The transfer market in college basketball has proven lucrative in past seasons. More players each year graduate and opt to transfer for a new role. These players are immediately eligible, per NCAA rules, and some have been key parts in a long postseason run. So who will be the big-time impact transfers this season?
Impact Transfers for the 2020-21 NCAA Season
6. Cartier Diarra
Cartier Diarra is a redshirt junior who has started nearly 60 games for Kansas State. Diarra is a tough, physical guard that has developed into a solid facilitator. He brings a ton of energy and speed to the lineup.
Diarra averaged 13.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists last season for a Kansas State team that struggled to score. His numbers are more impressive than they look. One thing he definitely will need to improve is his three-point percentage. He shot 30 percent on five attempts per game last season.
Now, he leaves Kansas State for Virginia Tech and a system that will fit him much better. The Hokies hired Mike Young from Wofford last season. Young likes to play fast and is known for his offense. Diarra will be a great lead guard for him and should flourish in that system, especially with an improved jump shot. Losing Landers Nolley will hurt, but adding Diarra will certainly help the Hokies improve from last season.
5. Amauri Hardy
Amauri Hardy is a redshirt junior that played the last three seasons with UNLV. Hardy has consistently improved each year in Las Vegas. He is a great playmaker and should help Oregon immediately.
Hardy averaged 14.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists last season which led to him making the All-Mountain West team. He will step into Payton Pritchard’s role as the facilitator and will try to continue the hot run of Oregon over the last few seasons.
Possibly, more importantly, Hardy has a little brother that is a five-star guard in the class of 2021. If Amauri Hardy flourishes in Eugene, Jaden Hardy may elevate the Ducks on his list. According to 247 sports, Jaden Hardy is ranked sixth in the nation.
4. Chaundee Brown
Chaundee Brown is flying under the radar for some reason. The former Wake Forest Demon Deacon junior has committed to Michigan. While it is likely he may have to sit out a year, due to NCAA transfer rules, if he does receive a waiver, he will be a major impact player for the Wolverines.
Brown averaged 12.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists last season. He also typically plays his best in the biggest games. Brown is a volume scorer, but he has been on a bad team his whole career. Now, on a better roster, Brown can be a physical, slashing wing with great defensive potential. He is an ideal piece on a tournament team.
The only reason Brown is lower on this list is because of the waiver issue. If he is granted a waiver, he will be an immediate impact starter and one of the best players on the Wolverines roster.
3. Carlik Jones
Carlik Jones is a redshirt junior from Radford. After a great career and monster season, he entered the transfer portal and has committed to Louisville. Chris Mack typically does very well with guards, so this may be a match made in heaven.
Jones can flat out score. He averaged 20.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.5 assists this season on his way to being named the Big South Player of the Year. He is going to have the ball in his hands early and often at Louisville and will form a great pair with David Johnson.
Louisville is losing Jordan Nwora and will need to find someone to step up. Jones has a great opportunity to be that guy and to lead Louisville. He should put up some big numbers and is the definition of impact transfers.
2. Seth Towns
Seth Towns is an interesting case. He is a 6’7 forward that last played for Harvard in 2017-18 when he won Ivy League Player of the Year. Towns has suffered from knee injuries in the last two seasons and his health is the only limiting factor. He has decided to commit to his hometown Ohio State Buckeyes.
Towns averaged 14.2 points, five rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game in his career. He is a great scorer and his length makes him an ideal wing. Towns shot 42 percent from three in his career and that number should improve or stay the same with improved talent around him.
Ohio State has a good young team with a great coach. If Towns can stay healthy, he will be the best player on the Buckeyes roster. He would be number one on this list of impact transfers if his health was guaranteed.
1. Bryce Aiken
Bryce Aiken is the biggest impact transfer of the 2020-21 NCAA season. He played four years at Harvard but missed a lot of the last three seasons. He also has an injury history but they are mostly unrelated injuries. Aiken leaves Harvard to return home and play for Seton Hall.
Aiken averaged 16.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists for his career. While he only played 65 games, he was the best player on the floor for most of them. If Aiken and Towns were healthy, Harvard would have been a staple in the second round of the NCAA tournament for four years.
Myles Powell leaves Seton Hall after a fantastic career and in steps Aiken. There is a very good chance Aiken averages north of 20 points per game and should be named to the All-Conference team. Best case scenario, he is involved in the Wooden Watch and Seton Hall makes some noise in the postseason. Regardless, Aiken is the steal of the transfer portal.
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