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Transfer Class Tiers: Feast Week



Feast Week! Maybe the greatest week of college basketball outside of March Madness. “Feast Week” is the nickname given to the week of Thanksgiving in the world of college hoops. Feast Week is chock full of early season tournaments made up of teams from all conferences.

Each year, this is typically the first real litmus test to figure out the hierarchy of college basketball. So that is what we are doing – using Feast Week as our first opportunity to really evaluate the performances of the 2023 Transfer Class in terms of production, and most importantly, team wins. To be clear, every team in every one of these tiers had really great performances by their 2023 Transfer Class during Feast Week.

The difference between each tier really comes down to team results (and how much the 2023 Transfer Class impacted the team results).

Elite Teams

This tier is made up of teams that had great weeks – either winning their tournament or playing well and putting their team on the map. Baylor won the NIT Season Tip Off, accumulating wins against Oregon State and an up-start Florida Gators team. Baylor was led by RayJ Dennis, who was rated as one of the best transfers in the Big 12 this season. RayJ put up 16 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 7 APG and a really impressive 3.8 Assist to Turnover Ratio during Feast Week. Jaden Nunn added 5 PPG, 3 RPG, and 4 APG. UNC finished 3rd in the Battle 4 Atlantis, falling to Villanova in a tight matchup but coming back and beating Arkansas handedly in the 3rd place game. UNC had two 2023 transfers average over 16 points during Feast Week – Harrison Ingram (16.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 3.7 APG, 48% on 3-pointers) and Cormac Ryan (16.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG) – with other contributions from Jae-Lyn Withers and Paxon Wojcik. Utah State is the last team in the Elite category. The Aggies had one of the best transfer classes in 2023 in the Mountain West and they showed why during Feast Week. Great Osobor has proven to be a huge asset for Danny Sprinkle’s squad. Osobor averaged a double-double, tallying 18.7 PPG, 11.3 RPG on 62% shooting from the field. The Aggies also had big contributions by Ian Martinez (12 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.7 APG), Darius Brown – who we graded as one of the best distributors in the 2023 transfer class pre-season (8.3 PPG, 3 RPG, 8 APG), and Josh Uduje (7.3 PPG, 3 RPG, 46% on 3-pointers) on their way to a 3 and 0 record in the Cayman Islands Classic.

Great Teams

All three of the teams in this tier had really great performances by their 2023 Transfer Class but had a loss in their respective tournaments. Pitt took a tough loss to Florida in the opening game of the NIT Season Tip Off but bounce back the next game with a resounding victory against Oregon State. Pitt’s 2023 Transfer Class is highlighted by Ishmael Leggett, who has emerged as one of the best guards in this transfer class, and Zack Austin, who had a break out game against the Beavers. Leggett averaged 17 PPG, 8 RPG, and 2 APG while Austin averaged 14.5 PPG and 8.5 RPG. Florida has one of the best transfer classes in college basketball when it comes to guard play.  The combination of Walter Clayton (19.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3 APG), Tyrese Samuel (19 PPG, 8 RPG, 1.5 APG), and Zyon Pullin (13.5 PPG, 2 RPG, 6.5 APG) led the Gators past the Panthers in their first game but fell short against Baylor in the championship game of the NIT Season Tip off. Memphis lost to Villanova in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship but had one of the best scoring performances by a 2023 transfer this year by David Jones, who went off for 36 against Arkansas in the game prior. Jones averaged 20 PPG, 5 RPG, 44% on 3-pointers, while teammates Jahvon Quinerly (9 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 4.3 APG), Jaykwon Walton (8.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.7 APG), Caleb Mills (8 PPG, 4 RPG, 1.3 APG) also had solid performances.

