College basketball has one of the most fluid roster situations in all sports. The best players leave for the NBA after one year of success, and it is common for guys to transfer. If a team doesn’t have someone transfer, they are in the minority.
Whether players want to move or teams want to add a scholarship spot, there is constant rotation in college basketball. The new transfer portal rules will make this more common over the course of the next few seasons, so this year is just the start of free agency in college basketball.
With that in mind, these players are the best transfers in college basketball from the 2021 offseason according to top sportsbooks. Whether they left for a bigger opportunity or a larger role on a weaker team, they are poised to have a major impact this season.
These five players are ready to take over college basketball and your NCAAB odds in a variety of ways. They can be the pivotal pieces for deep NCAA Tournament runs for their new teams. Let’s start with number five.
5. Nimari Burnett: Texas Tech to Alabama
Burnett was one of the top recruits coming out of high school, and he was expected to be a pivotal player for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. However, things didn’t pan out for him there. He only played in 12 games and never started for Texas Tech. He was incredibly inefficient, and he never impacted either side of the ball.
However, the potential is there according to betting sites, and Nate Oats has proven that he can develop players. Jahvon Quinerly had a similar situation when he transferred from Villanova to Alabama, and he became one of the smoothest ball-handlers this season.
Alabama is listed at +1400 odds to win the title, and it will depend on Burnett’s ability to become the player he’s supposed to be. He has what it takes, but can he deliver this year? Likely so.
4. Devin Askew: Kentucky to Texas
Unlike Burnett, Devin Askew actually started most of his games with the Kentucky Wildcats. He played an important role this season for UK. The main reason he left was that he was inconsistent last year. Askew was supposed to be a game-changer, but he failed to be the key ball-handler for the Wildcats. Perhaps a change of scenery will help him.
Askew is another player with elite potential. If he can reach his ceiling, he can lead Texas to a conference title. If not, the Longhorns will have a frustrating year. Texas has a new head coach, to plenty will be changing in Austin. This may be a positive change for the Longhorns.
3. Walker Kessler: UNC to Auburn
Auburn had a rough year. They were ineligible for postseason play, and they had to see one of their best players ever sit out for the start of the year. Even if they were a better team, their season would have ended with a regular-season game.
Walker Kessler hopes to bring Auburn back to where they were three years ago. The Tigers have a proven coach and a stable nucleus. They know what it takes, and Kessler can be the tipping point for the Tigers. Kessler’s size will be crucial in the SEC. It is something every team will have to plan against, and few will have an answer.
2. Bryce Thompson: Kansas to Oklahoma State
Thompson only started four games for the struggling Jayhawks, and he never seemed to click. Still, he has all the potential in the world. His stats are worrisome but don’t think that he peaked in his freshman year. His failures should act as a motivator as he tries to turn around his collegiate career. Numbers aren’t everything, and Thompson will prove that one bad year of stats won’t define him as an athlete.
1. Jordan Brown: Arizona to Louisiana
Seeing a player go from Arizona to Louisiana is worrisome. He will see worse competition. This is also Brown’s third team after transferring from Nevada to Arizona.
At the end of the day, Brown has one last chance to prove himself as a college basketball player. If he can’t feast in this conference, he’ll never make it. Still, he has years of experience and quality coaching behind him. Brown was highly rated out of high school, and I still believe that player is in him somewhere. He just has to un-tap that potential that has been corked up for so long.