Virginia's Austin Nichols among highest impact transfers - Sports Illustrated

Marcus Foster, Austin Nichols among projected top 100 scoring transfers

For many teams, transfers represent experienced D-I players who can plug in gaps on rosters right away. Which transfers will have the biggest impacts this season?
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Sports Illustrated's College Basketball Projection System is a collaboration between economist Dan Hanner and SI's Luke Winn and Jeremy Fuchs that produces our 1-351 team rankings, conference predictions and player statistical forecasts. For a deeper look at how the system works, read this explainer.

We simulated the season 10,000 times and generated median stats for every player in the top eight conferences (AAC, ACC, Atlantic 10, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) as well as our other forecasted at-large bid candidates (Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, BYU, Wichita State, San Diego State and Princeton). Today we're unveiling our projected top 100 scoring transfers, according to raw points per game, from that set of teams. This list is limited to players who've previously appeared at D-I schools; it does not include players who've only played at junior colleges. 

(Our breakdown of the national player of the year race ran on SI.com on Wednesday.)

Rank

Name

Current School

Proj. PPG

Previous School

Previous PPG

1

Emile Blackman

Duquesne

16.5

Niagara

15.8

While Niagara-to-Duquesne guard Emile Blackman projects to be our top transfer scorer, Marcus Foster (No. 2) could have the biggest impact on the national rankings, as he'll be partnering with Maurice Watson Jr. to give Creighton arguably the Big East's best starting backcourt.

Syracuse lost a lot from its surprise Final Four run (notably senior guard Michael Gbinije and freshman wing Malachi Richardson), but they’ll get a boost from grad transfer Andrew White (No. 5). White averaged 16.6 points last season for Nebraska. The 6' 7" small forward can replace some of Richardson’s production, while helping from distance. White made 41.2% percent of his shots from three; Richardson made 35.3%.

Nigel Williams-Goss (No. 9) is expected to drop in scoring, but he might play a big role for Gonzaga. Josh Perkins started all 36 games as a freshman point guard, averaging 10.1 points and 4.1 assists. In 2014–15, Williams-Goss averaged 15.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists for Washington, which gave him second-team All-Pac-12 honors. Gonzaga lost its three leading scorers (Kyle Wiltjer, Domantas Sabonis, Eric McClellan)—Williams-Goss can step right in and pick up the slack.

Rank

Name

Current School

Proj. PPG

Previous School

Previous PPG

11

Shannon Evans

Arizona St.

12.1

Buffalo

15.4

Arizona State senior guard Gerry Blakes averaged 11 points last season. So slot in Shannon Evans (No. 11), who we project to average 12.1 points at the two. Evans, a 6' 1" transfer from Buffalo, will combine with junior guard Tra Holder (14.2 points per game) to provide a solid one-two scoring punch in the backcourt for a team that finished 15–17 last year.

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He’s in his sixth season, but Rodney Pryor might (No. 12) make his biggest impact this fall. A 6' 5" graduate transfer from Robert Morris, Pryor averaged 18 points last season. The guard should help offset the loss of star D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera.

Rank

Name

Current School

Proj. PPG

Previous School

Previous PPG

21

Connar Tava

Boston College

11.2

Western Michigan

12.3

With his transfer battle over, David Collette (No. 25) can focus on scoring in the paint. The 6' 8" forward was great in his freshman season at Utah State, shooting 59.1% from the field and averaging 12.8 points and 5.0 rebounds. Now at cross-state rival Utah, Collette will be tasked with replacing departed center Jakob Poeltl, who was drafted ninth overall by the Raptors. Collette and 6' 9" junior Kyle Kuzma (10.8 points) will form a formidable front line.

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Junior Etou (No. 26), a talented yet mercurial forward, will bring a lot of athleticism to the Tulsa frontline. The cousin of Serge Ibaka, Etou, a 6' 7" junior, can run the floor well and might benefit from not playing in the Big 10.

Avery Woodson (No. 28) joins a Butler team in need of guards. Woodson, a 6' 2" grad transfer, made 77 three-pointers, fifth most in Memphis history. After losing Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones to graduation, Butler will feature Woodson and fellow transfer Kethan Savage in the backcourt.

