Each year, the number of the players on the transfer market is larger than the year before. Following the 2015-16 season, the list has continued to grow, even over a month after the Villanova Wildcats were crowned the NCAA Champions.
Following the 2014-15 season, the transfer list ballooned to over 700 names. This year, things appear to be on their way past last year’s mark.
With the ever-increasing number of players on the list, it’s tough to keep track of who’s going where for the remainder of their careers. Some players are immediately eligible as graduate transfers, while others have to sit out a year due to transfer regulations, and it’s often tough to figure out who is in which category.
Below, we have listed our top five transfer players who are immediately eligible for the 2016-17 season. The list is based off of the players who have committed so far, and will likely change as more players make their decisions.
#1. Canyon Barry – Florida Gators
Former School: College of Charleston Cougars
2015-16 Stats: 19.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.3 apg (Injured, 13 GP)
Canyon Barry was one of the nation’s top scorers in the early parts of the 2015-16 season. Then, after just 13 games, he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that derailed his strong campaign. He averaged 19.7 points per contest before the injury, and was a highly-coveted transfer on the market. He should give the Florida Gators a go-to scoring threat on the back end, and a player who can keep up with other talented guards in the SEC.
#2. Rodney Pryor – Georgetown Hoyas
Former School: Robert Morris Colonials
2015-16 Stats: 18.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.4 spg
Next season, the Hoyas will be without star guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, which is a huge loss for the team on both ends of the floor. Add in the streaky play of both L.J. Peak and Isaac Copeland thus far in their careers, the need for a bonafide offensive threat was apparent in the off-season. Enter Robert Morris transfer Rodney Pryor, and Georgetown has found their man. Pryor gives the team a big punch on the offensive end, and he has the size to be an impact player in terms of rebounds on both ends of the floor.
In the Big East, Rodney Pryor will be a big-time player.
#3. Cullen Neal – Ole Miss Rebels
Former School: New Mexico Lobos
2015-16 Stats: 12.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.7 apg
Any time you can get two years of eligibility out of a graduate transfer, they immediately become a top target for several teams around the country. That’s the situation that Cullen Neal found himself in, after transferring from New Mexico. After missing most of the 2014-15 season due to injury, Neal averaged 12.3 points per game last season, good for third on the Lobos in scoring. He opted for the Ole Miss Rebels, and has two years of eligibility left in the NCAA, starting in the 2016-17 season.
Kudos to the Rebels for landing one of the top transfers on the market, who is immediately eligible and they get two years out of him. That’s a win all-around.
#4. Sam Cassell, Jr. – Iona Gaels
Former School: Connecticut Huskies
2015-16 Stats: 2.2 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 0.6 apg (18 GP)
Any time that you need a point guard, and you have the opportunity to land one that has power conference experience, you make him a top priority. After losing guard A.J. English to graduation following last season, the Iona Gaels found themselves looking for a new floor general on the back end. They found their man in Sam Cassell, Jr., son of former NBA star Sam Cassell. While Cassell, Jr. only played in 18 games for the Huskies last year, the experience he brings with him will help the team right away.
With the return of guard Schadrac Casimir for the Gaels next season, expect Iona to once again compete atop the MAAC standings.
#5. Ben Carter – Michigan State Spartans
Former School: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
2015-16 Stats: 8.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.4 bpg
Simply put, the Michigan State Spartans will be without a ton of talent from last year’s roster. Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes, Matt Costello, and Colby Wollenman all graduated, and freshman forward Deyonta Davis opted for the NBA Draft early. So, Tom Izzo had several holes on his roster to fill. Despite having a highly-touted recruiting class coming in, he was looking to add some experience to help guide the newcomers. Forward Ben Carter does just that, plus he can log minutes in the front court.
The UNLV transfer will get an opportunity to play meaningful minutes in a power conference this season, and he should thrive with the opportunity. Carter and Gavin Schilling give the Spartans an underrated, yet talented, front court tandem.
Five More to Keep an Eye On:
Spike Albrecht (Purdue Boilermakers)
L.G. Gill (Maryland Terrapins)
Tony Hicks (Louisville Cardinals)
J.J. N’Ganga (Mercer Bears)
John Gillon (Syracuse Orange)