By Andy Katz
FOX Sports College Basketball Analyst
college basketball‘s transfer portal continues to heat up in the final weeks before the May 1 deadline to be immediately eligible for fall and winter sports.
Of course, there is the possibility of appeals and waivers if student athletes go past the deadline, and I’m sure some will as they have until June 1 to withdraw from the 2022 NBA Draft. The next phase in the portal should probably be to align it with the draft deadline — but that’s not happening this spring.
last week, we took a snapshot of the teams that have helped themselves the most by landing new faces through the portal. That list continues to evolve as players choose their destinations. So for this week, we’re ranking the top players in the portal. This includes those who have already chosen a new school, as well as those who are still deciding where they will call home next.
Here is a look at my top player transfer tiers.
Memphis’ Kendric Davis tops Andy Katz’s player transfer tiers ‘ CBB on Fox
Andy Katz breaks down who he thinks are the most desirable players in the transfer portal. Kendric Davis’ move to the Memphis Tigers leads off Katz’s tier one, but who else made the cut?
Tier 1: Best of the best
Kendrick Davis, memphis (SMU): Penny Hardaway weakened one of the Tigers’ top rivals by getting the CCA Player of the Year. Davis will step in and be an immediate star for Memphis. Despite the loss of Emily Bates and Jalen Durenthe Tigers continue to have star power under Hardaway.
David Garcia, Minnesota (North Carolina): Garcia was limited with the Tar Heels, leaving the team mid-season to deal with personal health issues with his family. He was a stud at Marquette before I transferred to UNC. If he can return to that form, then the Gophers have significantly upgraded their front court.
Andre Curbelo, St John’s (Illinois): The Red Storm picked up the most electrifying lead guard in the portal. Curbelo was bothered by a concussion and COVID-19 this past season. But when he’s on, and doesn’t turn the ball over, he’s sensational. He’ll pair with posh alexander to give he Red Storm the best backcourt in the Big East.
Tyrese HunterTBD (Iowa State): Hunter hasn’t landed at a new school yet. He was the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and helped the Cyclones reach the Sweet 16. He would be an immediate impact lead guard wherever he ends up for next season.
Emoni Bates, TBD (Memphis): Bates is one of the most talented players in the portal but injuries limited his effectiveness this past season. He could also choose to play overseas or in the NBA G-League.
Tier 2: Next inline
Kevin McCullareTBD (Texas Tech): McCullar was a late add to the transfer portal as well as getting into the NBA Draft early-entry deadline. He could stay in the draft, but if he returns and doesn’t end up with the Red Raiders, then someone is going to get a physical presence who can do a bit of everything (see 17 points in the loss to Duke in the Sweet 16).
Antoine DavisTBD (Detroit–Mercy): Davis has one season of eligibility remaining and has decided to leave Detroit Mercy, where his father is the head coach, for the final year. Well, someone is going to see one of the best scorers in the country that never got his due. Davis averaged 23 points per game and can get his shot in a variety of ways. He will score at a high clip wherever he lands.
Nijel Pack, Miami (FL) (Kansas State): Pack got a lucrative six-figure NIL deal to go to Miami. He is an elite-level scorer who averaged 17 points per game for the Wildcats last season. That should translate from the Big 12 to the ACC. He fills a void for the Hurricanes, who needed a scorer in their quest for another deep NCAA Tourney run.
Kenny LoftonTBD, (louisiana tech): Lofton averaged 16 and 10 and was a first-team All-ConferenceUSA performer last season. He was instrumental in helping the USA win gold in the FIBA U-19 championships in Latvia last summer. The 6-foot-7 Lofton will be highly sought after during the portal process.
Tier 3: On the rise
Baylor-ScheiermanTBD (South Dakota State): Scheierman has become one of the hottest names in the portal after being named the Summit League Player of the Year. He was a prolific scorer for the Jackrabbits and put up 18 in the loss to Providence in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Malachi SmithTBD, (Chattanooga): Smith was the SoCon Player of the Year after leading the Mocs with 19.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Smith clearly could play up next season and have a major impact. Watching his portal process will be interesting to track.
Joe Toussaint, West Virginia (Iowa): Toussaint will flourish playing for Bob Huggins. Think Jevon Carter when it comes to the kind of impact Toussaint could have for Huggs. He was n’t used as well at Iowa but he can be a sturdy, sneaky, ball-hawking perimeter player. I love the fit for Toussaint.
AJ GreenTBD, (North Iowa): Green is a two-time Missouri Valley Player of the Year. He has declared for the NBA Draft, but if he doesn’t hear what he wants, then he’ll come back and likely play up next season. He is a near 20-point scorer and those numbers shouldn’t shrink at a new destination.
Tier 4: Sleepers
Mark Sears, Alabama (Ohio): The first-team All-MAC player was a 40% 3-point shooter. The Tide get back Jahvon Quinerly but J. D. Davison declared for the NBA Draft, so they needed another scoring guard. Nate Oats, a former MAC coach at buffaloknows the value of MAC scoring guards.
Tanner Holden, Ohio State (Wright State): The Buckeyes were void of scorers with the departures of EJ Liddell and Malaki Branham. So getting Holden to slide over within the state was a must. He’s a 20-point scorer and he should do well in the Big Ten.
Javon Pickett, Saint Louis (Missouri): Pickett scored 11 points per game last season at Mizzou. He is a big, strong guard who should benefit from playing alongside yuri collins for the Billikens. Pickett will help SLU compete for an A-10 title next season.
Fardaws AimaqTexas Tech, (Utah Valley): This is my sleeper pick in this group. Aimaq was a double-double machine at Utah Valley—an 18/13 performer. He’s a big-time five man that will uplift the Red Raiders and fill a necessary void.
Zeb JacksonVCU (Michigan)
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