Better Than Good Teams

All three of these teams had a couple of wins this week behind strong transfer performances. Texas Tech went 2 and 1 during Feast Week and was led by Joe Toussaint (17.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 4.7 APG), Devan Cambridge (12.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 1.7 APG), Darrion Williams (9.3 PPG, 7 RPG, 1 APG), and Warren Washington (7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1 APG). James Madison’s excellent athletic year continued with the men’s basketball team going 2 and 0 during Feast Week. JMU’s 2023 Transfer Class is led by TJ Bickerstaff, who averaged 17 PPG, 6 RPG, and 1.5 APG during Feast Week. Raekwon Horton also had a strong showing during Feast Week averaging 10.5 PPG and 4 RPG. UCF rounds out this tier going 2 and 1 during the week behind continued impressive guard play by Jaylin Sellers (24.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1 APG), strong inside game by Ibrahima Diallo (6.7 PPG and 8 RPG), and complimentary wing play by Marchelus Avery (12 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2 APG).

Schedule Got Them

All three of these teams had rough weeks, record wise, due to a strong schedule but their 2023 Transfer Class continued to shine. These are really good transfer classes that just had their schedule get the best of them this week. Penn State went winless in the ESPN Events Invitational as they ran into three good teams (Texas A&M, Butler, and VCU) but had important performances by Ace Baldwin (18 PPG, 2.7 APG), Qudus Wahab (8.7 PPG, 6 RPG), Nick Kern (9.3 PPG, 4 RPG), Zach Hicks (6.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG) and Puff Johnson (8.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG). If that sounds like a lot of production…it is. In fact, in the ultimate showing of “don’t blame the transfer class” (yeah, you could argue they belong in that tier), the 2023 Transfer Class for PSU scored all 74 points for the Nittany Lions in their Sunday loss to VCU. Arkansas took some L’s to surging Memphis and UNC teams after surviving a double OT game against Stanford in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis. This was despite strong performances by Tramon Mark (23.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 42% on 3-pointers), Khalif Battle (13 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 36% on 3-pointers), and Chandler Lawson (6 PPG, 6.3 RPG). The good news is Arkansas will have plenty of chances to bounce back with some tough games against Duke and Oklahoma coming up before they get into the SEC schedule. The better news is that Tramon Mark appears to be recovering from his hard fall that saw him being taken off the court on a stretcher. We wish Tramon well getting back to health! West Virginia has had some really unfortunate luck to start the season with waivers being denied, players being injured, and players being suspended. Coming into the season, they had one of the most exciting and deep 2023 Transfer Classes but are down to just two high level producing transfers in the first part of the season. This bad luck continued as they lost a close one to UVA in the Fort Myers Tip-Off as well as taking a loss to SMU earlier in the week. However, the prize of the Mountaineers’ 2023 Transfer Class, Jesse Edwards, showed why he was graded as one of the best bigs in the transfer class. Edwards averaged a double-double with 17.3 PPG, 10.7 RPG on 54% shooting. Quinn Slazinski has been a significant part of WVU’s offense this year as well, averaging 15.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 2 APG.

Don’t Blame the Transfers

These teams have seen better weeks in terms of wins and losses, but it is hard to look at their transfer classes as being a part of that.  Arkansas-Little Rock went 1 and 2 during Feast Week but had some bright spots with the performances by transfers KK Robinson (21 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 6 APG) and Jamir Chaplin (20.7 PPG, 11 RPG). Cal dropped all three games during Feast Week despite Fardaws Aimaq (18.3 PPG, 14.3 RPG), Jaylon Tyson (20.7 PPG, 6 RPG, 2.7 APG), and Jalen Cone (13.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.7 APG) all balling out during the week. Iona has one of the top scorers in the 2023 Transfer Class with former Harvard player, Idan Tretout, who was averaging over 25 PPG in the first two weeks of the season. During Feast Week, Tretout averaged 12.8 PPG, 2 RPG, and 2.5 APG. Head Coach Tobin Anderson also saw solid performances by Wheza Panzo (13.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 45% on 3-pointers) and Joel Brown (6.3 PPG, 2 RPG, 4.3 APG). Panzo led all 2023 transfers in made 3-pointers during Feast Week with his 15 of 33 shooting.

So what do you think? Which 2023 Transfer Class performances did we miss? Which teams deserve to be in a different tier? Let us know your thoughts!

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