Who Are the Winners and Losers From the NCAA Transfer Portal?


Who Are the Winners and Losers From the NCAA Transfer Portal?


The college basketball scene has been making strides towards an environment in which mass transfers take place on a yearly basis, but upcoming rules changes to the sport look to have finally ushered the era in. It was recently confirmed that freshly-signed players will be eligible to play for their new teams with immediate effect going forwards.

This has led to a highly predictable but still impressive upsurge in the numbers of transfer-listed players in the portal. For reference, the NCAA reports that there were a total of 694 transfers in 2019 – but the 2021 portal has 1,573 players listed, with almost half of those (753) yet to find a new team. But who have been the biggest winners and losers so far? Let’s take a look.


The Florida Gators are the biggest winners of the portal so far, bringing in Penn State guard Myreon Jones (who has a 39.5% for his three-pointers and averages 15.3 points per game so far this season) to replace the outgoing Noah Locke. They’ve also drafted in Brandon McKissic to supplement their roster, with his over-50% shooting accuracy this season certain to be a boon going forwards.

Kentucky suffered an abysmal season last time around, but appear to have given those with a penchant for betting on NCAA basketball something to think about with a brace of impressive signings so far this portal. Kellan Grady is a reliable pair of hands behind the three-point line and scored consistently for Davidson over a four-year spell, while Oscar Tshiebwe is a clear upgrade on Cam’Ron Fletcher, too.

Meanwhile, it’s all coming up roses for Maryland coach Mark Turgeon. Despite being the target of sustained criticism over the years, Turgeon has guided the Terrapins into the NCAA Tournament through the back-door of 10th place and sealed a victory in their opening game. He’s also enhanced his options by adding Qudus Wahab and Fatts Russell to his roster, which should serve him well for the season ahead.


On the other side of the wheel of fortune, Arizona look to have a long, hard road ahead of them. An FBI-led investigation of previous coach Sean Miller left the incoming Tommy Lloyd in a difficult position which has only been exacerbated by the departure of eight squad players (including James Akinjo and Jamal Baker Jnr) and the addition of just one (Oumar Ballo).

Things look barely better for Boston College. Three back-to-back losing seasons put paid to the tenure of Jim Christian, while the team’s top four scorers from last year have all entered the portal (and three of them have secured new contracts elsewhere). Incoming coach Jim Grant did a very respectable rebuild job at Charleston but he’s certainly going to have his work cut out for him if he is to repeat the trick here.

As mentioned above, Penn State will be without their leading scorer from last season Myreon Jones, while other key individuals Jamari Wheeler, John Harrar and Seth Lundy are also headed for the exit door. Although the fact that Izaiah Brockington has now U-turned on his decision to leave is encouraging news, Penn State are still short in a variety of areas.

In the NCAA’s first “free agency” year, there will doubtless be plenty more transfers before the season ends. However, the early indications are that some teams have undoubtedly done better business than others.