8 college basketball transfer portal sleepers your team needs to target

The college transfer portal now mirrors NBA free agency. With player mobility and freedom higher than ever, programs reshuffle the deck each offseason, adding veteran talent through the portal aside from high-school and international recruiting.

Plenty of high-profile transfers entered the portal — names like Robbie Avila, Tucker DeVries, Bronny James, Johnell Davis and Jevon Porter are high on people’s radars. As always, lesser-discussed hidden gems will emerge as impact college players and possible future NBA players. Here are eight underappreciated transfers slated to switch teams this offseason.

Saint Thomas — 6’7 wing transferring from Northern Colorado

Saint Thomas scores efficiently from all over the floor, creating easy shots for himself and his teammates. He’s a heavenly pull-up shotmaker, smoothly flowing into jumpers in isolation and the pick-and-roll. Wings who dribble, pass, shoot and defend like Thomas are scarce.

His productivity was impressive, slashing 19.7-9.8-4.2 on solid efficiency. He possesses the tools, feel and size to succeed at a high major. The last Northern Colorado scoring wing to transfer up excelled, after all. Will lighting strike twice?

Adou Thiero — 6’8 forward transferring from Kentucky

A platonic ideal ‘glue guy’, Adou Thiero showcased modern perimeter skill for Kentucky in a traditional forward frame. He was Kentucky’s connective tissue this season, adding the passing, finishing and defense Kentucky’s young roster craved.

Once a limited above-the-rim finisher, Thiero’s ball-handling is more expansive, attacking off of the catch and in transition to find shots for himself and his teammates. Teams needing smart, athletic defensive aces (so, every team) should prioritize Thiero.

Joshua Jefferson — 6’8 forward transferring from Saint Mary’s

Jefferson was one of the nation’s premier underrated do-it-all forwards this season, leading St. Mary’s on the defensive end while adding connective offensive value. His passing stood, flashing some secondary pick and roll juice and interior passing from the post.

Shooting is the last step for Jefferson (27.6%) and his solid volume, free-throw percentage and touch could indicate development there. Regardless, teams will value Jefferson’s off-ball defensive disruption (3.1% steal rate) and positional defensive versatility.

Frankie Fidler — 6’7 wing transferring from Omaha

Frankie Fidler will raise the roof of whatever offense he joins, his outside shooting, mid-range scoring and playmaking coalescing into a versatile on and off-ball threat. His dominance inside the arc impresses; Fidler shoots 43.5% on long twos and lives at the free-throw line (56.5% free-throw rate), shooting 86.8% there.

If a team needs Fidler to run the offense, he’ll cash pull-up middies and pass to his big man in the pick-and-roll. If not, he spaces the floor and runs in transition. His defense can be exploitable, but the offense will find him a home.

Carey Booth — 6’10 forward/center transferring from Notre Dame

Carey Booth, the son of Denver Nuggets’ GM Calvin Booth, brings some of the highest upside in the whole portal. Throughout his freshman season at Notre Dame, Booth flashed rare skill on both ends of the floor, his mobility a standout for a near seven-footer.

Despite his low three-point percentage (29.7%), Booth’s volume, shot versatility and confidence in taking and making shots could suggest future shooting improvement. If Booth evolves into a fearsome shooter, his handling and defensive versatility at both big spots will make him an X factor somewhere.

Garwey Dual — 6’5 guard transferring from Providence

Acquiring Garvey serves a Dual purpose; he’s a menacing all-around defender with the potential to grow into much more. The statistics are impressive for a freshman — +2.9 D-BPM, 2.4% steal rate and 3.7% block rate — and he wrecks off-ball and shuts down on the ball.

The offense remains a major unknown, as Dual struggled mightily with three-point shooting and overall scoring (41.2% True Shooting Percentage) last season. His athletic tools are undeniable, though, and Dual’s feel for the game is solid. Capitalizing on his tools as an advantage creator could vault him to stardom.

Chris Manon — 6’5 wing transferring from Cornell

Analytics love Chris Manon — his +7.9 box-plus minus, 5.5% steal rate, 61.7 true shooting percentage on 27.8% usage for example. Numbers paint him as an impact player with the potential to be more at a higher level of competition.

Manon’s strength slashing into the paint stands out and he’s a strong passer off his drives and post-ups. Though Manon isn’t a standout shooter (33.8%), his combination of decision-making as a handler and strength on and off of the ball defensively are those of a high-major starter.

Layden Blocker — 6’2 guard transferring from Arkansas

Underwhelming counting stats shouldn’t scare teams off of Layden Blocker, who averaged shy of four points per game on 13.3 minutes a night. Though his role was inconsistent, Blocker’s explosion and quickness helped him contribute defensively.

Blocker was a top 45 recruit out of high school, oozing upside with his pressure on the rim and endless energy. Refining his jumper and handle could allow for real on-ball creation upside paired with his impressive defense. Remember Blocker as a possible star breakout candidate in the next year or two.

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