Rodney Hood (Getty Images)
Our 2013-14 season preview continues with the Dagger's look at transfers most likely to make an immediate impact next season. Check back every morning for the next six weeks for more college hoops preview content.
1. Rodney Hood, F, Duke (from Mississippi State)
Already a highly touted prospect before he arrived at Mississippi State in 2011, Hood validated his high school accolades by averaging 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds as a freshman despite being the third option behind Dee Bost and Arnett Moultrie. He left the Bulldogs following his freshman season when Rick Stansbury was forced to resign and Rick Ray took over. Mississippi State's loss was Duke's gain on both sides of the ball. Not only is the 6-foot-8 Hood an explosive athlete with a consistent enough jump shot to keep defenders honest, he also has the speed to defend on the perimeter and the size to guard opposing power forwards.
2. Jordan Clarkson, G, Missouri (from Tulsa)
Even though Missouri coach Frank Haith has landed seven transfers in his two-plus years in Columbia, Clarkson has the potential to be the best of them. He averaged 16.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists as a sophomore at Tulsa and spent last season adding muscle to his 6-foot-5 frame and improving his point guard skills while sitting out at Missouri. In his first season of eligibility, Clarkson will be expected to make an immediate impact both as a dynamic perimeter scorer and creator who will help replace NBA-bound Phil Pressey at point guard.
3. T.J. McConnell, G, Arizona (from Duquesne)
McConnell is the quintessential pass-first floor leader Arizona lacked last season when scoring guard Mark Lyons manned the point guard position. The Duquesne transfer averaged 11.4 points and 5.5 assists as a sophomore with the Dukes and shot 43.2 percent from behind the arc. Arizona needs him to not only start at point guard but contribute in a number of ways, from setting up his teammates for easy buckets, to providing a deep threat from 3-point range, to pressuring the ball and causing turnovers at the point of attack.
4. Michael Dixon, G, Memphis (from Missouri)
Seemingly poised to establish himself as one of the nation's best combo guards last season after averaging 13.5 points per game the previous year, Dixon instead never saw the floor. Missouri dismissed him last November after two different women accused him of sexual assault. No charges were filed against Dixon, which is why he was able to obtain a waiver to play next season at Memphis the same way Dez Wells did at Maryland last year. Dixon's ability to create off the dribble or shoot from the perimeter will make him extremely valuable for Memphis. His presence will eat into Joe Jackson, Geron Johnson and Chris Crawford's minutes and force Josh Pastner to utilize some three- and four-guard looks.
5. Josh Davis, F, San Diego State (from Tulane)
With Jamaal Franklin, Chase Tapley and James Rahon all departing from a team that made the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament last season, San Diego State desperately needed a proven scorer. Enter Davis, a one-year transfer whom the Aztecs outdueled Gonzaga and numerous other top programs to land. Davis, a former NC State signee, averaged 17.6 points and 10.7 rebounds at Tulane last season. The versatile forward has a lot of similarities to Franklin and Kawhi Leonard because of his ability to rebound, defend multiple positions and score either with his back to the basket or attacking the rim.
6. Mike Moser, F, Oregon (from UNLV)
How big an impact Moser makes in his lone season will depend on whether he can return to his 2011-12 form. That season, Moser thrived as a power forward in UNLV's free-flowing, fast-paced attack, averaging 14.5 points and 10.4 rebounds and emerging as one of the Mountain West's top players. He regressed last season after a move to small forward and an ill-timed injury, unable to consistently shoot from the perimeter or to make a difference on the glass. Oregon has enjoyed success with one-year transfers before, most notably forward Arsalan Kazemi last year and Devoe Joseph the previous season. The Ducks need Moser to thrive in transition on offense and to replace some of the rebounding Kazemi provided.
7. Josh Smith, C, Georgetown (from UCLA)
Few college centers have softer hands or better touch around the rim than the ultra-talented Smith, but the only way he'll be able to tap into that potential at Georgetown is to shed the excess weight he carried at UCLA. Smith's actual weight was a state secret while in Westwood but he could only play for two or three minutes at a time without fatigue or foul trouble taking a toll. Even though he reportedly has shown greater commitment to conditioning and nutrition since arriving at Georgetown, the only way Smith will win over skeptics is to prove it on the floor. His reemergence once he becomes eligible in December will be key for a Georgetown team badly in need of an offensive inside presence after losing Otto Porter to the NBA lottery and Greg Whittington to injury.
8. Dorian Finney-Smith, F, Florida (from Virginia Tech)
One of the major reasons Florida feels it can survive without academically ineligible McDonald's All-American Chris Walker is because the Gators have so much frontcourt depth. The best of the unit may turn out to be Finney-Smith, another former McDonald's All-American who lacks Walker's incredible athleticism but is capable of impacting the game in numerous ways. Too big and strong for opposing small forwards and too quick for most interior players, Finney-Smith poses matchup problems at either forward spot. He struggled with his shooting in his lone season at Virginia Tech but displayed promise as a rebounder and defender, averaging 6.3 points and seven rebounds per game.
9. Tarik Black, F, Kansas (from Memphis)
Even though the arrival of Andrew Wiggins and the rest of a talented recruiting class has dominated the headlines in Lawrence, don't forget about the other newcomer who will make his Kansas debut this fall. Black, a coveted transfer who chose the Jayhawks over Duke, Oregon and Georgetown, will play a crucial role as well. Not only does Black provide the bruising, physical presence the youthful Kansas frontcourt might otherwise have lacked, he also brings some much-needed experience and leadership to a Jayhawks roster dominated by freshmen and sophomores. Black averaged a modest 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds off the bench for Memphis last season but he has the potential to do more if Bill Self can get him to play with greater consistency.
