Welcome back to our on-going look at one key question in this age of transfer mania: How important are transfers—whether due to addition or subtraction—to each program at the first seven conferences in Division I?
Last week, we looked at the Pac-12. Before that, it was AAC and Big 12. Today we turn our attention to the Pac-12.
Note that we define “transfer in” as someone who has already played previous minutes in a different four-year program. On the contrary, “Going abroad” is just a player who has seen time in the respective SEC.
This is all pretty straightforward, isn’t it? Here are the most important SEC transitions in the modern era.
Best convert in: Jahvon Quinrelli2020-22
Quinerly has been Alabama’s second-best scorer in each of the past two seasons. Villanova’s Wildcat may have once lost the Wildcat in the “best transition in bragging rights,” however, former Tulane star Ricky Tarrant did not suffer a plantar fascia tear while playing at Crimson Tide in January 2015. Tarrant was on his way to what seemed to be a first-team type of All-SEC type.
Most important outward transfer: Braxton Key, 2016-18
To win this competition with his hair on Nick King. Working for Key is his 47th appearance in Alabama before spending an average of 20 minutes for the 2019 Virginia National Championship team. By contrast, King—who was, by his estimation, was the MVP of the 2018 USA Conference at Middle East. Tennessee – More fast-paced in Tuscaloosa, making just seven appearances in 2016-2017 after moving from Memphis.
Best convert in: dinars notay2020-22
Notae averaged 18 points and a better than two steals per competition en route to his All-SEC first team honors last season. He began his career in Jacksonville, scoring more than 900 points over two seasons.
Most important outward transfer: Jakuri Williams, 2012-15
Williams started seven games over three seasons with Arkansas before moving to Middle Tennessee. He was named MVP of the 2017 USA Conference, and the 12th-ranked Blue Raiders reached the round of 32. Williams was named “Best Transfer Away” by a group of former Razorback talents such as Rotney Clark, Nick Wheeler-Papp and, back Back then, JJ Solinger, a three-year freshman in Ohio in the early 2000s.
Best convert in: Walker Kessler2021-22
Kessler was named the best defensive player at the national level last season. Choosing the North Carolina Reserve once for this particular award was arguably a no-brainer, especially since Kesler blocked 10 or more shots in a single game not once but twice in 2021-22.
Most important outward transfer: Davion Mitchell, 2017-18
Mitchell earned consistent playing time in his solo season at Auburn, but did so exclusively from the bench. Then he chose to move to Baylor, and the rest is history. In a span of 145 days in 2021, Mitchell was named both the first-team player and 12th senior defensive player of the year, and his Bears won the National Championship and was named with the No. 9 pick in the NBA Draft.
Best convert in: Dorian Finney Smith, 2013-16
Vinnie Smith’s three seasons in Florida spanned the eras of Billy Donovan and Michael White, and in each of his last two years he was the Gators’ top scorer. The current Dallas Mavericks star began his college career playing for Seth Greenberg at Virginia Tech.
Most important outward transfer: Mario Bogan, 2002-03
Bogan cycled through Florida, St. Bonaventure (briefly, and without actually taking the floor for the Bonnies) and Chipola Junior College before landing in Oklahoma State and winning first-team All-Big 12 honors with the Cowboys in 2007. He excelled in 2022 Reached the final of the Cousy Prize and the Gonzaga Pillar Andrew Nimbard (who played for the Gators from 2018 to 2020) for this distinguished title.
Best convert in: Gerald Robinson, 2010-12
Robinson can and should boast to anyone in sight that he was the leading scorer in the 2011-12 Georgia roster that also included Kentavius Caldwell Pope. Before joining the Bulldogs, Robinson hit over 1,000 points in two seasons in Tennessee.
Most important outward transfer: travel wheeler2019-21
Wheeler averaged 31 minutes and 11 points over two seasons, during which Georgia amassed a record 30-28. He then averaged 31 minutes and 10 points for a Kentucky team that went 26-8 in 2021-22.
Best convert in: Oscar Chiboy2021-22
Tshiebwe received both the Wooden and Naismith Awards for 2022, making it not only the best transfer in the UK but also one of the most decorated transfers in college basketball history. He showed massive potential at West Virginia, then gave it a shot, hitting 17 points and 15 rebounds on every wildcat outing last season.
Most important outward transfer: Johnny Jouzang2019-20
Juzang averaged just 12 minutes on a Kentucky course that included Tyrese Maxey, Immanuel Quickley and Ashton Hagans in 2019-20. He moved to UCLA and promptly fueled the Bruins’ prodigy streak of top-four into the National Classic semi-final against Gonzaga in 2021. He was also a pick for the All-American team prior to the 2021-22 first season.
