Mike Moser, Antonio Barton among impact transfers available as spring roster cleaning continues
While Angel Rodriguez made waves with Monday’s announcement that he was leaving Kansas State, and guys like former NC State freshman Rodney Purvis (headed to UConn) get the headline buzz, there are a number of players transferring this spring that should be significant additions to their new program.
Here’s a look at some of the more intriguing situations that we know about so far:
Bryce Alford and Cullen Neal, incoming freshmen
Neither has played a minute in college but both will change their allegiances in the wake of New Mexico’s coaching change from Steve Alford (now at UCLA) to former assistant Craig Neal. Bryce, Steve’s son and a New Mexico state scoring legend, will now follow his father to Westwood while Cullen, Craig’s son, was released from his letter of intent at Saint Mary’s and will now join his father’s program in Albuquerque as a very capable replacement for Bryce in this freshman class.
Antonio Barton and Tarik Black, Memphis
Both Tigers will be eligible to play next season after graduating, and both should provide some help to the right team. Barton suffered an injury that derailed some of this past season, but he could be a decent plug-and-play one-year patch for a program that needs an experienced point guard. Black has numerous high-major suitors who need a shotblocking frontcourt addition.
Eli Carter, Rutgers
Carter was averaging almost 15 points a game before suffering a leg fracture in February. He’s been given a release by Rutgers in the wake of the Mike Rice scandal and has some significant schools eyeing him. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA gives him a hardship waiver so he can play next season if he elects to move to a different program.
Josh Davis and Ricky Tarrant, Tulane
The Green Wave’s two leading scorers are both part of a larger group of transfers that are crippling the program as it heads into a final season in Conference USA before joining the more robust American Athletic Conference in 2014-15. Tarrant is headed to Alabama. Davis, who averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds a game last season, is looking at Illinois, Pitt, Gonzaga and Iowa State. He’d be a high-quality get for any of those teams and is eligible to play next season as a graduate transfer.
Mike Moser, UNLV
The former UCLA transfer had a really frustrating year after his breakout campaign in 2011-12, and is looking at other options for his final season. Washington was thought to be the primary candidate, but Gonzaga now appears to be in the mix as the Zags look to reinforce their frontcourt. Put in the right situation, Moser has shown the ability to be an impact player at this level.
Justin Edwards, Maine
A sneaky pickup for a major-conference team, the all-America East selection was a solid scorer off the grid in Orono. The highly-touted Canadian wants to play at the top level, and looks good enough to do so. Iowa State, with a couple other Canadians on the roster, looms as a possibility, as does Creighton.
Some other transfers who could make impacts
Juan Anderson, Marquette
An energy guy in Marquette’s rotation, he wants to transfer closer to his Oakland, Calif. home. He’s a nice pickup for someone out there, especially if it ends up being at something like the WCC level.
Amir Garrett, St. John’s
Saw his minutes cut a bit this season, but still could be productive in the right situation at his new school. Garrett is also a pro baseball prospect, but wants to play basketball in the fall.
Josh Gray, Texas Tech
Averaged nine points a game as a freshman guard for the Red Raiders.
Jabarie Hinds, West Virginia
Needs a fresh start after losing his starting job late in this, his sophomore season. Dropping down a level and finding a better fit for his style may be the right solution. Reports have him considering UMass, Saint Joe’s, Iona and Creighton. He could be an impact player at that level.
Abdel Nader, Northern Illinois
Can you blame the Huskies’ leading scorer for seeking asylum after leading that offense this season?
Errick Peck, Cornell
A one-year option for teams looking for a decent rotation guy who can score and rebound a bit.
Christophe Varidel, Florida Gulf Coast
He didn’t provide dunks for Dunk City, but he can shoot the three and click his heels with the best of them. Didn’t shoot a great percentage last season, but was north of 40 percent from the arc the year before and made some shots in the NCAAs.
Kyle Vinales, Central Connecticut
A heavy-usage scoring machine in the NEC, he wants a chance to make the NCAAs with a better program. He probably could be useful at the A-10 level.
Trey Zeigler, Pitt
Ziegler, who left Central Michigan on a hardship transfer after his dad was fired as the head coach there, never settled in at Pitt and has never really fully lived up to prep expectations. He’s still good enough to help another program.