10. DeAndre Kane, G, Iowa State (from Marshall)
Since Iowa State graduated four of its six leading scorers from last season and the remaining two are frontcourt standouts Georges Niang and Melvin Ejim, the Cyclones needed a scoring guard to provide some perimeter punch. The answer to that problem should be Kane, who averaged 15.1 points and seven assists for Marshall last season before transferring in search of somewhere else to spend his final season in college. Kane can play either guard position but he'll likely be relied on to fill the void at point guard left by the graduation of Michigan State transfer Korie Lucious. The 6-foot-4 senior should be able to improve his mediocre 40 percent shooting as well since he won't be relied on to do as much at Iowa State as he was at Marshall.
11. Jermaine Marshall, G, Arizona State (from Penn State)
When Evan Gordon left Arizona State earlier in mid-May to spend his final year of eligibility at Indiana, the shooting guard’s departure created a void in the Sun Devils’ lineup that appeared difficult to fill. Six weeks later, however, Arizona State coach Herb Sendek found a replacement whose knack for creating off the dribble and finishing at the rim give him a chance to make an even greater impact than Gordon would have. Marshall, who averaged 15.3 points per game as a junior last season, originally left Penn State to turn pro but changed his mind in June and decided a final year of college at a different school might help improve his stock. That he chose Arizona State boosts the Sun Devils' chances of returning to the NCAA tournament next season for the first time since 2009.
12. Rayvonte Rice, G, Illinois (From Drake)
On an Illinois team that returns just three players from its 2012-13 NCAA tournament squad, Rice figures to emerge as a perimeter scoring threat almost immediately. Not only did the 6-foot-4 Rice average 16.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Drake, he also shed 30 pounds and worked on his inconsistent outside shot during the year he spent sitting out. Illinois probably could have landed Rice out of high school since the Champaign native grew up rooting for the Illini, but former coach Bruce Weber did not recruit the slashing wing. New Illinois coach John Groce did not make the same mistake twice, and that persuaded Rice to give his hometown school a second look.
13. Gerard Coleman, G, Gonzaga (from Providence)
It will be difficult for anyone to replace the leadership, hustle and defense Mike Hart provided Gonzaga last season, but the player likely to take his place in the starting lineup is capable of impacting the game in different ways. Coleman, a former consensus top 50 recruit, displayed a knack for getting to the rim and an ability to rebound well for his position in two seasons at Providence. Despite averaging 13.2 points and 5.0 rebounds as a sophomore, Coleman left Providence as a result of playing time concerns inspired by the addition of elite freshman Ricky Ledo. The 6-foot-4 junior should have no such worries at Gonzaga, where he has a good chance to start in the backcourt alongside Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. assuming Mark Few opts to go with a three-guard lineup.
14. Derrick Gordon, G, UMass (from Western Kentucky)
Add Gordon to a UMass backcourt that already includes A-10 player of the year candidate Chaz Williams, and it's easy to see why the Minutemen may emerge as league title contenders this winter. The 6-foot-2 combo guard averaged 11.8 points and 6.7 rebounds as a freshman during the 2011-12 season, leading Western Kentucky on an improbable run to the NCAA tournament. The step up in competition to the Atlantic 10 is significant but Gordon proved at Western Kentucky that he can thrive on a big stage. He erupted for 25 points and 15 rebounds in the Sun Belt tournament against Arkansas Little-Rock and scoring 12 against Kentucky in opening round of March Madness.
15. Antonio Barton, G, Tennessee (from Memphis)
In desperate need of a point guard after Trae Golden's dismissal left him without one on his roster, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin scoured the transfer market this past spring to see if he could find a player to fill that hole. The potential solution he unearthed was Barton, a combo guard unhappy with his playing time at Memphis after Geron Johnson, Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford and perhaps Michael Dixon all passed him in the rotation. Though Barton is a proven outside shooter and defensive stopper who will help Tennessee in both those areas, the big question for the Vols is whether he can handle the ball and create open looks for his teammates well enough to solidify a position that was already a weakness even before Golden's departure. Barton had some nice moments as a freshman at point guard in place of a struggling Joe Jackson, but since then he has played mostly off ball for Memphis.
Other potential impact transfers: Kelsey Barlow, G, Illinois-Chicago (from Purdue); Jason Calliste, G, Oregon (from Detroit); Eli Carter, G, Florida (From Rutgers), Michael Gbinije, G, Syracuse (from Duke); Cezar Guerrero, G, Fresno State (from Oklahoma State); K.T. Harrell, G, Auburn (from Virginia); Damontre Harris, C, Florida (from South Carolina); Ryan Harrow, G, Georgia State (from Kentucky); Four McGlynn, G, Towson (from Vermont); Nic Moore, G, SMU (from Illinois State); Terrance Shannon, F, VCU (from Florida State); Roscoe Smith, F, UNLV (from UConn)
* Oregon's Joseph Young would make the list if he doesn't have to sit out the upcoming season. He is petitioning the NCAA for a waiver that would allow them to play right away.
More from the Dagger's 2013-14 college basketball season preview:
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- Josh Smith