Ranking the 20 Best Men’s College Basketball Players in the Transfer Portal

Something like 1,900 players entered their names in the portal this spring, and these are the best of those still uncommitted.
Kadary Richmond is coming off a dominant season at Seton Hall and can be a Player of the Year candidate.
Kadary Richmond is coming off a dominant season at Seton Hall and can be a Player of the Year candidate. / Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

The May 1 deadline to enter the transfer portal has come and gone. 

Something like 1,900 players entered their names in the portal this spring, a number that should be just about done rising. While some big names like Johnell Davis (Arkansas Razorbacks), Oumar Ballo (Indiana Hoosiers) and AJ Storr (Kansas Jayhawks) are already off the board, around half of the players who’ve entered still haven’t found new homes.

Who are the biggest names still out there? Here’s a look at the 20 best uncommitted transfers. 

1. Kadary Richmond, Seton Hall Pirates

Richmond’s the rare portal name who is a proven Player of the Year–level contributor at the high-major level. He’s fresh off a dominant season at Seton Hall that saw him average better than 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game, and his physicality as a guard makes him a matchup nightmare. Richmond has been rumored to be St. John’s Red Storm–bound with Rick Pitino since before the season ended, and billionaire Red Storm booster Mike Repole did little to quiet that speculation last week. That said, indications are that Richmond may not be the St. John’s lock he was once perceived, and he should have a heavy list of suitors on the open market.  

2. Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Fighting Illini

Hawkins has made it clear he intends to go pro, but did keep his options open by entering the portal before Wednesday’s deadline. Should he get injured or perform poorly through the pre-draft process, a massive NIL offer could entice him to return to school. If so, he’d be a massive addition almost anywhere as a frontcourt player with legitimate skill on the perimeter and the ability to switch defensively. 

3. Norchad Omier, Miami Hurricanes

The undersized big man was a man among boys during Miami’s Final Four run in 2023, and he followed that up by averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game on an otherwise-disappointing Hurricanes squad this season. He’s shown some improvement as a perimeter shooter which gives him more positional versatility to slide down to the power forward spot as well, which opens up his list of suitors some. 

4. Cam Christie, Minnesota Golden Gophers

The brother of Los Angeles Lakers guard Max Christie, Cam had a big-time freshman season at Minnesota. He’s in good shape in the NBA draft process and could wind up as high as a late first-rounder, but he also entered the portal Wednesday to keep options open. He’ll have a huge market as a big wing shooter with upside should he decide to focus on a return to college. 

5. Chaz Lanier, North Florida Ospreys

Looking for this year’s Dalton Knecht? Lanier might have what it takes. He’s a dynamic 6’4” shotmaking guard who put together a ridiculously impressive statistical season at North Florida. After averaging under five points per game in each of his first three seasons with the Ospreys, Lanier exploded in 2023–24. He averaged nearly 20 points per game while shooting 51% from the field, 44% from three at high volume and 88% from the free throw line. He’s also an explosive athlete off the floor and had 24 dunks this season. A return home to the Tennessee Volunteers where he could follow in Knecht’s footsteps has been rumored, though several other elite programs are expected to be involved. 

6. Jaxson Robinson, BYU Cougars

Things finally all clicked for Robinson in his fourth year of college hoops, exploding in Mark Pope’s offensive system and emerging as a potential NBA draft pick. Robinson is still testing the draft waters and claims to be leading an open recruitment, but it stands to reason that Pope is the favorite to land him at his new home at Kentucky. Robinson’s elite shooting ability makes him a plug-and-play piece pretty much anywhere, though Pope’s offense seems almost perfectly tailored to Robinson’s strengths. 

Robinson could be a plug-and-play piece pretty much anywhere, but likely fits perfectly at Kentucky.
Robinson could be a plug-and-play piece pretty much anywhere, but likely fits perfectly at Kentucky. / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

7. Jaylen Wells, Washington State Cougars

Wells’s rise has been rather meteoric, from little-known Division II transfer from Sonoma State last spring visiting mid-majors before Washington State swooped in to one of the best available players this spring. He had a monster junior year under Kyle Smith, helping lead the Cougars to the men’s NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years. A long 3-and-D wing with pro upside, there should be a huge market for Wells’s services. 

8. Desmond Claude, Xavier Musketeers

Claude was forced into an outsized offensive role this past season at Xavier after the Musketeers were beset with injuries. While that did cause some efficiency struggles, Claude stepped up to average better than 16 points, four rebounds and three assists per game. He’s a powerful guard who can play with or without the ball and thrives getting downhill. If he can get his three-point percentage up, even just around 30%, he’ll be an all-league player at his next stop. 

9. A.J. Hoggard, Michigan State Spartans

Those who’ve followed Michigan State closely the last two years are well aware of Hoggard’s inconsistencies, but at his best, Hoggard has shown flashes of being the high-level point guard so many teams need in the portal. Plus, coaches will salivate over the chance to land a veteran of Hoggard’s stature who has played in big games and played under an elite coach in Tom Izzo. Perhaps a fresh start can unlock a different level of Hoggard’s game. 

