College Hoops Previews: 2012-2013’s Impact Transfers

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Throughout the month of October, CollegeBasketballTalk will be rolling out our previews for the 2012-2013 season. Check back at 9 a.m. and just after lunch every day, Monday-Friday, for a new preview item.

To browse through the preview posts we’ve already published, click here. To look at the rest of The Lists we’ve published, click here. For a schedule of our previews for the month, click here.

While the sheer volume of this season’s transfer class may not indicate that we have a transferring epidemic on our hands, based on my rigorously scientific opinions, there is an incredible number of impact transfers at nationally relevant programs.

The evidence?

This list.

Here are the 15 programs that will see the biggest impact from incoming transfers, which is precisely half of the list of 30 programs that will be using a player in a significant role that began their career at a different Division I program. Of the 30 programs listed, 13 of them have more than one relevant transfer. Two of them have four incoming transfers.

(* = eligible in December):

Mark Lyons, Arizona: The importance of Lyons to the Wildcats has been widely written about. The Xavier transfer, who is eligible immediately under the graduate transfer rule, fills a gaping void at the point guard spot left by Josiah Turner’s departure. But is Lyons the facilitator that a talented Arizona team needs?

Alex Oriakhi, Jabari Brown*, Earnest Ross and Keion Bell, Missouri: Half of Missouri’s rotation will be transfers. Bell and Brown, when he’s eligible, will provide perimeter scoring and Ross will be a versatile forward off the bench. Oriakhi’s defensive presence, if he returns to his 2011 form, will be the key addition, however.

Ryan Harrow and Julius Mays, Kentucky: Kentucky didn’t have a point guard in their 2012 recruiting class, which was planned. Coach Cal brought in Harrow, a former top 40 recruit that started at NC State as a freshman, to fill that role. Mays may not see much court time.

Trent Lockett, Marquette: Lockett was a big-time scorer in his three seasons at Arizona State, and he’ll be eligible immediately at Marquette due to an illness in the family. Lockett’s a perfect fit for a Buzz Williams coached team: a big, athletic wing that can score in multiple ways.

Rotnei Clarke, Butler: Butler was one of the best defensive teams in the country a season ago, and should be again this year. What they were missing last season was perimeter shooting. And Clarke is the best shooter in the country, no “arguably” needed. His role is even more important with Chrishawn Hopkins’ departure.

Luke Hancock, Louisville: Hancock, when healthy, is a talented playmaker on the wing. The problem is that Hancock has had a myriad of shoulder issues that may limit his health and his preparedness for the season. At 100%, he’s a valuable weapon for the Cardinals.

James Johnson*, JJ O’Brien and Dwayne Polee, San Diego State: The Aztecs are loaded on the perimeter, but what they were missing last season was an interior presence. O’Brien and Polee are both technically front court players, but are better suited for the wing than the paint. Johnson, however, will provide some interior size when he gets eligible.

Khem Birch* and Bryce Jones, UNLV: Jones is an important addition for the Runnin’ Rebels because of his ability on the wing. UNLV doesn’t have an overload of talent on the wing. They do up front, however, and Birch is as talented as anyone. The former top ten recruit gives Dave Rice as much talent up front as anyone in the country.

Larry Drew, UCLA: It’s been almost two years since Drew played in a game, but he’ll join UCLA as the starting point guard on a team many think can be a Final Four contender.

Aaric Murray, Matt Humphrey and Juwan Staten, West Virginia: There’s a very real chance that all three of these guys start for the Mountaineers. Staten and Humphrey will be impact additions, but Murray, who averaged 15.2 points and 7.7 boards at La Salle as a sophomore, is a difference maker if he stays focused.

Trey Zeigler, Pitt: The Panthers caught a break when Zeigler was given immediate eligibility by the NCAA, because he is a talented off-guard that will fit nicely alongside Tray Woodall in the back court. He was a top 75 recruit in high school.

Will Clyburn and Korie Lucious, Iowa State: The Cyclones are once again building their team around an influx of transfers. Lucious was a starter at Michigan State before getting into off-the-court trouble, while Clyburn once averaged 17.1 points and 7.8 boards for Utah.

