Everyone wants to argue that the transfer portal has killed mid-major athletics. I like to think otherwise and one of the best examples of why comes from the CAA.
Speedy Claxton and his staff have owned the portal in his first two seasons at the helm of Hofstra. Last season, the Pride had five guards who averaged double-digit points per game, almost all transferred into the program. In that first season, the Pride surged up the CAA, finishing with a 21-11 record and picking up a win against Arkansas while narrowly losing to Houston, Maryland, and Richmond.
It should be more of the same this season with some fresh faces. While some experience graduated and others transferred out, the Pride return two young stars in their backcourt. Add in a guard who has averaged 17.3 points per game over his last two seasons at the D1 level, an international star who has over 1000 points in the front court at a MAAC school, and one of the most efficient bench big men in the nation and the Pride are set for success, once again.
The CAA might be its best in years because of the transfer portal.
Hofstra Transfer Additions
Bryce Washington, Penn
7.5 Points/3.0 Rebounds/41.1% FG% (2018-19)
Nelson Boachie-Yiadom, Davidson
2.3 Points/2.6 Rebounds/12.7 Minutes Per Game/68.1% FG% (2019-20)
Warren Williams, Manhattan
8.0 Points/3.7 Rebounds/60.7% FG%
Tyler Thomas, Sacred Heart
16.4 Points/3.4 Rebounds/2.6 Assists/41.9% FG%
German Plotnikov, North Platte Community College
20.7 Points/3.7 Rebounds/2.9 Assists/48.3% FG%/40.2% 3-pt%
Claxton adds three guards to an already skill-packed backcourt with Bryce Washington, Tyler Thomas, and German Plotnikov.
Washington made 22 starts as a Freshman at Penn, winning Ivy League Rookie of the Week four times. He hasn’t been able to play a full season since 2018-19 but averaged 11.5 points per game in the final two games of this past regular season. Tyler Thomas has been one of the best guards in the Northeast Conference over the last two seasons at Sacred Heart, starting every game and averaging 19.1 points per game in 2020-21. Then to close out the backcourt additions, Claxton and company picked up Belarusian JUCO transfer, German Plotnikov. Plotnikov scored 30+ on four occasions which included a 47-point performance against Otero College. He made all three of his three-point attempts during that game, adding to his 40.2% three-point percentage.
The Pride didn’t only stack their backcourt with transfers as they added a lot of experience in their front court. Warren Williams is one of the biggest sleepers in the cycle, bringing in over 1000 points over from his time at Manhattan. Last season he averaged 11.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game for the Jaspers. Williams also has international experience, representing his home country of Jamaica in 2023 FIBA World Cup Pre-Qualifiers. Over the month of April he averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds per game. Along with him, the Pride add one of the most efficient offensive big men in the nation in Davidson transfer Nelson Boachie-Yiadom. In 2021-22 he ranked 172nd in the nation in offensive rating.