Introductions to the ACC’s Eligible Transfers

Posted by Brad Jenkins (@bradjenk) on November 2nd, 2015

It’s a well-known fact that transfers have been on the rise in college basketball. According to annual tracking lists compiled by ESPN‘s Jeff Goodman, there were fewer than 300 NCAA Division-I transfers in 2011 (roughly one per school), but that number has climbed to around 700 (roughly two per school) in each of the last two years. Considering that teams in the power conferences are already losing seniors and underclassmen who turn pro, rosters are turning over at an alarmingly high rate. When it comes to newcomers, freshmen, rather than transfers, have traditionally received most of the attention. So to get more familiar with the transfers debuting in the ACC this season, we have provided a list broken into four groupings of the non-freshmen newcomers to the league (traditional transfers; graduate transfers; JuCo transfers; sitting out this year). Players within each category are ordered according to the anticipated impact that they will have this season.


The first group represents what we know as the traditional transfers — those who are moving from one four-year school to another and, as a result, forced to sit out a season. The most interesting name on this list is Virginia Tech’s Seth Allen, who will have the advantage of having already spent two years in the ACC while at former league member Maryland. Allen’s aggressive style should fit in well with what Buzz Williams is building in Blacksburg. The top five on this list figure to be significant players right away, and some as starters. Terry Henderson will be counted on for wing scoring for N.C. State, and Kamari Murphy should be an athletic defender that compliments Miami’s veteran group.


The next list features players who took advantage of the NCAA’s graduate transfer waiver. These transfers are often used by teams looking to reload quickly, and the ACC is no different in having teams with that particular need. Louisville needed some offensive punch after losing its top four scorers, so it snagged legitimate scorers Damion Lee and Trey Lewis from mid-major leagues. As usual, Brian Gregory went the graduate transfer route to fill his holes in the Georgia Tech roster, and he hopes Adam Smith brings some much needed three-point marksmanship to his team. Jamie Dixon welcomes three of these newcomers, and even though none of Sterling Smith, Rafael Maia and Alonzo Nelson-Ododa project as ACC stars, two of them should help shore up Pittsburgh’s weak spot in the post.


Five new players will be making the jump to the ACC from the junior college ranks this season. The highest rated of the group is easily Benji Bell at Florida State, who helped lead Northwest Florida State to a JuCo national championship last season. Known as a versatile all-around guard, Bell will be a big part of what may be the league’s most improved perimeter unit. The next two on the list are centers who will be expected to help their teams in similar ways — i.e., interior scoring, post defense and rebounding — even though they have completely different body types. Rozelle Nix is huge but he actually arrives at Pittsburgh after reportedly dropping 100 pounds over the last two years. Virginia Tech is going to be much deeper in the post this year, and Johnny Hamilton is a big reason why after ranking sixth in the NJCAA in blocks last season.


Finally, we list the incoming transfers (so far) who will be sitting out the 2015-16 season. The headliner here is Austin Nichols, who abruptly left Memphis in July after leading the Tigers in scoring a season ago. Nichols will spend a year learning the Virginia system and probably step right into the Cavaliers’ starting lineup next season. Also note that Clemson has two guards already in the fold for next season, making it three transfer guards for Brad Brownell in the last two years. Perhaps this is his attempted answer for a failure to sign significant freshmen in his backcourt.

Brad Jenkins (383 Posts)

Share this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *