Evans Seven: Winners of the spring transfer market
In this week’s Evans Seven, we look at the biggest winners of the transfer market this spring.
Arizona entered the offseason with just seven returning scholarship players and zero 2018 commitments. Sean Miller and his staff quickly set to work resupplying the Wildcats' cupboard and while they hit on a few high school commitments, their biggest additions came via the transfer wire. The first to pledge was former Pitt standout Ryan Luther, who averaged a double-double in an injury shortened season. Next up was Samford grad-transfer Justin Coleman, who should be a steadying force in the UA backcourt. Luther and Coleman will bring a healthy dose experience to a young but underrated Wildcat team that could compete for a Pac-12 title next season.
Marquette should be one of the favorites to win the Big East next season thanks in part to its success in the transfer market. Fordham guard Joseph Chartouny won't be leaned on for his shot-making ability - he is a career 32 percent 3-point shooter - but he will help address the Golden Eagles' backcourt defense. Marquette also landed Utah State sit-out transfer Koby McEwen, a one-time Rivals150 prospect that was sidelined this year due to a minor leg injury. He should step into Marquette’s starting lineup in 2019-20 to form a dynamic backcourt with microwave scorer Markus Howard.
Miami placed a premium on the transfer market this spring and was able to walk away with three of the better available prospects. Florida Gulf Coast transfer Zach Johnson will be asked to help fill the shoes of departing guards JaQuan Newton, Bruce Brown and Lonnie Walker. Johnson will be joined by Oklahoma’s Kameron McGusty and Wyoming’s Anthony Mack, who will both have to sit out the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules. While the Hurricanes may take a minor step back next season, McGusty and Mack should jump-start the program in 2019-20 and have the Hurricanes among the upper half of the ACC.
Missouri lost C.J. Roberts and Blake Harris to transfer earlier in the year, but more than made up for it with multiple additions this spring. The Tigers added some versatility in the form of former Illinois guard Mark Smith. He will joined by Evansville product Dru Smith. While not highly acclaimed coming out of high school, the MVC standout is a well-rounded guard that should coalesce well with the Tigers' returning options in the backcourt..
Ohio State made a push in the transfer market this spring to shore up its point guard position, landing Keyshawn Woods from Wake Forest. While the North Carolina native is more of a scorer than a playmaker - he averaged just 1.9 assists per game last season - he should be able to pitch in as a facilitator alongside the Buckeyes' returning and incoming backcourt options. The Buckeyes also made a push to shore up its point guard future by bringing in C.J. Walker from Florida State, who will have to sit out the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
When Trae Young signed with Oklahoma, very few people expected him to spend just one season in Norman. When the former five-star guard emerged as a likely lottery pick and eventually declared for the NBA Draft, Lon Kruger and his staff were forced to quickly look for reinforcements. The Sooners added Pacific guard Miles Reynolds, a steady combo guard that began his career at St. Louis. OU then nabbed a sturdy scorer in Maine guard Aaron Calixate. The pair will be immediately eligible in 2018-19 and while neither boast Young-like firepower, they will bring maturity and experience to the Sooners' program.
In Travis Steele's first 72 hours as Xavier's head coach, he snagged the commitment Zach Hankins, of one of the top Div. II players in the country. Hankins is a walking double-double and will be asked to steady the Musketeers’ frontline. He will not be the only newcomer to the program this fall as Kyle Castlin, a good sized off guard that can make shots, will hope to fill the void left by all-league wing J.P. Macura. Rounding out Xaviers' trio of grad-transfer commitments is Ryan Welage, who spent the first part of his college career at San Jose State. He should provide a quality mismatch option as a face-up forward that can extend the defense with the perimeter jumper. Together, the three transfers should infuse experience into a team that could surprise next season.