Wally Judge, Rutgers: Judge has all kinds of potential — there’s a reason the athletic, 6-foot-10 forward was a McDonald’s all-american — but was never able to play his way into Frank Martin’s good graces.

Keala King*, Edgar Garibay*, Dan Jennings and Tony Freeland*, Long Beach State: Part of the reason that LBSU is once again considered one of the best mid-majors in the country despite their losses is who they added this year. Jennings began his career at West Virginia and should help immediately, but the mid-year additions of King (a former top 25 recruit) and Freeland (a DePaul transfer) should be significant.

Eric Wise and JT Terrell, USC: It’s tough to know the immediate impact of Wise and Terrell given how much USC gets back from injuries this year. But the bottom line is that both will play a lot of important minutes, and Terrell has a chance to be a breakout player on the wing.

And here are 15 more schools who will see a major role filled for them by transfers:

  • Colton Iverson and Daniel Bejarano, Colorado State: The Rams bring back a lot of talent from last year’s tournament team, so while the impact may not be enormous, adding two players — from Minnesota and Arizona, respectively — of this caliber to a rotation can only be beneficial for Larry Eustachy.
  • Desmar Jackson, Southern Illinois: Jackson is a 6-foot-5 wing that averaged 14.6 points and 2.0 steals as a sophomore at Wyoming.
  • Malcolm Armstead, Wichita State: The Shockers graduate quite a bit of back court talent, but Armstead — who averaged more than four assists in two years at Oregon — will help offset that.
  • Garrick Sherman, Notre Dame: The Michigan State transfer will help provide Notre Dame with front court depth behind Jack Cooley.
  • Jared Swopshire and Nikola Cerina, Northwestern: Swopshire’s health is the key here. He was an important piece for Louisville has a sophomore before suffering a brutal groin injury.
  • Amath M’Baye, Oklahoma: As a sophomore at Wyoming, M’Baye averaged 12.0 points. He’ll give Lon Kruger some front court depth.
  • Brian Oliver, Gene Teague and Kyle Smith, Seton Hall: Oliver, who averaged double-figures at Georgia Tech, is the biggest name of this group, but Smith and Teague will play a role for the Pirates, who lost quite a bit to graduation.
  • Taran Buie and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, Hofstra: The Pride were expected to improve this year based on the play of these two, but an early-season suspension isn’t a good sign.
  • Jerelle Benimon, Bilal Dixon and Mike Burwell, Towson: These three, and a talented incoming recruiting class, are the reason Towson is expected to be competitive after winning one game all of last season.
  • Sidiki Johnson*, Providence: Johnson was a top 100 recruit when he went to Arizona, but didn’t even last a semester there. His size will be valuable for the Friars.
  • RJ Evans, UConn: The Huskies will have quite a bit of perimeter talent next season, but Evans will have a role off the bench.
  • Evan Gordon, Arizona State: The younger brother of Eric Gordon was a big-time scorer at Liberty, but can he have the same kind of impact in the Pac-12?
  • Isaiah Philmore, Xavier: Philmore was a big-time producer at Towson, and he’ll be asked to play the same role for a depleted Xavier squad next season.
  • Devonta Abron, TCU: Abron was an impact freshman at Arkansas last year, averaging 5.7 points and 4.2 boards in 22 starts.
  • DeShawn Painter, Old Dominion: Painter was a key piece for NC State last year, but due to familial issues, he needed to transfer closer to home. He’s the perfect big man for Blaine Taylor’s club.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Quinnipiac set to hire Villanova assistant Baker Dunleavy as new head coach

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Quinnipiac will introduce Villanova assistant coach Baker Dunleavy as the team’s new head coach on Tuesday, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com.

Dunleavy has helped the Wildcats to a national championship and multiple Big East championships as the team’s associate head coach. A former walk-on for Villanova who transitioned into a director of operations and later an assistant coach, Dunleavy is the son of Tulane head coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. Baker’s brother, Mike Dunleavy Jr., is still playing in the NBA as well.

The 34-year-old Dunleavy has experience with a championship program at Villanova so it will be interesting to see what he can do running his own program for the first time. Quinnipiac hired Dunleavy to replace Tom Moore, who was fired after 10 years with the program.

