May 25, 2024

Winners and losers from college basketball’s 2024 transfer portal cycle: Kansas, Indiana land stars


The spring deadline for players to enter college basketball’s transfer portal and be eligible for the 2024-25 season arrived at 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday night, marking the end of a chaotic six-week period in the sport. While there is still much work for coaches across the country to do in finalizing their rosters for the year ahead, they can breathe easy knowing the rush of players to the open market has subsided.

Instead of playing defense and trying to avoid portal losses, staffs can now focus their full attention on filling the unused scholarships they have remaining. Needs abound everywhere. Players face no firm deadline on when to commit to their new school, meaning some players will drag their recruitments out over the weeks ahead.

Until all the dust settles and the top players have made their final decisions, college basketball’s roster picture will remain an uncompleted jigsaw puzzle. But with the portal entry deadline passed, the clouds have lifted enough to warrant a big-picture look at the national landscape. Some programs staved off harmful portal exits and have already made impact additions to their rosters. For some, the inverse is true and the future appears more bleak now than it did two months ago.

As college basketball’s offseason moves into the next chapter — one that will be highlighted by the stay-or-go decisions of NBA Draft prospects — let’s take a look at the winners and losers of the portal deadline.

Winner: Kansas adds perimeter pop

A lack of depth and perimeter punch proved fatal for Kansas last season. There will be no such issues for the Jayhawks in the 2023-24 season. If Johnny Furphy withdraws from the draft and returns to Kansas, all 13 scholarships will be filled with either proven or promising players. Even if Furphy stays in the draft, KU has positioned itself for a return to Big 12 supremacy by landing a blockbuster transfer haul. AJ Storr (Wisconsin), Rylan Griffen (Alabama), Riley Kugel (Florida and Zeke Mayo (South Dakota State) are each in the CBS Sports Transfer Rankings and will combine to give coach Bill Self a deep group of offensive weapons to pair with an excellent returning core of Dajuan Harris Jr., KJ Adams Jr. and Hunter Dickinson– Cobb

Loser: Seton Hall disintegrates after NIT title

Congratulations on the NIT title, now go rebuild your roster from scratch. That’s the reward coach Shaheen Holloway got after guiding his alma mater to a 25-12 record and thrilling NIT championship win over a 32-win Indiana State team. While some of the Pirates’ numerous departures were relatively insignificant, losing starters Kadary Richmond, Dre Davis and Dylan Addae-Wusu to the portal stings. Richmond is an especially painful loss as the multi-faceted point guard was a first-team All-Big East performer. It will take a Herculean effort for SHU to find adequate replacements at this point in the cycle. – Cobb

Winner: Cal cleans up in the portal

Cal’s incoming transfer portal class is headlined by former McDonald’s All-American Andrej Stojaković, the son of former NBA star Peja Stojaković. After spending his freshman season across the Bay Area at Stanford, Stojaković committed to Mark Madsen and the Bears despite receiving interest from blue bloods like North Carolina and Kentucky. Stojaković is one of six incoming transfers with Air Force forward Rytis Petraitis, Michigan State center Mady Sissoko, Minnesota forward Josh Ola-Joseph, Vanderbilt’s Lee Dort and North Dakota’s BJ Omot being the others that will help the program transition from the Pac-12 to the ACC. – Salerno

Two of Miami’s best players, Wooga Poplar and Norchad Omer, are out the door
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Loser: Miami‘s star power takes a hit

Miami stars Norchad Omier and Wooga Poplar entered the transfer portal less than a week before the transfer deadline. Omier was coming off a season in which he averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Poplar averaged 13.1 points. With star freshman Kyshawn George entering the draft, Miami (15-17 in 2023-24) will be without three of its top scorers heading into a new-look ACC. It’s been 13 months since Miami made the Final Four, but a lot has changed. – Salerno

Winner: Dusty May makes an impression at Michigan

It didn’t take long for May to leave his mark as the new coach in Ann Arbor. His first order of business was landing four-star guard Justin Pippen, the son of NBA legend Scottie Pippen, to Michigan’s incoming recruiting class. In the transfer portal, May landed one of his former star players at FAU (center Vladislav Goldin) to go along with Alabama’s Sam Walters, Ohio State’s Roddy Gayle Jr., Auburn’s Tre Donaldson, Yale’s Danny Wolf, and North Texas’ Rubin Jones. – Salerno

