Last year’s Final Four teams expecting boost from transfers
A few of last year’s Final Four teams have added transfers to help restock.
That’s particularly apparent at Oregon.
The Ducks had to replace four starters from last year’s Final Four team and responded by adding a pair of graduate transfers — Elijah Brown from New Mexico and MiKyle McIntosh from Illinois State. They join Georgetown transfer Paul White, who sat out 2016-17 due to NCAA transfer rules.
Brown could have the biggest impact of the newcomers after leading New Mexico in scoring the last two seasons.
“We knew we were going to be losing a lot of scorers, and he had scored very well,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We do have to improve his efficiency. His shooting percentages, his assist-to-turnover ratio have to improve. But I think he’s a very gifted offensive player.”
Defending national champion North Carolina also added a graduate transfer by signing Cameron Johnson from Pittsburgh , while South Carolina is hoping former Delaware guard Kory Holden can help the Gamecocks make up for all the backcourt firepower they lost from their Final Four team.
“Everybody loves him,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said of Johnson. ”(He’s) worked extremely hard in practice, and I expect he’s going to be a very good player for us.”
Here’s a look at some transfers poised to make an impact this season. As this list shows, some teams are following Oregon’s model in relying on multiple transfers.
G Elijah Brown, F MiKyle McIntosh and F Paul White, Oregon
Height/Class: Brown: 6-foot-4/Senior. McIntosh: 6-7/Senior. White: 6-9/Junior
Former school: Brown: New Mexico and Butler. McIntosh: Illinois State. White: Georgetown.
Notes: Brown, the son of Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown, averaged 18.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season at New Mexico to earn second-team all-Mountain West honors. He was a first-team all-Mountain West selection two years ago, when he had 21.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. McIntosh was a second-team all-Missouri Valley Conference choice last season with 12.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. White had 5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game for Georgetown two seasons ago.
G Jalen Hudson and G Egor Koulechov, Florida
Height/Class: Hudson: 6-6/Junior. Koulechov: 6-5/Senior
Former schools: Hudson: Virginia Tech. Koulechov: Rice and Arizona State.
Notes: Both Hudson and Koulechov should play major roles for Florida as the Gators look to contend for a Southeastern Conference title . Hudson missed last season due to NCAA transfer rules after scoring 8.4 points per game for Virginia Tech in 2015-16. Hudson led the Gators in scoring in each of their two exhibition games. Koulechov, who began his college career at Arizona State, comes to Florida as a graduate transfer after averaging 18.2 points and 8.9 rebounds for Rice last season to earn first-team all-Conference USA honors.
G Cameron Johnson, North Carolina
Former school: Pittsburgh
Notes: Johnson started all 33 games for Pittsburgh last season and was the Panthers’ top 3-point shooter. He averaged 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists while making 41.5 percent (78 of 188) of his 3-point attempts. North Carolina should know him well, as Johnson matched a career high by scoring 24 points last season against the eventual national champion Tar Heels . Although Johnson is coming to North Carolina as a graduate transfer , he has two years of eligibility remaining because he took a medical redshirt in 2014-15.
G Caleb Martin, G Cody Martin and G Kendall Stephens, Nevada
Height/Class: Caleb Martin: 6-7/Junior. Cody Martin: 6-7/Junior. Stephens: 6-7/Senior.
Notes: The Martin twins were both part-time starters at North Carolina State before sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. Caleb Martin averaged 11.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 2015-16. Cody Martin had 6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game that season. Stephens averaged 8.7 points in 2014-15 and 6.1 points in 2015-16 for Purdue before sitting out last season. Stephens averaged 22.3 points in Nevada’s three exhibition games.
F Malik Newman, Kansas
Former school: Mississippi State
Notes: The former McDonald’s All-American was rated as the nation’s No. 8 overall prospect in his high school class, according to a composite ranking of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports . He averaged 11.3 points at Mississippi State in 2015-16 before sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. Newman has been named the Big 12 preseason newcomer of the year.
G Geno Thorpe, Syracuse
Former schools: South Florida, Penn State
Notes: Thorpe played two years at Penn State before transferring to South Florida, where he led the Bulls in scoring (15.1), assists (4.6), steals (1.6) and minutes (33) last season. As a graduate transfer, Thorpe is able to play immediately for Syracuse. Thorpe has been dealing with an ankle injury that has limited him in the preseason, but his production at USF suggests he should emerge as a key player for a Syracuse team that has just one returning starter .
More AP College Basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org
Follow Steve Megargee at www.twitter.com/stevemegargee