With the transfer portal starting to thin out as the dust begins to settle on college basketball’s offseason, we’re left with only a few remaining total prospects in the portal who are now being highly coveted by some of the nation’s top programs as they search to fill final roster spots. The Forward position within the transfer portal has been no exception as top players like Fardaws Aimaq, Johni Broome, and KJ Williams were quickly swept up by coaches heading into this offseason leaving little for others to recruit. Yet still, the portal is just as attractive as ever with former top-100 prospects, conference award winners, and young stars all available specifically at the forward position. Let’s break down the top-5 remaining forwards that are still eligible for coaches to pick up from the transfer portal.
1.) Pete Nance – Northwestern
A former top-100 prospect in the Class of 2018, Nance has been a major contributor during his four years with Northwestern, finishing out his senior season averaging 14.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 2.7 APG as he started 29 of 30 Wildcats games during the 2021-22 campaign. At 6-foot-10, Nance is a very athletic scorer who can also shoot the three-ball at a high rate while boasting excellent passing skills and rim-protecting ability that you don’t normally see from such a gifted scorer.
2.) Emmanuel Akot – Boise State
While listed as a guard, at 6-foot-8 Akot has been known to play as a small forward as well and therefore deserved inclusion on this list. A former top-100 recruit, Akot began his collegiate career with Arizona before a move to Boise State in 2019 saw him blossom as a player following a Red Shirt season with the Broncos, going on to average 10.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 2.8 APG just last season. A versatile player, Akot is seen as a strong wing who can provide offensive production and defensive stability while attributes like his perimeter shooting and ball-handling have continued to improve throughout his five years with both Arizona and Boise State.
3.) Emoni Bates – Memphis
After arriving on the college basketball scene with so much hype, Bates somewhat underwhelmed in his first season with Memphis averaging only 9.7 PPG and 3.3 RPG in 18 appearances for the Tigers. In spite of this, Bates has tons of upside as an automatic shot maker and instinctual passer and is therefore garnering high-major interest in the transfer portal from schools such as Louisville, Michigan, Seton Hall, and more. Scouts have suggested he’ll need to get physically stronger while improving his decision-making to truly have a chance to succeed at the Divison I level and beyond but might be worth a risk for some coaches given all his potential talent.
4.) Gerald Liddell – Alabama State
The fourth former top-100 prospect to dawn this list, Gerald Liddell is probably most well remembered for his three seasons at Texas where his best year came as a sophomore averaging just 4.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 1 APG in 15 appearances for the Longhorns. A move to Alabama State for his senior season would see Liddell’s stats improve as he managed 10.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 1.6 APG as a 20-game starter for the Hornets. Now, the 6-foot-8 forward seeks a return to the power conference tier with one year of eligibility remaining and seems to be receiving interest from the likes of Purdue, Michigan State, and Colorado.
5.) Kim Aiken – Arizona
Following seasons with both Eastern Washington and Arizona, 6-foot-7 forward Kim Aiken will be transferring for a third time after struggling for minutes with the Wildcats last year where Aiken averaged only 5 PPG and 3.4 RPG. A two-time All-Big Sky selection, Aiken was one of the best players in the conference during his time with Eastern Washington averaging 13.3 PPG, 9.7 RPG, and 1.3 APG as a sophomore before earning the 2020-21 Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. Having entered the transfer portal in late April, Aiken will be in search of a return to form and while reportedly expected to commit to BYU, is known to change his mind frequently during the transfer process having reopened his recruitment twice last offseason.