Rank

Name

Current School

Proj. PPG

Previous School

Previous PPG

31

Canyon Barry

Florida

10

College of Charleston

19.7

A former top-100 recruit, Jaren Sina (No. 32) will bring his three-point prowess to George Washington. The 6' 2" junior shot 34.8% from behind the arc in two seasons with Seton Hall. Sina can play both guard positions, which will be helpful after the team lost senior guards Alex Mitola, Patricio Garino and Joe McDonald.

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A bit of a 'tweener, Eric Paschall (No. 35) will, at the least, be a valuable depth player for the defending champs. The 6' 7" Paschall, the Atlantic-10 rookie of the year in 2015, averaged 15.9 points per game and 5.5 rebounds. He’s a bit log-jammed by Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins, but he should see enough minutes off the bench to make an impact.

Rank

Name

Current School

Proj. PPG

Previous School

Previous PPG

41

Josh Newkirk

Indiana

9.3

Pittsburgh

5.9

Not a pure replacement for Kris Dunn, Isaiah Jackson (No. 46) will nonetheless get a bunch of the former star’s minutes. Jackson, a 6' 6" guard-forward who last played at George Mason, can play like a point-forward, and lend some experience to a young Providence team.

It’s a big jump from Ivy League to a national title contender, but Tony Hicks (No. 49) is a perfect candidate to excel. The 6' 2" guard sat out 2015–16, but led Penn in 2013–14 and '14–15 in scoring, with 14.9 and 13.2 points per game.

Rank

Name

Current School

Proj. PPG

Previous School

Previous PPG

51

Katin Reinhardt

Marquette

8.5

USC

11.4

Keyshawn Woods (No. 58) will add some offensive punch to a Wake Forest team that finished 11–20 last year. The 6' 3" guard, a former North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, averaged 8.4 points in his freshman season at Charlotte, and shot a C-USA leading 46.6% from behind the arc.

L.G. Gill (No. 59) left Duquesne and will come to Maryland as a starting power forward. The 6' 8" Gill is a coup for a team that lost four starters. Gill is a good shooter, who makes 34.4% of his downtown attempts. He averaged 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds for Duquesne last year.

Rank

Name

Current School

Proj. PPG

Previous School

Previous PPG

61

Merrill Holden

Iowa St.

7.7

Louisiana Tech

8.1

Elijah Thomas (No. 66) gets eligible in December for Clemson and should be a nice, front-line complement to star Jaron Blossomgame, whom we ranked No. 7 in our national player of the year forecast. Darrell Bowie (No. 68) steps onto an Iowa State team in desperate need of frontcourt help after losing Georges Niang and Jameel McKay.

Rank

Name

Current School

Proj. PPG

Previous School

Previous PPG

71

Josh Cunningham

Dayton

7.1

Bradley

7.9

Malcolm Bernard (No. 72) won't have the outsized offensive role at Xavier that he did at Florida A&M in '15–16, but he's jumping from one of the worst teams in D-I to one that can contend for a Big East title. Rashad Muhammad (No. 76) is in a similar situation, jumping from woeful San Jose State, where he was a high shot-volume guy, to Miami, where he'll need to be a role player.

Rank

Name

Current School

Proj. PPG

Previous School

Previous PPG

81

J.C. Hampton

Texas A&M

6.1

Lipscomb

15.9

The one thing Texas A&M lacks entering '16–17 is a proven point guard, and if J.C. Hampton (No. 81)—who was a high-scoring combo guard at Lipscomb—can provide quality minutes at that spot while contributing occasional points, he'll add a lot of value. Syracuse adds the tallest player in school history in 7' 2" center Paschal Chukwu (No. 83).

Rank

Name

Current School

Proj. PPG

Previous School

Previous PPG

91

Evan Taylor

Nebraska

4.9

Samford

6.4

A JUCO All-America, Shadell Millinghaus (No. 95) adds some much needed scoring to a Texas Tech team that lost Toddrick Gotcher and Devaugntah Williams. Millinghaus, a 6' 2" guard, averaged 16.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and shot 47.5 from the field with Northwest Florida State.

C.J. Gettys (No. 93) is 7-foot, 245-pounds and set to anchor Rutgers defense. A transfer from UNC Wilmington, he averaged 5.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and shot 50% from the field. Rutgers needs all the help it can get—a big body with a soft touch is a nice start.