The Bobcats went to an NIT and made a few other postseason appearances under Moore but the program has never been to the NCAA tournament since making the transition to Division I in the late ’90s.

Report: Duquesne hires Akron’s Keith Dambrot as new head coach

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Duquesne has hired Akron head coach Keith Dambrot to the same position, according to a report from ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman.

The 58-year-old Dambrot has been head coach at Akron since 2004 as he’s helped the program to three NCAA tournament appearances.

The former high school coach of LeBron James at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School in Akron, Dambrot won two Ohio state championships with James before becoming an assistant coach at Akron in 2001. Dambrot eventually took over the head job over from Dan Hipsher.

Dambrot is reportedly getting a seven-year deal from Duquesne so the Dukes are making a major investment in him to turn around the basketball program.

Duke’s Christian Laettner shouts out North Carolina’s Luke Maye on Twitter after winning jumper over Kentucky

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Duke and North Carolina don’t have much in common.

But the historic college basketball rivals now have the distinction of earning late Elite Eight wins over Kentucky that involved a No. 32 making the winning shot.

Blue Devil legend Christian Laettner is famous for his 1992 buzzer-beater over Kentucky in the Elite Eight and he made sure to give some love to North Carolina sophomore Luke Maye after his own Elite Eight shot knocked out the Wildcats.

Rice’s Marcus Evans becomes one of top available transfers

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Rice sophomore guard Marcus Evans will transfer and play his final two seasons elsewhere, he announced on Monday.

The 6-foot-2 Evans has been a major scorer the last two seasons for the Owls as he averaged 19.0 points per game this season after putting up 21.4 points per game as a freshman.

With Rice head coach Mike Rhoades taking the VCU opening and the program struggling to consistently win, Evans seeking to play elsewhere should not come as much of a surprise.

Evans will have to sit out a transfer season before having two more years of eligibility but he should be one of the best options available this offseason. A proven scorer who has become more well-rounded this season, Evans could be a high-quality addition to any program this offseason.

A native of Chesapeake, Virginia, it will be interesting to see if Evans decides to play closer to home.

NBA Draft Stock Watch: Who has helped themselves in the NCAA Tournament?

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The term ‘prisoner of the moment’ is never more fitting than when weighing just how valuable an NCAA Tournament star turn is for a kid’s potential success as an NBA player.

We see it every year. Big tournament performances during deep runs in the dance is a great way to inflate draft stock while disappointing exits are an easy way to hurt it, even if it goes against the season-long data that is telling us something about a player. 

Who are the players that helped themselves the most this March? And who may have put a damper on their chances of hearing their name called early on draft night?

STOCK UP

Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina: Thornwell has played his way into the discussion as a potential first round pick by leading South Carolina to the Final Four. He has the physical tools to be an excellent defender in the NBA, and he certainly has the toughness and physicality, but it’s his shot-making that is the game-changer for him. He shot 39.4 percent from three on the season and is hitting 43.2 percent from beyond the arc in the tournament, and while the knuckle-ball action on his jumper is concerning, at some point it’s fair to wonder whether or not his less-than-ideal form is less important than the fact that it goes in. Thornwell, who was the SEC Player of the Year this season, will be an interesting 3-and-D candidate come draft night, and the spotlight on him from averaging 25.7 points while leading the Gamecocks to the Final Four will only help.

De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky: Fox solidified his standing as a potential top five during the tournament. The red flags are still there — Can he make threes in the NBA? — but at the end of the day, the NBA Draft is about whether or not you want one guy or the other guy. This is a draft that is absolutely loaded at the point guard spot, and for the second time this season, Fox outplayed a guy that many have slotted above him, Lonzo Ball. In the Sweet 16, he put up 39 points, the most impressive individual performance of the tournament, as Kentucky skated by UCLA more easily than most of us expected. Ball should probably still be considered the better, but when you’re sitting in that room making those decisions, it’s not going to be easy to bypass the guy that bested him twice.

