20 Impact Transfers in College Hoops for 2013-2014

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All month long, CBT will be rolling out our 2013-2014 season preview. Check back throughout the day, as we’ll be posting three or four preview items every day.

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

1. Rodney Hood, Duke (via Mississippi State): Jabari Parker isn’t the only Duke forward that being considered an All-American candidate this preseason. After sitting out last season, Hood joins Parker and Rasheed Sulaimon to give Duke one of the best perimeters in the country. The 6-foot-8 Hood suffered an Achilles injury this summer, but has completely recovered. He averaged 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as a freshman at Mississippi State.

2. T.J. McConnell, Arizona (via Duquesne): There has been buzz around newcomer Aaron Gordon, and rightfully so. But those in Tucson should be excited for T.J. McConnell’s debut in a Cats uniform. McConnell is a true point guard Arizona needs, and Sean Miller has given the junior one of the best front courts to create for. McConnell averaged 11.4 points and 5.5 assists in his final season at Duquesne in 2011-2012. The pass-first point guard is also a pest defensively (2.8 spg) and may be the best deep threat on the Wildcats.

3. Michael Dixon, Memphis (via Missouri): He had to wait it out, but Michael Dixon got cleared to play this season at Memphis in last month. Dixon was named Big 12 All-Defensive team in 2012 and also averaged 13.5 points and 3.3 assists for a 30-win Mizzou team. He gives Memphis one of the nation’s best back courts, and his addition allows Josh Pastner to go with a four-guard set against opposing defenses this season.

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4. Mike Moser, Oregon (via UNLV): Dana Altman has benefited from one-year transfers before and that’s what he’s hoping for with Moser, who left Las Vegas for Eugene for his final season of eligibility. He averaged averaged 14.5 points and 10.0 rebounds a game two seasons ago with the Rebels. He decided not to jump to the NBA, but injuries and an overcrowded front count caused his numbers to dip this past season. A healthy Moser should thrive with the Ducks.

5.  Jordan Clarkson, Missouri (via Tulsa): Jordan Clarkson is making the move to the SEC from Conference USA where he averaged 16.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists points per game in 2011-2012. The 6-foot-5 Clarkson will be the lead guard this year, playing both point and off-the-ball, since Phil Pressey declared for the NBA draft.

6. Josh Davis, San Diego State (via Tulane):  Josh Davis will be eligible immediately after graduating from Tulane. The athletic forward, who averaged 17.6 points and 10.7 rebounds last season, will help make up for the loss of Jamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley, the Aztec’s top two scorers a season ago.

7. DeAndre Kane, Iowa State (via Marshall): Iowa State lost its top guards to graduation, and last month Bubu Palo who was dismissed from the team. Once again Fred Hoiberg went to the transfer wire, this time landing DeAndre Kane, a 6-foot-4 lead guard that averaged 7.1 assists per game last season to go along with his career average of 15.6 points per game in three seasons at Marshall. He’ll join a team that brings back forwards Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang but was sorely lacking in back court playmakers.

8. Josh Smith, Georgetown (via UCLA): John Thompson III lost Otto Porter to the NBA and, in all likelihood, Greg Whittington for the season with a torn ACL. Ex-UCLA big man Josh Smith will be eligible for the second semester if he doesn’t get a waiver to play immediately. JT3 knows that Smith has the ability to be an all-league player, but his impact for the Hoyas depends on his conditioning.

9. Michael Gbinije, Syracuse (via Duke): Gbinije transferred out of an ACC program and into a Big East school, now in its first season of ACC play. The Orange are without Brandon Triche or Michael Carter-Williams, meaning their back court is made up of freshmen Tyler Ennis and Ron Patterson and sophomore Trevor Cooney, who is coming off a disappointing season. At 6-foot-6 Gbinije will be solid on top of the 2-3 zone, can add depth to the small forward position, and has even worked on his point guard game during his redshirt season.

10. Tarik Black, Kansas (via Memphis): Tarik Black didn’t average more than five rebounds per game in his last two seasons at Memphis, but his role at Kansas will be important. It’s a young team headlined by Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden, and Joel Embiid. He’ll be valuable as a physical, veteran low-post presence.

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10 more guys that should be in for a big season

Antonio Barton, Tennessee (via Memphis): Barton filled a void for the Vols at the point when Trae Golden transferred. His shooting and defense gives the Vols even better chances of getting back to the NCAA tournament.

