Every offseason, a few talented high-major transfers step into the mid-major ranks to find coveted playing time and an opportunity to lead a program to success. With the 2023-24 campaign just days away, let’s take a look at 15 power-5 to mid-major transfers that should be on every fans watch list this season.
*Editor’s note: Power-5 includes the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, ACC and the Big East.
15.) Femi Odukale – New Mexico State
The former Pitt and Seton Hall wing made 31 starts for the Pirates this past season, averaging 7.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.3 APG, and 1.6 STLPG while shooting 44% from the field. Odukale continues to wait on an approval waiver from the NCAA to participate this season, but if granted he’s an instant potential Conference-USA Defensive Player of the Year.
14.) Joel Brown – Iona
Behind a season averaging 6.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.2 APG, and 1 STLPG, the California transfer has been selected to the Preseason All-MAAC Third Team. Joining new Iona Head Coach Tobin Anderson and his guard-heavy scheme, Brown will lead this Gaels backcourt and should take a big step forward this season in the MAAC.
13.) Cam Hayes – East Carolina
As of AAC media day on Oct. 19, the LSU transfer continues to wait for his waiver approval from the NCAA but could be a part of the conference’s most dynamic backcourt alongside Kansas transfer Bobby Pettiford, Jr. Hayes arrives in Greenville having averaged 8.1 PPG and 2.3 APG while shooting 40% from the field last season. Let’s hope he’s received his eligibility waiver before the weekend.
12.) Daniel Batcho – Louisiana Tech
Another transfer with a shaky waiver situation, the former Texas Tech forward has yet to hear from the NCAA just days out from the season with the Bulldogs posting pivotal games in the opening week. Batcho featured 56 times for the Red Raiders during his career in Lubbock and most recently averaged 7.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 1.5 BKPG but spent his freshman season as a redshirt with Arizona.
11.) Darius Maddox – George Mason
After starting 19 game for Virginia Tech last season, the 6-foot-5 guard arrives in Fairfax having averaged 8.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 1.1 APG while maintaining a career 3-point percentage of 43%. Maddox will bring his elite shooting ability and floor spacing to Head Coach Tony Skinn’s offense and should be one of the Atlantic 10’s top transfer candidates.
10.) Dusan Mahorcic – Duquesne
Following stints at DII Lewis, JUCO Moberly, Illinois State, Utah, and NC State, Mahorcic joins Head Coach Keith Dambrot and Duquesne for his final season of eligibility. He’ll enter the year with some injury questions but having managed 8.7 PPG and 6.6 RPG for the Wolfpack last season, a healthy Mahorcic could be critical to the Dukes success.
9.) Kuany Kuany – VCU
Having started 26 games at Cal this past season, Kuany had to deal with offseason shoulder surgery but is expected to be available from day one of the 2023-24 campaign for the Rams. Coming off a year in which he averaged 9 PPG and 3.9 RPG, the 6-foot-9 forward has obvious talent and will be a key part of new Head Coach Ryan Odom’s frontcourt rotation.
8.) Jalen Hill – UNLV
The Oklahoma transfer has been really strong so far this preseason, most recently notching 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists from the Runnin’ Rebels scrimmage against USC. A 6-foot-7 forward, Hill averaged 9.7 PPG and 5.8 RPG as a senior at Oklahoma and could dominate Mountain West frontcourts alongside our No. 4 selection.
7.) Andre Curbelo – Southern Miss
Following stints at Illinois and St. John’s, the former-100 prospect brings his crafty style of play to Southern Miss and the Sun Belt after averaging 9.6 PPG, 4.3 APG, and 2 STLPG for the Johnnies. The success of last season’s Golden Eagles squad allowed Head Coach Jay Ladner to recruit some high level talent and now Curbelo will lead the backcourt for this underrated program.
6.) Reese Waters – San Diego State
The 2022-23 Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year joins National Championship contenders San Diego State from USC where he averaged 9.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 1.1 APG as a junior. Tabbed as the Mountain West Preseason Newcomer of the Year, Waters is expected to fill a similar role to Matt Bradley as the Aztecs look to recreate the magic of last season.
5.) Lars Thiemann – Loyola Marymount
Following a historic campaign for the Lions in 2022-23, Head Coach Stan Johnson built on his already lanky roster by adding a 7-foot giant in Thiemann arriving from Cal. Having played four seasons in Berkeley and starting 30 games during the previous campaign, LMU is getting a high-major experienced forward that perfectly fits the scheme Johnson wants to run.
4.) Kalib Boone – UNLV
Joining Hill on the UNLV interior is 2022-23 All-Big 12 Third Team selection and Oklahoma State transfer Kalib Boone. Much like Hill, Boone has been a dominant feature in the Runnin’ Rebels rotation throughout the preseason coming off a career-best year in which he averaged 10.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 1.2 BKPG.
3.) Chuck Harris – SMU
The former Big East All-Freshman and Butler transfer averaged 10.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.4 APG, and 1 STLPG this past season, starting 24 contests for the Bulldogs throughout. Harris instantly projects to be a key member of the starting five for Head Coach Rob Lanier’s rotation and will pace this Mustangs offense.
2.) David Jones – Memphis
After spending time between DePaul and St. John’s where he averaged 12.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 1.3 STLPG across three seasons, Jones brings his talents to Memphis and Penny Hardaway. His waiver situation was interesting to start the offseason, but now primed and officially eligible for the Tigers, Jones provides droves of scoring, rebounding, and defense to this already efficiency squad.
1.) Caleb Mills – Memphis
Mills arrives in Memphis after stints at both Houston and Florida State, most recently averaging 13 PPG, 3 RPG, and 3.4 APG as a 31 game starter for the Semionles. While Mills has some experience at the mid-major level, the departure of Kendric Davis looms large for the Tigers and the signing of Mills could signal Penny Hardaway’s next big developmental guard success story.