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I've Got Five On It: Predictions for top transfers

Emoni Bates
Emoni Bates (USA Today Sports Images)

The month of May is prime time for transfer portal dwellers to find new homes, but plenty of talent remains unsigned. Schools are evaluating immediate needs and courting the prospects they think fill holes on their rosters. And while many of the top transfers in the country have already made the call on where they’ll land next season, there are others still weighing their options.

This week in I Got Five On it, Rivals.com national basketball analyst Rob Cassidy explores five potential difference-makers that remain undecided and offers his prediction on where each will land.

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More Cassidy: NIL drama, KJ Evans and Ugonna Kingsley

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150

2024 Rankings: Top 40

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Transferring from: Memphis

The Emoni Bates experience hasn’t gone as some had hoped when the former top-ranked prospect was placed on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a sophomore in high school, but his pro potential is still alive. It’s now up to him and the next coaching staff charged with the task of molding him to achieve it.

Bates played in just 18 games as a freshman at Memphis last season and was essentially a non-factor in the Tigers’ run to the AAC tournament title game. His impressive build, lethal pull-up jumper and well-rounded skill set, however, make him impossible to count out as a high-level impact transfer.

Think of Bates as a low-risk, high-reward prospect that could either be a solid role player or change the trajectory of a team’s entire season if things begin to click the way most expected them to years ago. The former five-star seems set on joining head coach Kenny Payne at Louisville unless something changes down the stretch.

Prediction: Louisville

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Transferring from: Iowa State

One of the year’s most surprising portal entries, Hunter lit the Big 12 on fire as a freshman, starting every game for Iowa State and averaging 11 points and nearly five assists on his way to winning the league’s Freshman of the Year award.

Louisville seemed like a major player and the possible favorite for a week or so, but those days appear over. Now, Texas will get Hunter on campus for his final campus visit during the upcoming weekend. Tennessee also remains in the mix, but if forced to make a bet, my money is on the Longhorns.

Should such a prediction come true, Hunter's return to Ames as an opponent this season will result in a hostile crowd and appointment television.

Prediction: Texas

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Transferring from: Missouri State

An elite shooter from all over the floor and one of the top available players in the portal, Mosley might not have to travel far to play his senior season. The productive wing, who averaged more than 20 points and six rebounds as a junior, is considered a slight Kansas lean, and KU’s Lawrence (Kan.) campus sits roughly three hours away from where Missouri State plays its home games.

Mosley has a number of heavy hitters including Texas Tech, Louisville and Duke kicking the tires on his recruitment, but Kansas is home to his high school teammate, Dajuan Harris, who starts in the Jayhawks’ backcourt and would provide an alluring level of familiarity for the Missouri native.

Prediction: Kansas

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Transferring from: Northern Iowa

A two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, Green is a proven commodity and one of the best 3-point shooters in the country. He’s also the son of Kyle Green, who serves as an assistant coach at Iowa State. Connect those dots if you wish, but there are heavy hitters in pursuit, as schools such as Duke have expressed interest.

There’s also the fact that Green is testing the NBA waters and has found significant interest in his services. Alas, sometimes the easiest explanation is the best. I’ll go with the Cyclones here based on Occam's Razor.

Prediction: Iowa State

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Transferring from: Louisiana Tech

Like Green, Lofton is also testing the NBA waters. He’s likely to return to college, however, and will have no shortage of programs from which to pick when he does. Few available transfers score in the paint better than Lofton, who earned first-team All-Conference USA honors a season ago.

A Texas native, Lofton is considered a Houston lean. Should he pick the Cougars, he’d play out his junior season 90 miles away from his home of Port Arthur, Texas. His skill set seems to fit one of the few holes for UH, and adding Lofton would make Kelvin Sampson’s team a serious contender on the national stage once again.

Prediction: Houston