Over the past few seasons in college basketball, we’ve seen the impact that a player who’s transferred can have on a team’s season. Whether it was Reid Travis, who spent last season with the Kentucky Wildcats after he transferred from Stanford, or twins Cody Martin and Caleb Martin, who arrived in Nevada as transfers and led a once-fledgling program to a Sweet 16 in 2018, any program that lands a transfer can have their season dramatically improve. Some of the most notable players in the transfer portal, including Sam Hauser and Jahvon Quinerly, have already chosen new schools yet there are still some quality players up for grabs. Here’s a ranking of the top five transferring players who have yet to choose a new school.
1. Kerry Blackshear Jr.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. has played three seasons for the Virginia Tech Hokies and the power forward has seen improvement in his scoring, rebounding and assist numbers each year. Blackshear Jr. burst onto the national scene this season as he averaged 14.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 2.4 APG and received the honor of All-ACC Second Team. Blackshear Jr. proved that he isn’t afraid of the big moment either as some of his best performances this season came against ranked ACC foes. He put up 19 points and 17 rebounds in a loss against UNC, had 23 points and 13 rebounds in a loss against Virginia and had 18 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists while being guarded by Zion Williamson in Virginia Tech’s heartbreaking loss to Duke in the Sweet 16. For any team that needs a starting big man for solely next season, Blackshear Jr. should be their top option.
2. Quentin Grimes
Quentin Grimes entered the 2018-19 season ranked as a top ten recruit by 247Sports yet the 6’5″ guard didn’t have the seismic impact for the Kansas Jayhawks that many people expected him to have. Grimes only averaged 8.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 2 APG in 36 games and had to share time with fellow highly-recruited freshman guard Devon Dotson. Grimes started the year strong with 21 points and 4 assist against Michigan State in the Champions Classic but sort of disappeared throughout the middle of the season before shining in the postseason. Grimes had 18 points and 8 rebounds against West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament and 15 points against Auburn in the NCAA Tournament. Grimes will have to sit out next season but the once-projected first round pick has the potential to become a star guard for any team.
3. Jaylen Fisher
Jaylen Fisher looked like he was on the verge of stardom during his sophomore season at TCU as he averaged over 12 points and 5 assists per game but injuries ravaged the second half of that season and most of his junior season. Fisher put up 20+ points four times during his sophomore season and reached double digits in eight of nine games in his junior season. Fisher isn’t necessarily a big guard at 6’2″ but showed he has a solid three-point stroke. If he can stay healthy, he has the potential to provide a big scoring boost for any team for his senior year.
4. Shakur Juiston
Shakur Juiston may not be a notable name to college basketball fans but the former UNLV stud will be if he lands at a big-name school. Juiston, an undersized 6’7″ forward, averaged a double-double in his freshman year with 14.6 PPG and 10.0 RPG. He had 10+ points in 27 of 33 games that year. Last season, Juiston only played in 8 games before knee surgery ended his season but he still averaged 10.8 PPG and 8.8 RPG. Juiston’s lack of size may hurt him rebounding-wise if he transfers to a Power 5 conference but if he can prove that he’s healthy, he’ll be a fantastic sixth man candidate to bring off the bench.
5. Derryck Thornton
The former 5-star recruit is now seeking his third different school in four seasons and while his previous statistics may not be gaudy, he can provide veteran experience and decent playmaking at guard. Thornton began his career at Duke as an incoming freshman with Brandon Ingram. While he put up some solid scoring numbers in the beginning of the season, his numbers declined as the season went on and Thornton chose to transfer to USC. During his first season at USC, he reached double digits just once, but last season he had 10 games with double-digit points. Thornton has been rumored to have visited Gonzaga and the Bulldogs could certainly use him since they are losing stars Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke, Josh Perkins and Zach Norvell Jr.