Meet the ACC’s Newly Eligible Transfers

Posted by Brad Jenkins (@bradjenk) on October 21st, 2016

Compared with just a short decade ago, many more student-athletes are going the transfer route. When we combine that trend with the 60-75 underclassmen who turn professional each spring, the aggregate result is that roster turnover is at an all-time high. When it comes to media coverage of newcomers, the focus tends to primarily be on freshmen. So in order to get familiar with the transfers entering the ACC this season, we have provided the list below that breaks non-freshmen newcomers to the league into four groupings (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.trad_transfers

This group represents what we know as the traditional transfers — those who are moving from one four-year school to another and, as a result, were forced to sit out last season. Virginia’s Austin Nichols is expected to step in as Anthony Gill’s immediate replacement in the post. He should fit right in with Tony Bennett’s scheme defensively and will provide additional rim protection after proving to be an elite shot-blocker in his two years at Memphis. The word out of Raleigh is that NC State’s Torin Dorn has looked great in preseason workouts and may be ready to start for the Wolfpack. Clemson figures to get major production from at least two of its transfers — Marquise Reed was a big-time scorer on an NCAA Tournament team in 2014-15 (Robert Morris) and Elijah Thomas was a top-50 type recruit coming into college.


The next list features players who took advantage of the NCAA’s graduate transfer waiver that allows fourth-year players to transfer elsewhere. These transfers are often used by teams looking to fit specific position needs or fill out the roster. Syracuse needed to replace its top three perimeter players so Jim Boeheim reloaded with two proven veterans — wing Andrew White (Nebraska) and point guard John Gillon (Colorado State). Rick Pitino had great success with two graduate transfers last year and he hopes that Tony Hicks (Pennsylvania) can have a similar impact. Both Boston College and Georgia Tech were in need of more bodies after massive personnel losses in the spring, and each school looks better from a numbers standpoint if not its overall talent level.


Many of the JuCo transfers list ended up redshirting in 2015-16 for various reasons. Florida State expected a lot from JuCo transfer Benji Bell last season, but he never could establish himself in the crowded Seminoles’ backcourt and ultimately left the program. Leonard Hamilton will give the junior college route another try with NJCAA All-American Braian Angola-Rodas. Buzz Williams is very high on Tyrone Outlaw, who should add scoring punch and versatility to Virginia Tech’s frontcourt. New Pittsburgh head coach Kevin Stallings has a solid veteran front line at his disposal, but he hopes that at least one of his two transfer guards can replace the mammoth loss of four-year starter James Robinson.next_transfersA few incoming transfers will be sitting out this season, including one from junior college. The two transfers from four-year schools (Gilmore and Skara) didn’t have gaudy numbers at their previous schools, but they each come from extremely successful programs. This is usually a bigger list, but maybe the current overall talent level of the ACC is scaring off potential transfers. The league should expect to pick up some of the midyear program swappers that annually surface in December.

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