More: Roddy Gayle Jr. to Michigan among portal cycle’s best fits

Loser: Wisconsin loses two key players

The departures of Chucky Hepburn (Louisville) and AJ Storr (Kansas) leave big holes to fill for the Badgers, who struggled down the stretch after a 16-4 start. Hepburn was a three-year starter at point guard with a reputation for stingy perimeter defense, while Storr served as a much-needed offensive spark in his lone season with the program. Former Central Arkansas guard Camren Hunter and ex-Northern Illinois forward Xavier Amos are on the way, but the Badgers will need their returning core to increase its productivity. – Cobb

Winner: Penny Hardaway does it again

Last offseason, Memphis landed a transfer portal class that included Jahvon Quinerly, Jordan Brown, and David Jones. This cycle, Hardaway landed Texas’ Tyrese Hunter, Illinois’ Dain Danija, and Tulsa’s PJ Haggerty.Haggerty spent his first college season at TCU before breaking out in his redshirt freshman campaign. With Hardaway only signing one high school player from the 2024 cycle, the incoming transfer class will have an opportunity for a big role from Day 1. – Salerno

Loser: Indiana State’s coach, key players depart 

When Josh Schertz departed for the vacant job at Saint Louis just days after losing in the NIT final to Seton Hall, he took the program’s best player with him. Indiana State star big man Robbie Avila, better known for his various nicknames such as “Larry Nerd” or “Cream Abdul-Jabbar” was one of the top available players in the portal. He wasn’t the only player the program lost, as Isaiah Swope followed Schertz to Saint Louis, and star guard Ryan Conwell transferred to Xavier. For a program that was ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time since Larry Bird played at the school, losing those players and Schertz is a devastating blow. – Salerno

Winner: UCLA, USC add big names ahead of Big Ten arrival 

After a disappointing 2023-24 campaign that saw UCLA miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Mick Cronin’s tenure, he reloaded the roster with players who have experience. One of those players is USC star wing Kobe Johnson, who didn’t go far to find his next home. Cronin also added former blue-chip recruit Skyy Clark from Louisville, Oregon State’s Tyler Bilodeau, Oklahoma State’s Eric Dailey, and more. 

On the other side of Los Angeles, new USC coach Eric Musselman has been working the portal aggressively. The Trojans’ transfer portal class is full of veteran players such as Boise State’s Chibuzo Agbo Jr., Michigan’s Terrance Williams, Northern Colorado’s Saint Thomas, UC San Diego’s Bryce Pope, Yale’s Matt Knowling, Bowling Green’s Rashaun Agee, UMass’ Josh Cohen, and Penn’s Clark Slajchert. All the incoming players will have an opportunity to compete for playing time right away because most of the 2023-24 roster is gone. – Salerno

Loser: Washington State sees exodus after Kyle Smith’s departure 

After Washington State had its best season in over a decade, the program lost Smith to Stanford and its top two players, Myles Rice and Jaylen Wells, to the transfer portal. Rice committed to Indiana, while Wells entered the NBA Draft/transfer portal. Andrej Jakimovski and Rueben Chinyelu transferred to Colorado and Florida, respectively. WSU will enter a new conference for basketball (WCC) with a new coach (David Riley) and almost an entirely new roster. – Salerno

After a disappointing season, Indiana and Mike Woodson hit the 2024 portal cycle hard
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Winner: Indiana finally gets some guards

Indiana’s haul includes three players from the CBS Sports Transfer Rankings and a fourth in Luke Goode who played a key role for an Elite Eight team at Illinois. The headliner is big man Oumar Ballo from Arizona, but guards Myles Rice and Kanaan Carlyle are the breath of fresh air that the IU backcourt has been needing. Rice earned Pac-12 Rookie of the Year honors at Washington State in 2023-24 while Carlyle averaged 11.5 points as a freshman at Stanford. If they can shoot it decently well from 3-point range, the Hoosiers should be in the Big Ten’s upper crust. – Cobb

Loser: Florida State suffers a last-minute loss

Florida State received a late gut punch when leading scorer Jamir Watkins entered the portal just before the deadline. The Seminoles were already facing roster churn after a 17-16 season. Now, with Watkins gone, the outlook is bleak. Unless coach Leonard Hamilton unearths a handful of gems from the dwindling pool of high-end portal talent, FSU could be headed for a fourth straight missed NCAA Tournament. – Cobb

Winner: DePaul‘s reboot has strong start

Former Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann is hitting the ground running at what is arguably the worst job in a major college basketball conference. DePaul hasn’t been to an NCAA Tournament since 2004 and is coming off a 3-29 season. But with the transfer class Holtmann is putting together, don’t be surprised if the Blue Demons make strides in his first season. Backcourt players Conor Enright (Drake), Jacob Meyer (Coastal Carolina), Isaiah Rivera (Illinois-Chicago) and David Thomas (Mercer) each shot 40% or better from 3-point range at their last stops. Many of the frontcourt additions have perimeter shooting acumen as well. Holtmann faces a long road to making DePaul relevant in the Big East, but he’s off to a good start. – Cobb

Winner: Ole Miss gets more dynamic

Ole Miss loaded up on bucket getters, landing five transfers who averaged 13.5 points or more last season. Power conference additions Dre Davis (Seton Hall) and Sean Pedulla (Virginia Tech) will help in the backcourt while mid-major additions Mikeal Brown-Jones (UNC Greensboro) and Malik Dia (Belmont) are versatile forwards who can also step out and shoot. Davon Barnes from Sam Houston is a 6-foot-5 wing who hit 39.1% of his 3s this past season. With shot-swatting centers Moussa Cisse and Jamarion Sharp gone, coach Chris Beard is moving in a more athletically fluid, offensively dynamic direction with his second roster. – Cobb

Loser: The Ivy League is now losing undergrads

The Ivy League has been losing graduate transfers for years since the league doesn’t allow graduates to play. What’s different about this portal cycle is the number of quality undergraduates leaving the Ivy League. Players such as Malik Mack (Harvard to Georgetown) Danny Wolf (Yale to Michigan), Tyler Perkins (Penn to Villanova) and Kalu Anya (Brown to Saint Louis) are departing some of the nation’s most prestigious academic institutions for NIL paydays elsewhere. Given the academic standards and limited access for transfers to Ivy institutions, it’s nearly impossible for coaches to find suitable replacements. I tackled this topic more in-depth earlier in the week. – Cobb

Winner: Missouri loads up for redemption

Third-year Missouri coach Dennis Gates is looking to reclaim the winning trajectory he established during a 25-win debut campaign by bringing in a class that includes three players from the CBS Sports Transfer Rankings. A fourth transfer, Marquest Warrick, was a four-time All-Horizon League player at Northern Kentucky. Tony Perkins from Iowa is a physical guard with distribution chops, Jacob Crews from Tennessee Martin is an elite 3-point shooter and Mark Mitchell from Duke is a versatile forward with NBA upside. The Tigers have upgraded their talent in a massive way following a horrific 0-18 SEC season. – Cobb

Loser: Dayton gets depleted

Dayton relied heavily on six players during a 25-8 season. Three of them are transferring out as Koby Brea (Kentucky), Kobe Elvis (Oklahoma) and Nate Santos (TBD) each hit the portal. If star forward DaRon Holmes II stays in the NBA Draft, the Flyers will have a hefty bit of rebuilding to do as coach Anthony Grant enters his eighth season. – Cobb

Winner: Marquette‘s silence is golden

Sometimes, no news is good news. Such is the case with Marquette, whose roster has no outbound or inbound transfers. While Tyler Kolek and Oso Ighodaro have declared for the draft, Shaka Smart’s Golden Eagles will return a solid nucleus and have more minutes available for a young crop of internally developed players who should be ready to step into rotation roles. – Cobb

Loser: Minnesota gets wiped out

Eight players started seven or more games for Minnesota as the Gophers improved from nine wins in 2022-23 to 19 wins in 2023-24. But six of them are transferring out, leaving coach Ben Johnson to frantically mine the portal for reinforcements as he enters a critical fourth season. – Cobb

Winner: Xavier is reloading

Xavier finished 16-18 in coach Sean Miller’s second season after reaching the Sweet 16 as a No. 3 seed in the first year of his second stint with the Musketeers. Given the caliber of transfers Miller has landed, expect to see the Musketeers back in the Big Dance. Guards Ryan Conwell (Indiana State), Marcus Foster (Furman) and Dante Maddox Jr. (Toledo) are big-time bucket getters from strong mid-major programs. Frontcourt players John Hugley IV (Oklahoma) and Lassina Traore (Long Beach State) will also add production to a roster that is expected to have veteran forwards Jerome Hunter and Zach Freemantle back from injury. – Cobb

More Winners and Losers: Why North Carolina, Oregon headline 247Sports’ list





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