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Portal Spotlight: Three top performers from Week 1

Emoni Bates
Emoni Bates (USA Today Sports Images)

This past off-season was a very busy time for the NCAA Transfer Portal. Players changed schools all over the country seeking a better fit or the proper level for them. There were roughly 1,500 players who entered the Transfer Portal between last season and this one, and that number will likely only continue to grow.

Below, Travis Graf takes a look at three early-season transfer standouts:


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Brandin Podziemski, Santa Clara

Podziemski had a very forgettable freshman season, unable to crack the rotation for an Illinois squad that finished in the Top 25 at the end of the season. The 6-foot-6 guard averaged just four minutes per game in the 16 games he appeared in, scoring just over one point per game in those contests.

Fast forward to this year and Podziemski has hit the ground running for Santa Clara, averaging 25.3 points per game, good for top-10 nationally through the first week of the season. In his first two games in a Broncos uniform, the former four-star scored 64 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, while grabbing seven steals as well. So far this season, Podziemski is shooting 42-percent from behind the arc.


Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan

If you follow basketball recruiting at all, you’re very familiar with Bates, a former five-star prospect who was at one time the top prospect in his high school class. He reclassed and entered the college game a year younger than everyone else, and it didn’t pay off for him in his one year at Memphis. He battled injuries and when he was able to play, he averaged fewer than 10 points per game and shot less than 40-percent from the field.

Bates entered the transfer portal as one of the hottest prospects on the market and had many programs pursuing. He ended up transferring to Eastern Michigan, close to his hometown. He’s been spectacular this season for the Eagles through two games, scoring 50 points combined. His coming out party was against Michigan as he scored 30 points and knocked down some insane outside jumpers. He’s currently averaging 25 points per game and shooting 46-percent from three.


Terrence Shannon Jr., Illinois 

Shannon Jr. had a very solid career at Texas Tech, appearing in 83 games over three seasons and starting in 54 of those. He averaged 11 points a game during his time in Lubbock and had a lot of high points while in a Red Raiders uniform. The 3 and D wing saw a slight dip in production last season after Mark Adams took over for Chris Beard, but was still productive. After the season, he decided that a change of scenery would be best for his playing future.

Shannon was another highly sought after player in the portal this offseason and ultimately decided to play for Brad Underwood and the Fighting Illini. Through three games, he’s leading Illinois in points and assists, and is second on the team in rebounds. Shannon is averaging 22.7 points per game and has excelled at getting to the rim while maintaining a consistent stroke from the outside. He’s knocked down 35-percent of his outside looks on high volume and is averaging a whopping 10.7 attempted free throws per contest.