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I've Got Five On It: Sophomore transfers hoping to jump-start careers

Ke'lel Ware
Ke'lel Ware (AP Images)

High school rankings are, obviously, an inexact science. For every one-and-done five star there’s a highly ranked prospect that struggles to find his footing in the college game. But a change of scenery is capable of doing a player good, so this week in I've Got Five On It, Rivals recruiting director Rob Cassidy examines five highly ranked class of 2022 prospects that are hoping a transfer helps jump-start their careers after a less-than-dominant first season of college hoops.


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High school ranking: No. 7 in the class of 2022

Old home: Oregon

New home: Indiana

Ware turned in one of the most impressive performances of McDonald's All-American week last year but failed to launch as a freshman at Oregon, where produced when on the floor but still struggled to find a defined role. He averaged a respectable 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest despite playing just 15 minutes per game, making his 40-minute averages intriguing, to say the least. Ware is very much still a high-level NBA prospect and will have every chance to improve his draft stock as a sophomore at Indiana, which needs to replace star big man Trayce Jackson-Davis. Ware has first-round tools, as his athleticism, rim-protecting skills and agility have never been in doubt. He’ll realize his full potential under Mike Woodson if he adds polish as a scorer and gives consistent effort, which has been an issue at times.




Arterio Morris
Arterio Morris (AP Images)

High school ranking: No. 15 in the class of 2022

Old home: Texas

New home: Kansas

A McDoanld’s All-American and five-star prospect, Morris struggled to find consistent playing time on an experienced Texas roster a year ago. He averaged just 11.7 minutes per contest, but showed flashes of greatness in small bursts throughout the year. The fact that Morris also found himself in legal trouble stemming from a misdemeanor domestic violence accusation didn’t bode well for his Longhorn career, either. The former five-star now finds himself on a Kansas team once again expected to compete for a national title under Bill Self, who has a long history of getting the most out of experienced guards. Morris' career didn’t start the way anyone wanted, but he seems like a good bet to thrive in Lawrence given his raw talent and Self’s history of masterful roster management. Nobody will be surprised if Morris looks more like the thrill-ride of lead guard we saw during his time at Dallas’ Kimball High School. He’ll be asked to do plenty at KU, and he has the tools to thrive while doing so.




High school ranking: No. 19 in the class of 2022

Old home: Auburn

New home: UCSB

Traore, who had NBA scouts buzzing as a high school senior, underperformed significantly as a freshman, in part because of an absolute logjam in the Auburn frontcourt. He averaged just 9.9 minutes per game and was stuck sharing time with more successful bigs Dylan Cardwell, Johni Broome and Jaylin Williams. If it’s playing time he’s after, however, he’ll certainly find it at UCSB, which finds itself in need of bigs to pair with star point guard Ajay Mitchell, the reigning Big West Player of the Year. Traore is a bit of a project from an offensive standpoint, but his length, athleticism and skill on the perimeter should allow him to make big waves with a massive jump in production for the Gauchos next season. He’s almost a lock to play a major role for a squad looking for its third NCAA tournament berth in the last four seasons.



MJ Rice
MJ Rice (AP Images)

High school ranking: No. 29 in the class of 2022

Old home: Kansas

New home: NC State

Rice struggled to find minutes for a 28-8 Kansas squad but managed to show out on occasion early in the season before becoming an afterthought late in the campaign. Rice battled various ailments and minor injuries a year ago, which didn’t help his cause, and he finished the season averaging just 2.2 points and 1.0 rebound per contest. A McDonald's All-American, Rice was a prolific scorer at the high school level and showed the ability to use his thick frame and solid outside stroke to fill it up from all three levels. He may feel more comfortable at NC State, which recruited the North Carolina native heavily out of high school. Rice will join a solid list of other talented transfers on the Wolfpack roster and is definitely a candidate to break out as a sophomore in the ACC.




Jaden Bradley
Jaden Bradley (AP Images)

High school ranking: No. 32 in the class of 2022

Old home: Alabama

New home: Arizona

Bradley was battle tested coming out of Florida’s IMG Academy and looked like a sure thing to make waves as a freshman. He played some important minutes in his first year at Alabama, but his playing time tapered off late in the season. The former four-star prospect averaged 6.4 PPG for the Crimson Tide and will almost certainly find more minutes on an Arizona team that, like Alabama, also likes to push the pace. Bradley will certainly be in the mix to grab a starting role in Tucson, as the Wildcats roster is a bit light on proven pieces. Head coach Tommy Lloyd is looking to erase last year’s quick NCAA Tournament exit from memory and Bradley will likely play a key role if he’s to do so. It feels as though Bradley could see his career take off in the Pac-12 if he becomes more efficient from a scoring perspective, as his shooting numbers were sometimes troubling in Tuscaloosa.