There are numerous talented players who transfer to different schools every year for a variety of reasons. In college basketball, if a player transfers, they need to sit out one full year before playing at their new school. However, there are cases where a player can transfer and play immediately.
We are going to analyze who we believe to be the top 5 most important college basketball transfers for the 2016-17 season. Expect these players to have a big impact on their new schools. Welcome to “HOME SWEET NEW HOME”
(In no particular order)
1.ANDREW WHITE: New School (Syracuse)/ Old School (Nebraska)
The Orange landed White, who is a 5th year graduate transfer and can play immediately. The 6’7″ wing (SF) chose to play for Jim Boeheim over Michigan State, VCU, Miami (FL), and a host of other schools. White started his college career at Kansas but left for Nebraska after his sophomore year. He exploded onto the Big-12 conference scene in 2015-16 when he averaged 16.6pts, and 6reb per game.
The former 4-star recruit will be a huge boost for the Orange as White will try and replace the production of Malachi Richardson and Michael Gbinije. Both players are now in the NBA. White put his name into the 2016 NBA Draft but smartly pulled out. He is a savvy, veteran college player who was a much needed pick-up for Syracuse. He is very athletic and can hit the 3-point shot. He made 87 out of 211 attempts lat season (41%). The Carrier Dome will be rocking this year if he can put up the numbers he did while with the Cornhuskers.
2.AUSTIN NICHOLS: New School (Virginia)/ Old School (Memphis)
Nichols comes to UVA at a great time for head coach Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers lose stalwarts Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey from last year’s squad. As a sophomore for Memphis in 2014-15, the 6’9″ power forward averaged 13pts, 6reb, and 3.4blk per game. He should fit right in with the aggressive, defensive-minded Cavaliers. However, he brings an added and needed element of scoring.
Nichols was a top 30 recruit coming out of high school, and he should be inserted into the starting lineup from day 1 of practice. He will form a nice 1-2 punch with PG London Perrantes. Nichols has the size, mobility, and shot-blocking capability to become one of the better players in the ACC conference. He will be a big factor in the Cavalier’s success.
3.JORDAN MATHEWS: New School (Gonzaga) / Old School (CAL)
The older brother of current USC freshmen Jonah Mathews, the 6’4″ shooting guard averaged 13.5pts during his 2 years for the Bears. We really like the fit between him and the Zags. We look for Mathews to fit right into the starting line-up and provide scoring from the perimeter. He shot close to 43% from the 3-point line while at CAL.
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few has a few transfers heading into the program this year.Talented F Johnathan Williams and G Nigel Williams-Goss are 2 other transfers who should play major roles and help replace the loss of lottery pick Domantas Sabonis.
Playing in a weaker conference should only increase Mathews’ scoring output. Mathews will be one of the main reasons why Gonzaga heads to their 19th straight NCAA tournament appearance. Once again, Mark Few has a very talented team who will be looking to make major noise come March.
4.CANYON BARRY: New School (Florida)/ Old School (Charleston)
The son of Hall of Famer Rick Barry had 2 very good years at Charleston. The 6’6″ shooting guard wanted the chance to play in a more competitive conference. He will get that opportunity in the SEC. Florida head coach Mike White will surely like the junior’s ability to put the ball in the basket.
In 2015-16, he averaged 19.7pts per game. He will need to improve upon his 40% field goal percentage, however. We look for Barry to come in and replace the production that was lost by the graduation of Dorian Finney-Smith, who did a little bit of everything for the Gators. While not the athlete that Finney-Smith was, Barry is a better scorer, which is something Florida has lacked the past few seasons.
Just like his famous father used to do, Barry shoots his free throws underhanded and does it very well, making 84.5% from the line. Florida is expected to be contenders in the SEC in 2016-17, and they will need Canyon Barry to do what he does best, which is score. If his 2 seasons at Charleston are an indication, he should be up for the challenge.
5.JOSH NEWKIRK: New School (Indiana)/ Old School (Pittsburgh)
Newkirk is probably the most important player on this list as he has the task of taking over for star PG Yogi Ferrell. The 6’1″ junior averaged 5.9pts and 2.7ast per game for Pittsburgh in 2014-15. What helps him out is the fact he got to practice with Indiana last season as he was sitting out due to the NCAA transfer rules.
The North Carolina native will be hard-pressed to duplicate the stats and success that Ferrell provided for the Hoosiers. However, in our opinion, he doesn’t have to. He just needs to play solid basketball and his 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio at Pittsburgh shows he has the ability to make good decisions while running an offense.
Newkirk has very good speed and is at his best in transition. Pittsburgh plays at a slower pace than Indiana, and Indiana head coach Tom Crean’s system should be a better fit for him then Pittsburgh’s was. If Josh Newkirk can run the offense smoothly and increase his scoring average to double-figures, we are pretty sure Crean will be happy with that. It is not easy replacing a star like Yogi Ferrell. We will have to wait and see if Josh Newkirk is up for the challenge.
As we mentioned in our introduction for this article, there are many talented transfers who will be playing for new schools in 2016-17. Here are 5 other players who we believe will play huge roles for their respective this season.
NIGEL WILLIAMS-GOSS: Gonzaga
JOHNATHAN WILLIAMS: Gonzaga
MARCUS FOSTER: Creighton
SEMI OJELEYE: SMU
ERIC PASCHALL: Villanova
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