Jordan Bell, Oregon: Bell, a senior, has been one of the best defensive players in the country all season long, and never was that more apparent than when he went for 11 points, 13 boards, eight blocks and four assists against Kansas in the Elite 8. He totally changed that game, making Landen Lucas look like an eighth grader without any confidence and forcing the Jayhawks to miss a number of shots in the lane simply because they were aware that Bell could be lurking. He was probably worth a second round pick already, but that game very likely ensured that he will here his name called at some point on draft night.

Tyler Dorsey, Oregon: Dorsey is a shot-maker. That’s what he brings to the table offensively. He can score. He’s gone for at least 20 points in all seven tournament games — Pac-12 and NCAA — that Oregon had played this year, and he hit innumerable big shots in the process, including a game-winner against Rhode Island in the second round and a pair of absolute daggers against Kansas. Undersized scorers come a dime-a-dozen at that level, but Dorsey ensured that he will get a shot this spring.

D.J. Wilson, Michigan: Wilson has been one of the most intriguing prospects in college basketball this season given his size, athleticism and skill-set, and the attention that Michigan got as the darling of the conference tournaments and the first weekend of the NCAA tournament certainly didn’t hurt. I’m not convinced he’s in a position to be a first round pick, but I am certain that, if he opts to declare for the draft and sign with an agent, there will be a team willing to bet on the meteoric rise he had this year continuing.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

STOCK DOWN

Lonzo Ball, UCLA: With all the hype surrounding the Ball family heading into his showdown with De’Aaron Fox and Kentucky in the Sweet 16, you would’ve expected Lonzo, who has been terrific this season, to shine on the biggest stage. But that’s not how it went. He was completely overshadowed by Fox, who went for a career-high 39 points when they went head-to-head, bowing out of the tournament with nothing but a Sweet 16 to show for it. There’s a risk in making over-arching judgements on a player based off of one or two games when a season’s worth of data is telling you something else, but it is fair to note that Ball was outplayed in both of his matchups with another potential top five pick at his position.

Josh Jackson, Kansas: We’ve seen all season long what Josh Jackson can do on a basketball court, and one bad game where he got into foul trouble in the first four minutes is not going to change the way that scouts view his ability on the court. The concern with Jackson has nothing to do with basketball. It’s the off-the-court stuff, and it’s his temper. The biggest red flag surrounding him right now is an incident at a bar where he did more than $1,000 worth of damage to a person’s car. He got a few technical fouls this season. Against Oregon, he got into it with Duck players. Whether that affected his play, only Jackson will know, but it’s not all that hard to connect those dots. It’s easier to teach a 19-year old that cares too much to tone it down — the maturity that comes with getting older certainly helps — than it is to get a guy with no heart to be intense and tough, but that’s something NBA teams are going to have to consider when they decide whether to take Jackson in the top three of a draft this loaded.

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Justin Patton, Creighton: Patton is incredibly talented and loaded with promise, but after seeing the dip in his production once Mo Watson went out with a torn ACL — 14.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game on a 74 percent shooting vs. 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds on 61 percent shooting post Watson — is concerning. Throw in that he was totally underwhelming against an undersized front line of Rhode Island in a first round loss, and there will be questions asked about whether or not he is a guy that is worth a first round pick.

Luke Kennard, Duke: Kennard, by all accounts, had a terrific season. He’s a skilled scorer that can get his buckets in a number of different ways. He’s a lights-out shooter with an advanced array of moves to create space to get his shot off and a knack for scoring around the rim with both hands. But the concerns with him is whether or not he will be able to do so against guys that are as athletic and strong as NBA wings are. Picking a second round matchup with a South Carolina team loaded with those kind of defenders to have his worst game of the season wasn’t exactly ideal timing.

Josh Hart, Villanova: Hart does everything well, and he certainly proved throughout the season that he had improved on the things that he needed to improve — shooting, playmaking, ability off the dribble. But the concern with Hart is whether or not he’s going to be able to get his own shot when the guys he plays against are bigger, quicker, more athletic and just as tough as he is, and the way Villanova bowed out of the tournament — with Hart being unable to create a shot or draw a foul on a drive to the rim — is a perfect summation of the concerns NBA teams have about him.