How impactful have Keyontae Johnson, Kendric Davis and other 2022-23 transfers been so far?
As the college basketball portal continues to grow and, in some cases, become the go-to way for coaches to build rosters year after year, the rookie debate is starting to change. At the beginning of the season, elite freshmen are always the biggest talking point. Last season it was Chet Holmgren vs. Paolo Bankero, the Memphis freshmen, the appearance of Jabari Smith. Freshman strength dominated this season: Nick Smith Jr., Cameron Whitmore, Keyonte George, Duke’s freshman class, Brandon Miller’s looming breakthrough.
However, as we enter the last few weeks of the 2022-23 regular season, transfers in general are having a bigger impact. When we compiled our Christmas freshman scorecard, only 19 of the Sportzshala 100 recruits averaged double figures, and 12 of them were in the top 25 recruits. This leaves very little impact on freshmen outside of high-end prospects.
Of the top 100 transfers in Sportzshala’s transfer rankings last spring, a whopping 57 average in double figures. Of course, these players are older and have already adapted to college basketball, and while most of them don’t have Miller’s ceiling or Whitmore’s NBA potential, the transfers show that they have a much higher level.
Let’s take a look at some of this season’s notable transfers, as well as some that haven’t panned out yet.
The best of the best
Keyonte Johnson, Kansas State Wildcats: This is truly a wonderful story. Johnson has not played since he collapsed during a game in December 2020. Not only did he pick up where he left off two years ago; he recovered. Johnson, averaging 18.2 points and 7.9 rebounds, is one of the reasons K-State has been the biggest surprise in college basketball this season.
Souley Boum, Xavier Musketeers: Last spring, Sean Miller wanted a shooting guard on Portal, and he chose Boum, who scored 16 points against Miller’s Arizona team in 2020. Boam has been one of the best defensemen in the country this season, averaging 16.1 points and 4.9 assists and shooting 44.2% from three-pointers.