Every year a new set of players emerge as stars in the college basketball realm, many of them transfers.
Taking the returning studs like Grayson Allen, Josh Hart and Monte Morris out of the equation, which transfer players will develop into basketballs biggest names this season? We give you 10 transfer players to watch.
Getty ImagesEd Zurga
Marcus Foster, Creighton
Villanova and Xavier are getting a lot of love in the Big East conference and rightfully so, but after missing the NCAA tournament last season, the Creighton Bluejays look primed for a return.
Assuming that happens, Foster, a transfer from Kansas State, will be a big part of it. Foster averaged 15.5 points a game as a freshman and although there was a dip his sophomore season (12.5 PPG), he’s a major scoring threat. Throw him in the backcourt next to the returning Big East assist leader in Maurice Watson and Greg McDermott will have one of the best backcourts in the nation.
Getty ImagesJoe Murphy
Austin Nichols, Virginia
Coming out of high school, Nichols chose Memphis over Virginia. But after two years playing for his hometown college, Nichols decided he needed a change of scenery and left the Tigers for the Cavaliers.
Nichols brings legitimate size (6-9, 235 pounds), skill and shot blocking to Tony Bennett’s front line that just lost Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey. As a sophomore, Nichols averaged 13.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.4 blocks a game. Nichols replicated that scoring number during Virginia’s five-game trip to Spain in mid-August, as he led them with 13 points an outing.
Getty ImagesStephen Dunn
Terry Larrier, UConn
With Daniel Hamilton opting to go pro and Sterling Gibbs and Shonn Miller graduating, Kevin Ollie lost just over 37 points a game on his UConn team. The prime candidate to help make up for that type of production loss is Terry Larrier.
As a freshman at VCU, Larrier averaged 6.6 points a game and connected on 32 3-pointers. Larrier has good size and athleticism for a perimeter prospect and should help them in the shooting department. If the Huskies are going to compete for an American Athletic Conference title, Larrier will be a big part of it.
USA Today SportsAnthony Gruppuso
Eric Paschall, Villanova
Coming off a national championship run, Villanova ranks in the top five in most college basketball polls and is hopeful to repeat. To raise another banner, Jay Wright will need production from Paschall, a transfer from Fordham that has three years of eligibility.
Villanova has talented forwards and plenty of scoring weapons, so don’t expect him to average 15.3 points a game like he did as a freshman, but he’ll have some big games this year and will certainly lead them in scoring from time to time.
Getty ImagesEthan Miller
Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga
After scoring 996 points and tossing out 217 assists in two seasons at Washington, Nigel Williams-Goss opted to seek a new home. Now at Gonzaga, Williams-Goss will be asked to produce and fill a couple of different roles for Mark Few’s team. The 6-3 guard is versatile and can facilitate, which is evident by his 5.9 assists a game as a sophomore in the Pac-12, but he’s also a more-than-capable scorer. The Bulldogs plan to use two primary ball handlers quite often and Williams-Goss should excel in that setting.
Getty ImagesLeon Bennett
Jordan Mathews, Gonzaga
After a very productive three seasons at California, Jordan Mathews opted to end his college career at Gonzaga. As mentioned above, the Bulldogs plan to play a variety of guards, plus they lost their top three scorers from last season, so Mathews is sure to be a big part of their attack.
Mathews averaged 13.6 points a sophomore and 13.5 as a junior and proved to be a major threat from 3-point range, averaging a combined 42.7-percent from there the last two seasons. He will surely help Few in the scoring department.
Getty ImagesMichael Hickey
Cullen Neal, Ole Miss
It’s tough to replace the SEC’s leading scorer, Stefan Moody, but adding New Mexico graduate transfer Cullen Neal was big for the Rebels. Neal, who averaged 12.3 points and 3.7 assists last season, is a tall lead guard that is being lauded by the Ole Miss staff for his high basketball IQ and ability to facilitate the offense. He’s certainly a capable scorer and a better shooter than his numbers from previous seasons indicate. If Ole Miss is going to make a run in the SEC, they’ll need a strong effort from Neal this season.
Getty ImagesLeon Bennett
Katin Reinhardt, Marquette
Steve Wojciechowski told FOX Sports that he has been impressed with Katin Reinhardt since he stepped on campus. That’s big for the Golden Eagles, as they are looking to replace Henry Ellenson’s 17 points a game. Although a different position, Reinhardt is wired to score and will certainly make up for some of those lost points. Reinhardt shot just under 40 percent from 3-point range the past two seasons and connected on 186 threes in his career, which includes stints at UNLV and USC. To go with his ability to shoot, Reinhardt is a confident scorer off the dribble.
Getty ImagesLance King
Rodney Pryor, Georgetown
After what would be classified as a tough season last year, Georgetown has upgraded its talent and — according to John Thompson III — athleticism. Part of that is the addition of graduate transfer Rodney Pryor.
A gifted scorer, Pryor gives the Hoyas a new look and a player that can fill it up. At Robert Morris, Pryor scored more than 1,000 points last year and went for 18 points and eight rebounds a game. His 3-point percentage varied the past two seasons (42.9 percent as a freshman and 29 percent as a sophomore), but he’s a threat as a shooter and should get plugged right in the lineup, as he’ll be a difference maker for the Hoyas.
Maryland Terrapins/Getty ImagesG Fiume
Andrew White, Syracuse
Jim Boeheim lost his top three scorers and nearly 44 points a game to graduation and the NBA Draft, so the longtime Syracuse head coach searched for immediate contributors in the offseason. While adding graduate transfer John Gillion was significant, reeling in Andrew White was even bigger.
White, who spent two years at Kansas before playing at Nebraska last season, gives Syracuse a legitimate shooting threat from distance and a proven scorer. Last year, White averaged 16.6 points and 5.9 rebounds, while shooting 41.2 percent from three on 211 attempts. White is expected to play a big role for the Orange.