10 players transferring from mid-major programs to major conference schools that should be difference makers in 2021-22.
College basketball has reached the point where close to 1700 players have put their names into the transfer portal this offseason. Not all of them end up working out for their new teams but that will never stop coaches from seeking out those diamonds in the rough year after year.
Here are 10 players from mid-major programs attempting to move up a level to a high major school that are expected to be impact players during the 2021-22 season.
Devonte Jones – Michigan from Coastal Carolina. 6’1 Sr. Guard New Orleans, LA. The 23 year-old Jones was one of the best players in college basketball last season being named Sun Belt Player of the Year as well as first team All-Sun Belt averaging 19.3 points per game (No.23 in the country) along with 7.2 rebounds. Led the conference and was No.3 in the country in steals per game with 2.8. Was second team All-Sun Belt in 2019-20 and Freshman of the Year in 2018-19. Mike Smith worked out well for Juwan Howard last year after transferring from Columbia but expect Jones to be even more key for Michigan.
Marreon Jackson – Arizona State from Toledo. 6’1 Sr. Guard Cleveland, OH. Turns 23 just before the start of the season following a 2020-21 where he was named MAC Player of the Year and first team All-MAC. Jackson is a walking bucket who averaged 18.1 points per game along with 5.9 assists. Jackson playing under Bob Hurley should be a fruitful marriage for both.
Jalen Pickett – Penn State from Siena. 6’4 Sr. Guard Rochester, NY. Three-time first team All-MAAC selection including being named Player of the Year in 2019-20. Averaged 12.9 points per game last year and 15.0 PPG over his three seasons at Siena. Has flirted with the NBA draft the past two seasons and should get a free agent or summer league NBA opportunity in the future.
Kevin Obanor – Texas Tech from Oral Roberts. 6’8 Sr. Forward Houston, TX. Led Oral Roberts to a Summit League title and a run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. Was named first team All-Summit League after he averaged 18.7 points per game along with 9.6 rebounds. His talent and big game experience will be a huge plus for the Red Raiders.
Stanley Umude – Arkansas from South Dakota. 6’6 Sr. Guard San Antonio, TX. Ranked No. 9 in the country in scoring with 21.6 points per game last year including scoring 41 against rival South Dakota State. Umude can do everything on the court; this guy can play. Was named first team All-Summit League in 2020-21 and 2018-19 (was second team in 2019-20). Can’t wait to see where he takes his game playing under Eric Musselman.
Joseph Yesufu – Kansas from Drake. 6’0 Soph. guard Bolinbrook, IL. Led Drake to an at large bid in the NCAA tournament along with being named MVC Sixth Man of the Year after a season where he averaged 12.8 points per game. Still has three years of eligibility remaining at Kansas.
Aaron Cook Jr. – Georgia from Gonzaga. 6’2 Sr. Guard. St. Louis, MO. Played 103 games over four seasons at Southern Illinois before transferring to Gonzaga where he was a key figure off the bench for the Zags during their undefeated regular season. Averaged 4.2 points per game last year playing behind Jalen Suggs and Andrew Nembhard. Cook took advantage of a sixth year of eligibility and will turn 24 in December. His experience will be key for Georgia come Feb and March.
Rollie Worster – Utah from Utah State. 6’4 Soph. Guard Missoula, Mont. Deceptively good player who averaged 9.1 points per game as a freshman at Utah State. Was the two-time Gatorade Player of the Year for Montana in high school along with being an All-State QB and safety in football. Should make a smooth transition to the Pac-12 after an exceptional season in the Mountain West.
Michael Flowers – Washington State from South Alabama. 6’1 Sr. Guard Southfield, MI. Ranked No.15 in the nation in scoring with 21 points per game at South Alabama. Flowers shows up key late in games and wants to take shots in big moments. He’s well travelled with Washington State being his third school after three years at Western Michigan prior to his stint at USA.
Tyson Walker – Michigan State from Northeastern. 6’0 Jr. Guard Westbury, NY. Was named CAA Defensive Player of the Year as well as first team All-CAA after a season where he averaged 18.8 points per game along with 2.8 steals and 4.8 assists. Izzo always has his share of 5-stars and McDonald’s All-Americans but you need a guy like Walker who is committed to playing tough defence if you want to win the Big-10 and more.