Gerard Coleman, Gonzaga (via Providence): Coleman averaged 13.2 points and five rebounds a game at Providence in 2011-2012. Will fit in nicely alongside Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell.

Alex Dragicevich, Boston College (via Notre Dame): Ryan Anderson and Olivier Hanlan have reason for hope in Chesnut Hill. Notre Dame transfer Alex Dragicevich can add more long-range shooting for Steve Donahue’s team.

Dorian Finney-Smith, Florida (via Virginia Tech): Chris Walker isn’t enrolling this semester, and Will Yeguete is still recovering from a knee injury. Finney-Smith, along with fellow transfer Damontre Harris, are that much more important for front court depth alongside Patric Young.

Derrick Gordon, UMass (via Western Kentucky): The Minutemen have a good shot at the NCAA tournament this season, and Derrick Gordon has that postseason experience after his freshmen year at Western Kentucky. He and Chaz Williams can help UMass hang with the top teams in the Atlantic 10.

Lasan Kromah, UConn (via George Washington): Kromah averaged 10.1 points last season and only improves the UConn back court of Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and Omar Calhoun.

Jermaine Marshall, Arizona State (via Penn State): Adding Jermaine Marshall from Penn State helps negate from the loss of Evan Gordon. He averaged 15.3 points per game last season.

Four McGlynn, Towson (via Vermont): The Tigers will contend in the CAA, and add Vermont transfer, who averaged 12.0 points in his lone season with the Catamounts.

Rayvonte Rice, Illinois (via Drake): The Illini lose Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson from last season, but Rayvonte Rice, who averaged 16.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and almost two steals per game in 2011-2012, should help fill the void.

Matt Stainbrook, Xavier (via Western Michigan): The former Western Michigan big man is reportedly an inch taller and down 40 pounds since last playing during the 2011-2012 season, where he averaged 11.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

VIDEOS: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges puts on another show at local summer Pro-Am

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Watching Michigan State’s Miles Bridges throw down high-level dunks in local summer pro-ams has been a good way to pass the time the last few weeks.

The 6-foot-7 Bridges has been annihilating rims all summer as he had more ridiculous dunks on Tuesday night. Playing with former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine and some of his current Spartans teammates, Bridges had more crowd-pleasing plays to add to his summer reel.

Lansing State Journal reporter James Edwards III has been on the scene for Bridges’ games all summer as he has more dunks from the future lottery pick.

Minnesota keeps in-state three-star 2018 guard Gabe Kalscheur at home

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Minnesota is keeping a big-time shooter at home as Class of 2018 shooting guard Gabe Kalscheur pledged to the Golden Gophers on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4 Kalscheur is the third in-state prospect to pledge to head coach Richard Pitino in the Class of 2018 as he joins three-star forward Jarvis Thomas and four-star big man Daniel Oturu. The three-star Kalscheur gives Minnesota a valuable floor spacer and a winner as he’s a three-time state champion at DeLaSalle. All three of these commitments also played together with Howard Pulley in the Nike EYBL.

During this spring and summer in the Nike EYBL, Kalscheur averaged 14.9 points and shot 39 percent from three-point range as he made 61 treys in 21 games.

Pitino has certainly done a nice job of keeping local players home as he’s hoping that trend continues with upcoming in-state five-star prospects like 2018 point guard Tre Jones and 2019 forward Matthew Hurt. The Golden Gophers will have to win national recruiting battles to keep those guys home, but they’ve done a nice job of getting the other guys that they need to keep home.

North Carolina and NCAA set August hearing

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North Carolina and the NCAA have released additional responses and set the dates for a future hearing on Tuesday amid an investigation into paper classes given by the university’s African-American Studies Department.

The NCAA’s allegations center around UNC’s athletes — most notably members of football, men’s and women’s basketball teams — allegedly being guided to the fake classes in order to keep GPAs high enough to remain eligible. The fake classes typically had a high number of athletes enrolled each semester.

While North Carolina argued in May that this should be a school matter and not an NCAA matter, the NCAA responded to the matter in its belief that it has the right to investigate the classes. North Carolina is facing five top-level charges in the case with lack of institutional control among the charges.

A two-day hearing will be held with the NCAA in Nashville on August 16-17.

