Recent rise of college basketball’s transfer portal accelerating transfers to and from Kansas
photo by: Associated Press
The transfer portal has transformed college basketball’s offseason from a time for projected returners and their programs to address weaknesses and needs to one that starts and ends with players looking for other places to play.
The Kansas men’s basketball program has certainly felt the effects — and benefits — of the national trend that has absolutely exploded in the past couple of years, with nearly as many Division I players transferring out of KU in the past four years (11) as there were that did in KU coach Bill Self’s first 10 years with the program (12).
In all, with a record four now-former Jayhawks electing to look for new homes this offseason, the total number of transfers out during the Self era at Kansas outnumbers the number of transfers in — from Division I to Division I — 25-15.
The overwhelming majority of those transfers — whether joining the Jayhawks or seeking more playing time and better opportunities elsewhere — saw their decision pay off.
The popularity of simply making a move, along with the NCAA expected to pass a one-time transfer exemption this month that will make transfers eligible to play right away, has made player movement more prominent throughout college basketball than ever before.
As of April 1, the 2021 transfer portal in men’s basketball included 1,905 names, across all levels of college hoops, with four months still remaining before the start of the 2021-22 school year.
That number has grown in the seven days since then and likely will continue to grow in the days and weeks ahead, as it did on Thursday, when freshman guard Latrell Jossell became the fourth member of KU’s 2020-21 roster to enter the portal.
Jossell joins Tyon Grant-Foster, Tristan Enaruna and Gethro Muscadin in the portal, and those four were the four scholarship players on KU’s 2020-21 roster who played the fewest minutes.
The current number of players in the portal is up from 1,884 total in 2019-20 and 1,719 in 2018-19.
“It’s going to be a huge game-changer for our sport and it’s not good, it’s a bad rule, an awful rule,” Self said of the portal and one-time transfer exemption during an appearance on “Hawk Talk” with Brian Hanni on Wednesday night. “The way the rule is, it’s going to allow everybody to be a free agent.”
Self, who acknowledged that the current set-up has been beneficial to the Jayhawks in recent weeks, called it “a weird time in recruiting.”
“When you talk about recruiting, you usually talk about, ‘OK we’re going to identify them as a (high school) sophomore and we’re going to court them until they’re seniors.’ And then they make a decision maybe going into their senior year. It’s a long process. The recruiting process now is, ‘OK, who’s in the portal? Let’s call that person, figure out who his key people are and then (after) three Zoom calls, hopefully by the end of the week this kid’s going to make a decision.'”
While the new trend cuts into the loyalty of yesteryear, with four- and five-year players becoming fan favorites at their respective universities, Self said there were good elements of the new landscape.
“Some people do need to transfer,” he said. “Some people need to go to a place where the opportunities are different. That’s certainly the case. But it’s going to be wild, wild west, at least temporarily.”
Here’s an updated look at the transfers in and transfers out involving Kansas players — from one Division I program to another — during the Self era so far.
Transferring In (15)
Rodrick Stewart – 2006 – USC
Jeff Withey – 2009 – Arizona
Justin Wesley – 2010 – Lamar
Kevin Young – 2011 – Loyola-Marymount
Hunter Mickelson – 2013 – Arkansas
Tarik Black – 2013 – Memphis
Dwight Coleby – 2015 – Ole Miss
Evan Maxwell – 2016 – Liberty
Malik Newman – 2016 – Mississippi State
Sam Cunliffe – 2017 – Arizona State
Dedric Lawson – 2017 – Memphis
K.J. Lawson – 2017 – Memphis
Charlie Moore – 2017 – Cal
Jack Whitman – 2017 – William & Mary
Joseph Yesufu – 2021 – Creighton
Transferring Out (25)
David Padgett – 2004 – Louisville
Omar Wilkes – 2004 – Cal
J.R. Giddens – 2005 – New Mexico
Alex Galindo – 2005 – Florida International
Micah Downs – 2006 – Gonzaga
C.J. Giles – 2006 – Oregon State
Quintrell Thomas – 2009 – UNLV
Royce Woolridge – 2011 – Washington State
Milton Doyle – 2012 – Loyola (Chicago)
Merv Lindsay – 2012 – New Mexico
Anrio Adams – 2013 – Ohio/Eastern Kentucky
Zach Peters – 2013 – Arizona
Andrew White III – 2014 – Nebraska/Syracuse
Conner Frankamp – 2014 – Wichita State
Carlton Bragg Jr. – 2017 – Arizona State/New Mexico
Dwight Coleby – 2017 – Western Kentucky
Sam Cunliffe – 2018 – Evansville
Charlie Moore – 2019 – DePaul
K.J. Lawson – 2019 – Tulane
Quentin Grimes – 2019 – Houston
Issac McBride – 2020 – Vanderbilt
Tyon Grant-Foster – 2021 – TBD
Tristan Enaruna – 2021 – TBD
Gethro Muscadin – 2021 – TBD
Latrell Jossell – 2021 – TBD