The PAC-12 is putting on an incredible show in its final football season, and the conference is hoping to do the same for basketball. Some big names and known stars lead a great group of PAC-12 transfers.
Caleb Love Arizona: 6-4 G
Love was the star of UNC’s huge win over archrival Duke at The Final Four in 2022. The explosive guard scored 28 points in the win, however struggled mightily in the Tarheels gut wrenching loss in the title game.
After missing the tournament completely last season, the senior transfer decided to take his talents to the PAC-12 and the Arizona Wildcats. Love tends to be turnover prone, and it costs him in big moments. However, if he can control the ball, his athleticism and scoring ability will be scary for PAC-12 opponents.
Isaac Jones Washington State: 6-9 C
Idaho transfer Isaac Jones was an absolute stud last season. Jones is the highest ranked transfer in the conference per TPR’s PAC-12 transfer rankings. In Jones’ best game of his career, he uncorked for 42 points, 12 steals, four blocks, and three steals.
Jones is a defensive standout, and a team that lost one of its leading scorers in TJ Bamba needed to add a piece. Jones averaged 19.4 points and 7.8 rebounds for the Vandals last season, which both led the team. Jones will be a vital piece to a Cougars team hungry to improve from a .500 record in 2022.
DJ Rodman USC: 6-6 G
For the first time in basketball history, Rodman and James will be on the court together. When USC takes the court this winter, DJ, son of Dennis and Bronny, son of LBJ, will take the court for the Trojans. On top of a loaded recruiting class that boasts Isaiah Collier, the No.2 player in the class, USC is looking to make a run this season.
Rodman is an incredible athlete and a versatile scorer, using his ability to score from all areas of the court. Rodman was ninth in the PAC-12 last season with a 38.1 3P%. He also led the team with a whopping 31 charges last season. This goes under the radar, but having a player that can take a charge with that kind of consistency is an invaluable weapon.
Brycen Long Arizona State: 6-2 SG
The best three-point shooter in the class, Long shot it at an incredible 41.6% clip from beyond the arc last season. The Sun Devils lost their leading scorer Devan Cambridge to Texas Tech this offseason, and Long will look to carry some of the scoring responsibility.
The junior Houston Christian transfer averaged nearly 15 a game last season for the Huskies while also shooting over 85% from the line. Long will give Bobby Hurley a reliable scoring option on a team looking to make a jump from the middle of the pack this year.
Nate Calmese Washington: 6-2 G
As a true freshman for Lamar last year, Calmese started every game leading the Cardinals in scoring with nearly 18 points per game. Calmese had his best game against Long’s Houston Christian squad, exploding for 32 points in a Cardinals win.
The sophomore transfer heads to Seattle looking to help the Huskies gain momentum as they prepare to move to the BIG-10 in 2024. Calmese will play alongside star transfer Keion Brooks Jr., who transferred from UK following the 21-22 season.
Jalen Cone California: 5-11 PG
T-2nd at the top of the scorers list among PAC-12 transfers, Cone averaged 17.58 ppg last season with Northern Arizona. What the junior guard lacks in size he makes up for in scoring ability, including an incredible 86.89% from the line.
The Golden Bears struggled last season, and first year coach Mark Madsen will be looking to turn it around. The two-time NBA champion brought in two stud transfers, Cone, and Texas Tech transfer Jaylon Tyson to spur Cal in the right direction before their move to the ACC.
Eddie Lampkin Jr. Colorado: 6-11 C
Although the numbers may not show it, Lampkin had a major impact on a Frogs team that made its first back-to-back March Madness appearances in school history. Lampkin brings an uncommon energy to a team, and the lack of that energy clearly influenced his team when he was off the floor.
Lampkin was one of my favorite players to watch last year, and the senior transfer is ready to make a splash in the PAC-12, especially on the offensive glass. Lampkin’s relentless energy allows him to provide a rare presence on the court and will have an immediate impact on a Buffs team that has continued to get better in recent years.
Zane Meeks Arizona State: 6-9 C
Averaging 11 and 5 for the Dons last season, Meeks played his role perfectly for San Francisco. The loss of Meeks will be tough for Coach Gerlufsen and USF to replace, and Bobby Hurley made a huge splash.
Meeks will be a weapon for the Sun Devils offense along with fellow transfer Brycen Long. Meeks’ ability to shoot the three at a solid clip will be huge for the Devils, making a potential pick and roll/pop between Meeks and Long very dangerous.
Moses Wood Washington: 6-8 SF
Staying in the PNW, senior Portland transfer Moses Wood joins Mike Hopkins’ Husky squad. Along with the previously mentioned Nate Calmese and Keion Brooks Jr., Wood adds to a loaded UW transfer class.
Wood averaged over 15 and 6 a game for the Pilots last season, while shooting at an incredibly efficient rate. Wood shot over 40% from the field and three-point range, while being well over 80% from the line.
Jesse Zaruela Oregon: 6-3 G
CMU transfer Zaruela joins a Ducks squad that has missed March back-to-back years. With fans calling for Dana Altman to go, this feels like it may be a make-or-break season for Oregon. However, with a loaded recruiting class and two stud transfers, the Ducks look to make it back to the dance this season.
Zaruela scored over 16 per contest for the Chippewas last season. The Houston product will be joined by five-stars Kwame Evans and Mookie Cook, and I am excited to see Zaruela facilitate the offense around these young stars.
Josep Yesufu Washington State: 6-1 G
On a loaded Jayhawks roster, transfer guard Josef Yesufu received little to no playing time. However, the fifth year still has plenty of juice left and is looking to have an outstanding final season.
In limited playing time, Yesufu showed an incredible defensive ability paired with great instincts. In a less crowded Cougars backcourt, Yesufu will be given the chance to shine, and I expect him to do just that.