Biggest Transfers of the 2020 CBB Offseason
Written by Jonathan Lidskin
Transfers are a huge part of the college basketball world. In the past couple years, we have seen guys like Kerry Blackshear, Chris Clarke and Isaiah Moss make a huge impact as transfers just last season. This year should be no different. In this article, we’ll split the transfers into players that are immediately eligible, and players that will have to sit a year. There will be 3 guys in each category that will be the most impactful transfers in the next couple years.
1. Johnny Juzang, UCLA
Johnny Juzang was a highly touted prospect in the 2019 class. Juzang was ranked as the 33rd overall prospect by 247Sports composite and came out of high school known as a good shooter. While being a highly recruited player, Juzang had trouble finding minutes at Kentucky during his freshman season, as Kentucky had a backcourt loaded with talent. After only averaging 2.9 points per game during his freshman year, Juzang decided to transfer to UCLA. This was extremely important for UCLA as they lost 16th ranked recruit (247Sports composite) Daishen Nix to the G-League. While Juzang doesn’t play point guard, he will add depth to the UCLA backcourt and be a huge part of a team that should make a run at the Pac-12 title next season.
Juzang averaged 12.3 minutes a game during his freshman season, but will likely be an impact player next year at UCLA (Photo: 247Sports)
2. Mike Smith, Michigan
Mike Smith was one of the more under the radar transfers of the offseason. His signing with Michigan was likely overlooked because of the de-commitment of Isaiah Todd along with Josh Christopher signing with Arizona State. Michigan also had another transfer, Chaundee Brown, sign with them from Wake Forest. So why is Smith this big of a piece for the Wolverines? The kid can flat out score. Smith averaged 22.8 points per game during his senior season at Columbia on just over 43% shooting. There’s a chance that Smith won’t start for Michigan, but even if he comes off the bench, he could be a key piece to a Big Ten Championship run for Michigan.
Smith averaged 18 points and 4.3 assists in his career at Columbia (Photo: Columbia Athletics)
3. Bryce Aiken, Seton Hall
Bryce Aiken was one of the more sought after transfers of the 2020 offseason. Michigan actually recruited Mike Smith because Aiken committed to Seton Hall. Aiken only played 7 games during his senior season, but averaged 22.2 points per game during his junior season. He will step in and immediately have to be a leader for Seton Hall after Myles Powell graduated. Aiken has been known as a scorer throughout his career and despite going to Harvard, he was actually a pretty high recruit coming out of high school. Aiken was the 82nd ranked player in the 2016 class according to ESPN, so he is more than capable as a 5th year player of leading a team to the NCAA Tournament.
Bryce Aiken will likely start this season for the Pirates after the departure of Myles Powell (Photo: Freep.com)
Sitting One Year:
1. Andrew Nembhard, Undecided
One of the more shocking transfers of the 2020 offseason was former Florida guard, Andrew Nembhard. Nembhard entered the transfer portal after pulling his name out of the NBA draft. Nembhard averaged 11.2 points and 5.6 assists during his sophomore season at Florida. He had some really good moments with the Gators including a clutch shot during his freshman year to knock off top-seeded LSU in the SEC Tournament. ESPN college basketball reporter Jeff Borzello tweeted that Nembhard has already received calls from Gonzaga, Duke, Oregon, USC, UCLA, Memphis and Georgetown. Despite having to sit a year, Nembhard will be a big part of someone’s National Championship run in two years.
Nembhard hit a huge shot to send Florida to the SEC tournament semifinals in 2019 (Photo: In All Kinds Of Weather)
2. Mac McClung, Texas Tech
Texas Tech really needed this pickup. Davide Moretti decided that he was going to go play professionally in Italy, so their backcourt took a hit. With McClung now on the roster, Texas Tech should stay a solid team for the next couple years at minimum. McClung will bring explosiveness at the guard position to the Red Raiders. He averaged 15.7 points per game during his sophomore season at Georgetown and also improved his three point shooting from about 27% during his freshman year, to just above 32% during his sophomore year. If McClung can improve on his outside shot during his year off, he will come back as a very dangerous weapon for Texas Tech.
McClung is the second Georgetown star to transfer from this past team as James Akinjo also decided to transfer to Arizona (Photo: Forbes)
3. D.J. Carton, Marquette
This was a big pickup for Steve Wojciechowski as many people expected Carton to transfer back home to either Iowa or Iowa State. What Marquette is getting in Carton is a point guard who was ranked the number 4 point guard in the 2019 class by 247Sports composite. Carton averaged 10.4 points per game, mainly off the bench during his freshman season at Ohio State and also shot 40% from three. Carton would’ve been a huge help to Ohio State in March, but he took a leave of absence from the team in late January and didn’t play the rest of the season. Regardless, Carton should be a big player for Marquette in a couple years.
D.J. Carton standing next to Ohio State Head Coach Chris Holtmann (Photo: CBS Sports)
Honorable Mention: Eligible at Semester Break
James Akinjo, Arizona
I had to include this for the sole reason that Akinjo might be the most valuable transfer in all of college basketball this offseason. The guard only played 7 games in the 2019-20 season before deciding to transfer, but averaged 13.4 points per game in the games he did play. Since he sat out most of the 2019-20 season, Akinjo will be eligible once the first semester of school ends. He will get to play most of the season for Arizona and help lead them toward an NCAA Tournament berth. Akinjo will have to step in and be a leader on a team that’s bringing in 7 freshmen this year, 5 of which are from the United States. This is a big pick up for Sean Miller who is looking to get back in the NCAA Tournament after missing it in 2019.
Akinjo won Big East Freshman of the Year in the 2018-19 season after averaging 13.4 points and 5.2 assists per game (Photo: Arizona Desert Swarm)