50/50 as to whether they land at high-major programs or not. Horton is the most likely of the group, an excellent shooter with good size who was likely poached by a high-major. Milstead and Williams could go either way– Milstead struggles to truly run a team but is dynamic with the ball as a combo guard, and Williams can definitely contribute at the high-major level but may not be worth two years of scholarship for one year of play. I’d guess that the final three wind up at the mid-major level.

The High-Major Down Transfers

  • Deleon Brown (Colorado)
  • Austin Trice (Kansas State)
  • Makai Ashton-Langford (Providence)
  • Alex Barcello (Arizona)
  • Anthony Mack (Miami)
  • Nana Akenten (Nebraska)
  • Keonte Kennedy (Xavier)
  • John Walker III (Texas A&M)
  • Maurice Calloo (Oklahoma State)
  • Grayson Carter (Georgetown)

This is a long list, but all should find good landing spots. Ashton-Langford was the highest-rated of the group out of high school, a consensus top-50 recruit seen as the heir apparent at PG in Friar country. Instead, he flamed out and is now approaching July without a home. Rumor has it he’ll be packaged with his brother Demarr, a 2020 recruit. We’ll see if a high-major would take a shot on the duo. The majority of the names here would likely be starters at some point at the mid-major level. The name I like here is Akenten, a physical slasher who was a rotation player for Nebraska. He’d likely be an excellent small-ball four at the mid-major level, and if he develops a jumper during his redshirt season he could make a major impact somewhere.

Established Mid-Major Role Players

  • Lorenzo Edwards (St Joe’s)
  • Reginald Gee (Alabama State)
  • Karmari Newman (Oakland)
  • Christian Peevy (Incarnate Word)
  • Jalen Adaway (Miami-Ohio)
  • Tervell Beck (UNLV)
  • Troymain Crosby (Alcorn State)
  • Isaac Johnson (Western Illinois)
  • Sean Mobley (VCU)
  • Vladimir Pinchuk (New Mexico)
  • Mastadi Pitt (Norfolk State)
  • Koby Thomas (Robert Morris)
  • Jake Ohmer (Western Kentucky)
  • Jordan Guest (Boston U)
  • Seth Millner (Cleveland State)
  • Quentin Millora-Brown (Rice)
  • Savior Akuwovo (Howard)
  • Rashad Williams (Cleveland State)
  • Trace Young (Wyoming)

All of these guys are fairly established D1 players. I’m confident that all these guys could at least play a role at a mid-major, and many of them would be plug-and-play starters when eligible. Not a ton of upside in general in grabbing from this list, but picking up a guy who can start after a redshirt year is good value, especially this late in the game.

Talented, But Haven’t Played

  • Laquill Hardnett (Cincinnati)
  • Anthony Higgs (Illinois)
  • Marial Mading (Rhode Island)
  • Philmon Gebrewhit (Robert Morris)

This group of four players all have high-level talent, but are hard bets given they have never played before. If they have to sit a year, they’d be going two years without playing a game, and JUCO seems like a possibility for all of them. Still their talent deserves inclusion on this list.

Takeaways:

While there are still a ton of names out there, only around 50 players are capable of contributing at the Division 1 level in my estimation. The grad transfer market is a little tight past a few potential high-major names, but given the low-risk proposition they are, I’d expect most if not all the names I mentioned to get scooped up by D1 programs. On the sit-out front, mid-majors with scholarships open should be making calls to my “role player” and “down transfer” groups, as the bast majority of those guys would be able to make an impact as rotation players or more for mid-major clubs.

NOTE: All names I have included as being in the transfer portal are listed as transferring on VerbalCommits.com. Some names included may no longer be in the transfer portal if Verbal Commits hasn’t been updated.

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