10. JT Toppin, New Mexico Lobos

Toppin was an 11th-hour portal addition, entering Tuesday morning after long being speculated about as a potential spring mover. The lanky big man had a ridiculously productive freshman season with the Lobos and is the type of player you don’t need to run a ton of sets for to be productive. He’s an impressive rebounder and shot blocker who finishes well around the rim and has good touch. Pencil him in as a high-major starter somewhere.

11. Wooga Poplar, Miami Hurricanes

Poplar didn’t quite have the breakout season some expected, but he’s still one of the more talented scoring wing options available this spring. Poplar’s capable of taking and making tough shots off the dribble and scored fairly efficiently despite a difficult shot diet, shooting 39% from three on over five attempts per game. He also has March success under his belt from runs to the Elite Eight and Final Four with Miami in 2022 and ’23, respectively.

Poplar is one of the more talented scoring wing options available this spring.
Poplar is one of the more talented scoring wing options available this spring. / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

12. Adou Thiero, Kentucky Wildcats

Thiero’s recruitment seems to be coming down to the North Carolina Tar Heels, his hometown school in the Pitt Panthers and potentially a reunion with John Calipari at Arkansas as the Kentucky transfer winds down his recruitment. Thiero’s a classic late bloomer who went from three-star recruit to contributing for Kentucky as a freshman. He’s a versatile defender with some playmaking pop offensively. I wouldn’t want to build my offense around him, but Thiero’s the type of piece every winning team could use. 

13. Great Osobor, Utah State Aggies

Osobor catalyzed Utah State’s dream season in 2023–24, starring in a point forward role. He’s an intriguing playmaking talent who can post up, handle the ball and pass. He’s probably best as a power forward at the high-major level, though could play some small-ball center if needed. He’s considering the Louisville Cardinals, Texas Tech Red Raiders and reuniting with former Utah State coach Danny Sprinkle at the Washington Huskies. 

14. Cliff Omoruyi, Rutgers Scarlet Knights

A three-year starter at Rutgers during one of the best stretches in program history, Omoruyi has been a very hot commodity in the portal this spring. His hulking frame and high-level shot-blocking ability makes him a plug-and-play piece almost anywhere, even with a skill set offensively that’s lacking. He has visited the Georgetown Hoyas, Kansas State Wildcats, Alabama Crimson Tide and is set to visit North Carolina this weekend before making a decision.

15. Ugonna Onyenso, Kentucky Wildcats

Onyenso’s a limited offensive player, but there’s not a better shot blocker available in the portal. He’s hugely impactful protecting the rim, single-handedly keeping Kentucky’s interior defense afloat with a ridiculous 15.4% block rate this past season. In the right system, Onyenso could really explode as a lob threat and play finisher offensively while getting more consistent minutes to make his defensive impact. 

16. Kasean Pryor, South Florida Bulls 

Pryor emerged as an intriguing pro prospect this season after a huge season out of junior college for South Florida. Now, he’s being recruited at a very high level as the type of big playmaking wing/forward so many staffs are hunting for right now. He shot 35% from three, has the ability to grab and go in transition and shoot over the defense in the halfcourt. 

17. Arthur Kaluma, Kansas State Wildcats

Kaluma portaled late last year from the Creighton Bluejays to Kansas State and is now on the move after averaging nearly 15 points per game with the Wildcats. Long on the radar of NBA scouts due to his size and versatility, Kaluma made some strides this past season as a shooter but still hasn’t quite broken through into a surefire draft choice. 

Kaluma has long been on the radar of NBA scouts because of his size and versatility.
Kaluma has long been on the radar of NBA scouts because of his size and versatility. / Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA

18. Deivon Smith, Utah Utes 

Smith finally put it all together this season at Utah after frustrating stops at the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, but is on the move one more time. He averaged 13 points, six rebounds and seven assists per game for the Utes after becoming eligible in December. He puts constant pressure on the rim with his speed and athleticism and made big strides as a three-point shooter to keep defenses honest this past season. 

19. Max Shulga, VCU Rams

One of the best guards in the A-10 in 2023–24, Shulga is on the move for his final year of eligibility. He’s a combo guard with great size at 6’4” who shot 42% from three a season ago. His game is somewhat reminiscent of Cam Spencer’s, who starred for the UConn Huskies this past season. Assuming he heads to another school rather than turning pro, he has a chance to make a significant impact next season. 

20. Dillon Mitchell, Texas Longhorns

A former five-star recruit, Mitchell is in the portal after a pair of underwhelming seasons at Texas. He did expand his game in 2023–24, finding more ways to be productive with his immense physical gifts despite lacking a perimeter jump shot. Mitchell’s such an elite athlete that in an up-tempo system, he might just explode even without the jumper progressing. If nothing else, he has all the tools to be an elite defender. 


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Kevin Sweeney

KEVIN SWEENEY

Kevin Sweeney is a staff writer at Sports Illustrated covering college basketball and the NBA Draft, and is an analyst for The Field of 68. A graduate of Northwestern, Kevin is a voter for the Naismith Trophy and is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).