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  • Writer's pictureShelby Swanson

Transfer Treasures: Smaller Names, Big Games

Over 1,000 men’s basketball players have entered the transfer portal this offseason — a testament to the impact of the NCAA’s decision to adjust the portal rules in 2021. Power Five players like Hunter Dickinson and LJ Cryer are making headlines, but what about the guys from smaller teams looking to make a jump?

Here is a look at some of the more underrated players that can make a big impact on a larger program in the upcoming season.


1. Taran Armstrong

The 6-5 point guard from Cal Baptist is looking to make an immediate impact next year. Armstrong averaged five assists per game and demonstrated an elite catch-and-shoot ability, recording nearly 12 points per game. His high-IQ play has garnered interest from Rutgers, West Virginia, Xavier, LSU, Washington, Memphis, Oklahoma and Gonzaga.


2. Jameer Nelson Jr.

The 6-1 combo guard who averaged over 20 points per game at Delaware — at an efficient 44.5 percent clip — will spend his senior season at TCU. While adjusting to the Big 12 from the Colonial Athletic Association will be a jump, Nelson has been able to steadily improve his stats over the course of his three years as a Blue Hen. In Fort Worth, he’ll look to make another jump.


3. Dalton Knecht

A bit of a Swiss Army knife, at 6-6 and 200 pounds, the transfer prospect out of Northern Colorado will look to improve his NBA prospects by showing off his deep skillset at a bigger program. He has the numbers to back up his highlights, as he led the Bears in scoring with over 20 points and seven rebounds per game last season. North Carolina is in the mix.


4. Adrian Baldwin Jr./Mike Rhoades

Listed together because, well, they’re a package deal. Ace Baldwin averaged over 12.7 points per game as well as nearly three rebounds and six assists and was regarded as one of the top point guards in the transfer portal. After his coach, Mike Rhoades, announced he was leaving VCU for Penn State, the reigning A-10 POY and Defensive POY soon announced he’d join him.


5. Khalif Battle

The shooting guard from Temple averaged nearly 18 points, four rebounds and two assists per game last season. He is a pure shooter, knocking down 35 percent from behind the arc at a high volume. Battle was an effective sixth-man for the Owls and will prove to be an important role player and zone-buster at Arkansas.


6. Graham Ike

He missed last season at Wyoming due to injury, but is one of the most sought-after players in the portal. In 2021-2022, Ike nearly averaged a double-double. Prior to his leg injury, was tabbed as the preseason Mountain West Player of the Year. Gonzaga is in the mix.


7. Aaron Estrada

The shooting guard from Hofstra was the CAA Player of the Year two straight seasons and averaged over 20 points per game and four assists last year. His high volume and consistency speak for themselves — Estrada will make an immediate impact and his top options include Cincinnati, Alabama and Kansas State.


8. Micah Handlogten

He’s 7-1 but didn’t put up the most dominant offensive numbers for Marshall, averaging under eight points per game. However, his nearly 10 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game are enticing as are his physicality and frame, which Florida coach Todd Golden will look to develop going forward.

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