Top 5 Impact Transfers for 2012-2013 College Basketball Season
2012-2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Impact Transfers
Every year hundreds of players leave programs for various reasons, unhappy with playing time, coaching change or family reasons to name a few. And, every year a handful of these players help take their new teams to new heights. Those are the players we are going to look at, the Top five players that will make an impact on top programs this season. These five gentlemen are the players that fill a need for their new team, fit into the new system they will be running and (on paper right now) take their new team from contenders to favorites in their respective conferences and from reasonable rankings to high rankings this preseason. Who cares if a transfer takes a bottom feeder to the middle grounds of a conference? Not us! We are looking at five players that may have just brought a championship to their new program! These are players that are important because they have the ability to come in and start at a position that was undermanned or poorly filled. Have a skill set that uniquely fits within the system that their new coach runs, or in one case here, have a prior relationship with the coach that makes them the ideal transfer. And lastly, these players are joining clubs that were on the brink of becoming contenders and now with this new player have become, in theory, a more complete team with the needed parts to be contenders.
5. Larry Drew II
Former Team: UNC
New Team: UCLA
Drew is at number five because he is so polarizing. He has the ability to either help the Bruins overtake Arizona in the PAC-12 or help keep them in mediocrity. While at UNC he was similarly polarizing, first backing up Ty Lawson during the 2009 championship season so well, and when he was replaced by Kendall Marshall at the point by Roy Williams he promptly quit and eventually took his talents to Westwood. Now a team on the west coast will see if his skill set and mind set will fit with the coaches above him and the players around him. If Drew can prove he can handle being coached and fit into the UCLA system he can potentially be a positive impact.
4. Aaric Murray
Former Team: LaSalle
New Team: West Virginia
This might be a reach, but Murray as the anchor of a Bob Huggins trapping defense has got to scare some of the BIG 12 coaches. West Virginia makes the transition into the BIG 12 and now has a post to patrol the middle of their defense, something that is very important in their new conference. Huggins is a master at creating defenses that fit with his personnel and he will surely use the shot blocking ability of Murray to his advantage. Not to mention he is skilled offensively. Murray averaged 15.2 points and 7.7 rebounds while playing 28 minutes a game in his sophomore year at LaSalle and showed the ability to step out and make shots (35 percent from 3-point land). You heard it here first, the Mountaineers are going to finish very, very high in the BIG 12.
3. Trent Lockett
Former Team: Arizona State
New Team: Marquette
Coming out of high school Lockett was praised for his outstanding shooting ability, high basketball IQ and overall offensive skill set. All these things fit perfectly for the offensive guru at Marquette, Buzz Williams. Lockett averaged 13 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 41 percent from beyond the arc for Arizona State last season. He will be eligible immediately after being granted an NCAA hardship waiver. Marquette lost a lot of its offensive firepower from last year but Lockett fills those shoes more than adequately and will surprise a lot of people in the BIG EAST.
2. Mark Lyons
Former Team: Xavier
New Team: Arizona
Of the five players on this list, Lyons is without a doubt the absolute perfect fit for his team. Why, you ask? Because he is the only transfer to rejoin the coach that recruited him out of high school. When Sean Miller was at Xavier he worked hard to bring in Lyons because he loved his scoring ability, leadership and mental toughness. Now these two reconnect in Tucson. The fifth-year senior brings a 15.1 points and 2.8 assists per game, and will be eligible immediately due to the NCAA graduate exception waiver. With Lyons filling a glaring need at point guard the Wildcats are the favorites to win the PAC-12.
1. Alex Oriakhi Former Team: UCONN New Team: Missouri
Oriakhi has literally brought a championship to the Tigers...his 2011 championship ring from UCONN. His experience alone would have gotten him into the top five of this ranking but that is not the only thing he brings to the table. He is a force to be (or not to be) reckoned with on the defensive end. He averaged 9.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in 2010-11 during the run to the championship and has now received an NCAA Academic Progress Rate waiver and will be eligible immediately. He gives the Tigers an experienced, mature frontcourt player that can be a game changer for Missouri's Frank Haith. NCAA games are won in the paint and Oriakhi is one of the best in the game at controlling this space and is a large (pun intended) reason this team is preseason ranked 15.