“The hearing is the next step in bringing closure to this longstanding issue by allowing us the opportunity to address the Committee on Infractions and present the facts,” said Joel Curran, vice chancellor of University communications. “The NCAA has requested certain individuals from the University attend the proceedings. It is standard practice for the current head coaches of programs referenced in a notice of allegations to attend. Therefore, Coaches Larry Fedora (football), Sylvia Hatchell (women’s basketball) and Roy Williams (men’s basketball) will accompany University representatives to the hearing.”

Potential top ten pick Robert Williams discusses decision to return to Texas A&M

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PHILADELPHIA — Robert Williams knew that his family could use the money that would come with being a lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He also knew that he wasn’t ready — mentally, emotionally, skill-wise — to make the leap to the NBA, which is why all it took was one question from his mother, Tundra, to convince the 6-foot-9 19-year old to return to Texas A&M for his sophomore season.

“We haven’t been rich for 19 years,” Williams recalls Tundra, whom he describes as a “middle school cafeteria lady”, telling him. “What’s one more year?”

“That sealed the deal. If she’s good, I’m good,” Williams told NBC Sports as he nursed shin splints at the Under Armour All-American camp in Philadelphia last week. “My mom just wants to see me happy. I could quit basketball and go work at Burger King. If I’m happy, she’s happy.”


“Oil City made me, Vivian raised me.”


Williams may not be a household name the way that fellow members of his high school class — Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, etc. — were, but he was certainly a known quantity on basketball circles. Williams was a potential top 10 pick in last year’s draft, a 6-foot-9 big man with a 7-foot-4 wingspan and the kind of athleticism most of us can only dream about. He has elite physical tools, even by NBA standards, and his ability to protect the rim along with his versatility defensively and budding post-game makes him a tantalizing long-term project.

Casual college basketball fans aren’t going to be familiar with bigs averaging 11.9 points on a team that didn’t even get a trip to the NIT, but NBA front office personnel were well-versed in his ability.

Just a borderline top 50 prospect coming out of high school, Williams’ ranking had as much to do with where he’s from as what he can do. He was born in Oil City, Louisiana, a town of roughly a 1,000 people tucked in the Northwest corner of Louisiana, five miles from the Texas on the west side of town and 18 miles from Arkansas to the north. “There’s just really nothing there,” Williams said. Oil City was small enough that he had to move to Vivian, a town of 3,600 people nine miles away, in order to attend high school.

Glen Johnson, Texas A&M Athletics

He spent four years playing for North Caddo High, a 2A public school in Louisiana, which isn’t exactly the best high school basketball in the country, and his role on the Houston Hoops team he played with in the summer after his junior year was somewhat limited, to say the least; he was teammates with De’Aaron Fox, Jarred Vanderbilt (a top 15 player in the Class of 2017) and Carsen Edwards, who started at the point for Purdue as a freshman. Combine that with the 25 pounds of muscle that he added to his frame, and what you have is a player that went from being a pogo stick that got pushed around on a team full of studs to a grown man that did the pushing and proved himself capable of playing a role that has value in the NBA.

“I went to Nike Camp, but I wasn’t that high of a recruit,” Williams said. “I was like No. 60 I think. It’s weird because I’ve never had this much ‘fame’, I guess is the word.”

“People knew who I was [in Vivian], but just because I was a people person. I was also always bigger than everyone.”

There weren’t many that expected Williams to have the season that he had as a freshman, averaging 11.9 points, 8.2 boards and 2.6 blocks in just 25 minutes a night. Even fewer expected him to return to Texas A&M once he caught the eye of NBA scouts, but head coach Billy Kennedy wasn’t one of them.

“Only because he told us,” Kennedy said with a chuckle, as if he knew just how lucky he and his staff are to be getting a second season with a talent like this. “We felt that during the year. But you never know until the end. We wanted to see him go through the whole process, but the cool thing is the kid made a decision and he did what was best for him.”


“Mentally and emotionally, I wasn’t ready.”


For Williams, the decision to return was two-fold. He knew that he wasn’t yet the player that he wants to be, and getting drafted as a dunker, a shot-blocker and an athlete can get a player pigeon-holed. “In the NBA,” Williams reasoned, “once you get there, what you are is what you are. I don’t want to be stuck in that jumping, that dunking position. I’m not necessarily saying I want to be able to play the two or the three, but I want to expand and show that I can sometimes push it and make a jump shot.”

