I've Got Five On It: Top prospects still available in hoops transfer portal

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Transfer portal season is slowly winding down, but a number of effective options still remain up for grabs.

Today, Rivals national analyst Rob Cassidy takes stock of what’s left, as he explores five potential difference-making players still in search of new homes.

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Where he came from: Old Dominion

Overview: A highly regarded prospect in the class of 2023, Alette chose Old Dominion over heavy interest from high-major programs. He backed up his reputation in his one season at ODU, averaging a team-high 17.4 points per game in addition to 5.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 19 games before being dismissed from the team due to what the university called “conduct unbecoming of a Monarch.” Few additional details about Alette's dismissal have been made public at this time.

On the court, the Canadian-born Alette is an athletic, three-level scorer with a sensational freshman season in the Sun Belt.

Potential destination: There hasn't been much news surrounding possible landing spots for Alette, as things have been kept relatively quiet since he and his twin brother both entered the portal in March. Depending on what transpired during his time at ODU, Alette could be a major help to any number of programs looking for a dynamic scoring guard.


SF CEDRIC COWARD (Eastern Washington)

Where he came from: Eastern Washington

Overview: One of the best kept secrets in college hoops, Coward started his college career at Div. III Willamette University but became a star at Eastern Washington last season. As a junior in the Big Sky, Coward averaged 15.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for a team that won 21 games. Coward is a versatile wing that impacts games on the glass but, more importantly, can shoot it from all over (63 percent from the floor last season).

The 6-foot-6 wing’s skill set seems translatable to the high-major level and he is one of the top remaining prospects in the portal because of it.

Potential destination: Washington State feels like one of the leaders to secure Coward, who grew up in Northern California, but the Cougars may have to hold off heavy hitters as portal options dwindle. The sooner Wazzu can get Coward in the fold the better for the program, as additional suitors seem to be kicking the tires on the talented wing’s recruitment.


SG KEN EVANS JR. (Jackson State)

Where he came from: Jackson State

Overview: Evans is a well-rounded prospect that managed to shine in a handful of games against high-major competition while playing for Jackson State. Evans faced off with Northwestern, Memphis and Gonzaga last season, and averaged 22 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in those three contests. He finished the 2023-24 season averaging 18.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists en route to SWAC Player of The Year honors.

Potential destination: Programs such as Maryland, West Virginia, Minnesota and Syracuse have been loosely linked to Evans, but his process remains relatively open. The Terrapins and Mountaineers feel most engaged for the time being, but there doesn't seem to be a clear-cut frontrunner.


SG CHAZ LANIER (North Florida)

Where he came from: North Florida

Overview: Lanier played four seasons at North Florida before hitting the portal as a grad transfer this offseason. He tested the NBA waters but will return to the college ranks for one final season, this time at the high-major level. The volume-scoring guard averaged 19.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as a senior last season, and posted a 16-point performance against Iowa.

Lanier was plagued by turnovers at times last season but it’s impossible to doubt his scoring prowess. A 44-percent shooter from long-range last season, Lanier will be a giant help to whichever program lands his pledge.

Potential destination: Lanier’s recruitment is one of the most interesting ongoing portal stories, as it pits Kentucky’s Mark Pope, who coached at BYU last season, against the new BYU staff as well as Tennessee. Lanier is a near lock to land at one of those three programs, but it seems a bit early to venture a guess as to which one. Pope and Kentucky have made the 6-foot-4 guard a priority target, so losing him to either SEC rival Tennessee or previous coaching stop BYU would feel like a brutal blow.


SG D.J. WAGNER (Kentucky)

Where he came from: Kentucky

Overview: One of the most well-known names remaining in the portal, Wagner was the No. 6 prospect in the 2023 Rivals150. He shined in spurts for Kentucky a season ago, starting 28 games and averaging 9.9 points and 3.3 assists per contest as a freshman in Lexington. The hyper-touted Wagner didn’t quite live up to lofty expectations as a freshman, but the 6-foot-4 guard still has pro-level tools and is a good bet to have a massive breakout season as a sophomore.

Potential destination: Most assumed Arkansas would eventually land Wagner. The former Wildcat has strong ties to head coach John Calipari, who coached him at Kentucky last season. Calipari also coached Wagner’s father during his time at Memphis, so a foundation of trust between the parties remains in place.

Wagner has already visited Arkansas but doesn't seem to be in any rush to make a commitment. The Razorbacks still feel like the favorite to land Wagner’s pledge, but the lull in news on his recruitment is reason for a bit of pause.