Best convert in: Tari Eason2021-22
Eason started just four games for the Tigers last season, but his performances off the bench appears to have impressed the right people. Cincinnati’s top scorer and one-time rebounder is expected to be in the middle of the first round in this summer’s NBA Draft.
Most important outward transfer: Ralston Turner, 2010-12
Turner started on the NC State team that surprised No. 1 seed Villanova in “Piccolo Girl” A game in the 2015 tournament of 32. Prior to that, he had scored 11 points in two seasons at LSU.
Best convert in: Marshall Henderson, 2012-14
Henderson heralded a new, more ocean-oriented era in college basketball in a somewhat surprising way. In his two Ole Miss seasons, he fired no fewer than 771 attempts outside of the arc averaging 19.6 points. Before lighting up the Rebel scoreboards, Henderson started on the 2009-10 Utah team that went 14-17.
Most important outward transfer: Dwight Colby, 2013-15
Coleby saw split minutes in two seasons at the Ole Miss before earning less playing time in Kansas in 2016-2017. It wasn’t until he arrived in Western Kentucky that he showed what he really could do. Coleby shot 60% of his 2s as a starter for the Hilltoppers who came within the basket of the Conference USA auto-bid win in 2018.
Best convert in: Lawrence Roberts, 2003-05
Roberts moved from Baylor when scandal engulfed the Bears in 2003. He landed in Mississippi, where he immediately won the 2004 SEC MVP award. The Bulldogs won the regular season conference title that year, and was ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Tournament.
Most important outward transfer: Ben Hansbro, 2006-08
Hansbrough was the 2011 Big East Player of the Year at Notre Dame. The feat is enough to earn Hansbrough that title in a notably crowded field of one-time Bulldogs such as Romero Osby (first team All-Big 12 with Oklahoma in 2013), Rodney Hood (second team All-ACC with Duke in 2014) and owner Newman (2015 McDonald’s All-American who started 33 games for Kansas in 2017-18).
Best convert in: De Mar Carol, 2007-09
Carroll was Missouri’s top scorer with a record 31-7 and reached the 2009 Elite Eight as the No. 3 seed. He started his career with 21 games in 64 games at Vanderbilt.
Most important outward transfer: Michael Dixon, 2009-12
Dixon had an impressive season for the second-highest ranked team in Missouri Program history: the No. 2 ranked Tigers were eliminated by Norfolk State in the 2012 round of 64. He then played his final year at Memphis, averaging 12 points as the sixth man for the 2013-14 team. In which Joe Jackson appeared.
Best convert in: Devan Downey, 2007-10
Downey revolted with 30 points in South Carolina’s 68-62 home win over John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and the formerly undefeated Kentucky No. 1 in January 2010. His championships on behalf of the Gamecocks preceded one season as a rookie to head coach Andy Kennedy in Cincinnati at 2005-06.
Most important outward transfer: Anthony Gill, 2011-12
Jill had a start as a first-year player for the last South Carolina team in the Darren Horn era. He then moved to Virginia, where he was the second-highest scorer behind Malcolm Brogdon, in the team that reached the 2016 Elite Eight as the top seed.
Best convert in: Tyler Smith, 2007-10
Smith enjoyed immediate success in Tennessee after moving from Iowa. In his first season with his new program, the Volunteers won the SEC title altogether at 14-2 and reached the 2008 Sweet 16 as the No. 2 seed. Smith might be Tennessee’s best transfer in purely basketball, though his career was abruptly brought to a halt. He was fired from the team in January 2010 after being arrested for using a weapon.
Most important outward transfer: Trae Golden, 2010-13
Golden started alongside Jordan McRae on the Tennessee teams in early 2010. He then moved to Georgia Tech, where he averaged 13 points for Yellow Jackets as a senior.
Best convert in: Elston Turner, 2011-13
Turner left the bench for two seasons in Washington before moving to Texas A&M. He sealed his place in Aggies history with a 40-point performance in an 83-71 win at Kentucky in January 2013. The match was John Calipari’s first home loss in a SEC game as a wildcat coach.
Most important outward transfer: Adam Gilder, 2015-18
Gelder averaged 26 minutes, often off the bench, for the 2019-20 Gonzaga team that went 31-2 and was on track for the top seed before the pandemic. At Texas A&M, he made 58 starts and averaged 11 points over three seasons.
Best convert in: Derek Byers, 2005-07
Piers put 17 points per game for a Vanderbilt team that reached the 2007 Sweet 16 competition as the No. 6 seed. He began his career in Virginia, alternating between starting and coming off the bench for two seasons under coach Pete Gillin.
Most important outward transfer: De Mar Carol, 2004-06
Carroll teamed with Shane Foster and Pierce on a 17-13 Vanderbilt team that secured a spot at NIT 2006 as the No. 4 seed. Then he moved on to bigger things in Missouri. (See “Missouri” above).