“Rebounding, jumping, dunking. That’s been my game. That’s gets you paid well. But I know I have more. I want to be able to knock down a corner three. I’m not saying that I need to be coming off of screens and pulling, but I want to be able to knock down that shot and prove I’m able to get a rebound and start a fast break.”

He knew that it would take a lot of hard work and time in the gym this offseason to get to that point, and that’s where the second part of this comes into the equation. Williams knew that he wasn’t ready to be a professional yet, that he wanted to be able to enjoy life and basketball as a college kid for another year.

“People don’t understand that once you get to that level, it’s a job. It’s a business,” Williams said. “It’s not high school, it’s not even college, you’re competing for your job every time you go play.”

“Mentally and emotionally, I wasn’t ready.”

Thomas Campbell, Texas A&M Athletics

That didn’t necessarily sit well with everyone in Williams’ circle — specifically, Williams says his father wanted him to go to the NBA — because they all know the risk. Blake Griffin, who went from being a projected top ten pick as a freshman to the No. 1 overall pick as a sophomore, is the outlier. The likes of Ivan Rabb, Perry Jones III and Jared Sullinger tend to be the norm. When a player doesn’t take a step forward in his second season in college, the flaws are nitpicked instead of the potential being touted, and that’s to say nothing of the potential for devastating injury. For a player like Williams, who thrives on his athleticism, a torn ACL or a ruptured Achilles’ this season could be devastating to his earning power.

He knows all of that, and, Williams says, once he made his choice, the people closest to him rallied around him. There was some negativity, people calling his dumb for passing up on the guaranteed millions that come with being a first round pick, but for the most part, the feedback he heard was reassuring.

“You gotta grind now.”

“You made your decision, you made your bed, now you have to lay in it.”

“You know what you got to do.”

And that’s part of where being ready for the NBA comes into play.

Ask Williams what he needs to do to be successful at the next level, to prove that he can be more than just an athlete, and he’ll tell you that it’s developing his perimeter skills. Making corner threes and trail threes. Improving his handle and his footwork to the point that he is a threat as a face-up four. But if you ask Kennedy what the next step for Williams is, this is his answer: “Just getting to where he’s working out more, learning how to work at a higher level, and that’s something that he’s gotten better at.”

Williams didn’t need to work all that hard to dominate in high school, not with his physical gifts and not with the level of competition that he was facing. The same can mostly be said his his time as a freshman in the SEC. As Mike Schmitz, a scout working for Draft Express and ESPN, put it, Williams “is very much living off his elite physical tools.”

As the saying goes, you don’t know what hard work is until you see someone working harder than you, and there is no better role model for Williams than junior center Tyler Davis, who has streamlined what was once a 300 pound frame into a chiseled, 260-pound rock. He has “the best work ethic I’ve ever seen,” Williams says, and that’s rubbing off on him. Williams says he’s working out two or three times a day, doing conditioning with the team at 6 am before heading off to the gym at 8 am to work on his stroke — form-shooting, making 25 shots from each spot out to the foul line; step-in mid-range jumpers; trail threes — and closing the day with pickup or more skill-work in the afternoon.

The way he sees it, he can’t control injuries — although he has taken out an insurance policy on the off-chance he does something catastrophic — but he can control the work he puts in. Put another way, he is the one that will determine where he ends up. “My mindset,” Williams said, “is as long as you put in the work, results will come.”

And maybe those results will get him some notoriety on campus at a football school.

“Some people recognize me on campus, but it’s all football at A&M,” he said. “They say hi, ask for a picture, but people actually think I’m a mean guy. They don’t understand, I’m a people person! I like people!”

So say hi to Williams if you see him this year.

You won’t have a chance to do so much longer.

Texas A&M Athletics

VIDEO: Grayson Allen, Trevon Duval get in on #DriveByDunkChallenge

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Trevon Duval, the point guard that will finally replace Tyus Jones at Duke, and Grayson Allen added their flare on the #DriveByDunkChallenge, as Allen throws a picture perfect alley-oop through the sun-roof of the car Duval is driving:

This is solid work, but I still think Scott Cross has the best #DriveByDunkChallenge performance in the collegiate ranks. John Calipari’s effort is solid, but pretty awkward. He shouldn’t be running or jumping.