MBB: Transfer portal changing the landscape of mid-major, small college basketball

The college basketball season officially came to a close last Monday night with Baylor’s impressive win over Gonzaga. Now, the drama can begin.

What drama? The offseason drama known as the transfer market. The transfer portal has been active over the last few years. However, the extra year of eligibility given to athletes by the NCAA due to the CoVID-19 pandemic, has led to one of the most active transfer portal in memory.

The landscape of mid-major and small college basketball is currently undergoing a massive change with the quality of players who have already entered the transfer portal.

Let’s start with All-Southland Conference second team member Joe Pleasant of Abilene Christian. You may remember Pleasant because he is the guy who calmly hit both free throws to send ACU to an upset win over Texas in the NCAA tournament, which ultimately led to the departure of Shaka Smart and the arrival of Chris Beard in Austin.

But Pleasant is not the biggest name on the move from the Southland Conference. SLC Player of the Year Zach Nutall has departed from Sam Houston and is transferring to SMU.

Central Arkansas senior and third team All-Southland member, Rylan Bergersen, has entered the transfer portal and will be immediately eligible at the next school he chooses to attend.

All-SLC second team Keaston Willis is transferring from UIW. The sophomore from Sulpher Springs, Texas has already found a school and will attend Louisiana Tech next year.

Nicholls won the regular season Southland title but will need to replace a couple key members for next season. Senior Ty Gordon and redshirt junior Najee Garvin have both entered the transfer portal and will be immediately eligible at their next school.

SFA senior guard Cameron Johnson will transfer from the ‘Jacks after earning second team Southland Conference honors this year.

Steve Lutz was recently named head coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and he may have a completely new roster next year after nine Islanders have entered the transfer market with senior guard Nolan Bertain already announcing he will attend Idaho next year.

The Southwestern Athletic Conference has also seen many notable players enter the transfer portal.

Alcorn State has seven players currently listed in the portal including SWAC first team selection Troymain Crosby, who will have immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer.

Other members of the All-SWAC first and second team to enter the transfer portal include UAPB guard Shaun Doss Jr., Defensive Player of the Year Jayveous McKinnis from Jackson State, Cam Mack and Jawaun Daniels from Prairie View A&M, and Newcomer of the Year Michael Weathers of Texas Southern.

The Western Athletic Conference has not seen as many players enter the transfer portal. A few of the notable players to have announced their intention to transfer are Darrion Trammell from Seattle U who was named to the first team and all-newcomer team, Tarleton’s second leading scorer Konstantin Dotsenko, and senior Javon Levi from UTRGV.

The Lone Star Conference will see some drastic changes next year due to the transfer portal.

Two-time LSC Player of the Year and All-American Lexy Hightower has announced that she is transferring from West Texas A&M to Texas Tech.

Hightower is not the lone huge departure from Canyon with the Buffs men’s basketball team taking a couple huge losses.

2020 LSC Player of the Year and first team All-American Qua Grant is one of three key players departing West Texas A&M. Grant is joined by Joel Murray, who is transferring to Long Beach State, and Jon’il Fugett.

LSC Defensive Player of the Year Chandler Jacobs from Dallas Baptist will not return to DBU and is seeking a Division I opportunity.

Other notable LSC players who are seeking a transfer include Lubbock Christian senior guard Lloyd Daniels, Oklahoma Christian’s sensational freshman duo Marco Foster and Elijah Elliott, and Micah Fuller from UT Tyler.

With so many big names in the transfer portal, I will be keeping a daily eye on any movement so make sure you visit this site regularly for any updates.