While recruiting at a high level is still important, there seems to be a new trend in college basketball regarding transfers. Graduate transfers can provide veteran leadership and experience to any team. Here are the five best available transfers in college hoops:
Kerry Blackshear Jr. (Virginia Tech)
Blackshear is arguably the best available transfer, having averaged 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for Virginia Tech this past season. Blackshear provides a tough, inside presence and can score with his back to the basket. He has the ability to play for any program in the country, and there have been rumors of a meeting between he and John Calipari recently. Buzz Williams’ departure for Texas A&M definitely played a role in Blackshear’s decision to leave the program. He will be able to play immediately this season, as he is a graduate transfer.
Sam Hauser (Marquette)
Hauser and his brother, Joey, announced they would both be transferring from the Marquette program. Sam, who averaged 14.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, will have to sit out this next season before being eligible to play. He shot 40% from three-point range this season and has a great turnaround jumper when he’s on the block. The Hauser brothers both have high basketball IQs, but struggle to guard more athletic big men. Still, Sam Hauser will be one of the most sought after transfers in the offseason.
L.J. Figueroa (St. Johns)
Figueroa is a versatile wing, averaging 14.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for St. John’s. His best performance on the year was against University of Maryland Eastern-Shore, where he scored 25 points and grabbed 13 boards. Figueroa has heard from WKU, Arkansas, Miami and Georgia since he announced his transfer. He will have two years of eligibility left once he sits out this next season.
Rayjon Tucker (Arkansas Little Rock)
Tucker is a name not many people are familiar with, but that will change once he’s playing in a Power Five conference. Rayjon, who played three seasons at Arkansas Little Rock, averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game this season. West Virginia, Auburn, Memphis, North Carolina, Kansas, among others are all interested in Tucker. He’ll be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer.
Nate Sestina (Bucknell)
Another name not many people are familiar with is Bucknell transfer Nate Sestina. After averaging 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, Sestina will be taking his talents to Lexington, KY. He’ll hope to follow the footsteps of fellow graduate transfer Reid Travis, who led the Cats’ to the Elite Eight this season. A year under John Calipari and in the spotlight playing for Kentucky will certainly benefit Sestina’s NBA-aspirations.