How teams approach the transfer portal is just as important as how they approach recruiting. Landing the right transfer can mean the difference between making the NCAA Tournament and advancing in the NCAA Tournament. Or, for some teams, it can make the difference in reaching the Final Four.
Big 12 teams worked hard in the transfer portal this offseason and here is the best transfer each school landed.
G RayJ Dennis
After losing key guards Adam Flagler, LJ Cryer and Dale Bonner, the Bears needed a player like Dennis. The 6-foot-2 senior was at Toledo and earned Mid-American Player of the Year last season as he averaged 19.5 points and 5.8 assists per game. He can run the point and shoot and the Bears need both this season.
C Aly Khalifa
You’ll take height wherever you can find it in today’s game. But skilled height? That’s Khalifa, a 6-foot-11 center from Charlotte. He averaged 9.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for his career and was the 2021-22 C-USA Freshman of the Year. Plus, he’s a long-term play. As he used his redshirt he still has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
The Knights lost a lot to the portal and to the NBA. The 6-foot-5 guard in Kansas City can fill the basket, as he averaged 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game and was named Second Team All-Summit League and Summit League All-Defensive Team.
This should be Aziz Bandaogo or Jamille Reynolds, but both were denied their waivers. So it falls to the 6-foot-8 guard/forward transfer from Butler who averaged 11.6 points and 2.9 assists last season. Now he’ll try and boost the Bearcats’ chances to be successful in their first Big 12 season.
Remember him? The 6-foot-1 senior guard spent three seasons at Baylor and won a national championship in 2021. The last two seasons he’s been one of the best 3-point shooters in the Big 12. He was an All-Big 12 Third-Team selection last season who averaged 15 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He’s going to love playing in coach Kelvin Sampson’s offense.
Iowa State needed shooting and the 6-foot-2 sophomore guard shot nearly 50 percent from the field, 84.2 percent from the free-throw line and 39.3 percent from the arc last season at Wofford. With the Terriers he was Southern Conference Freshman of the Year and averaged 15.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
No surprise here. The 7-foot-2 forward is the dominant height in the paint Kansas missed last year. A three-time All-Big Ten selection at Michigan and a consensus All-America Second Team in 2021, he averaged 17.2 points and 8.4 rebounds for his career and he’ll be a huge player in Bill Self’s offense all season.
Also not a surprise. The 5-foot-11 fifth-year guard is a North Texas transfer who already has his sights set on Kansas State’s single-season 3-point shooting record. He averaged 17.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists for UNT last season. He was the 2023 Conference USA Player of the Year and the 2023 NIT Most Outstanding Player as UNT made a run to the championship.
The 6-foot-4 Utah Valley transfer helped the Wolverines reached the NIT Final Four last season. Last season he averaged 13.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals and shot nearly 36 percent from the 3-point line. The Sooners need his touch from outside and the defense won’t hurt, either.
After losing Avery Anderson III to TCU, Small should fill some of that offensive void. The 6-foot-3 guard played 18 games for East Carolina last season and averaged 15.8 points, 5.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. He also has two years of eligibility remaining. As long as he’s good to go from last year’s leg injury, he will be a big factor for the Cowboys.
Jameer Nelson Jr.
He might be the perfect replacement for Mike Miles Jr. The son of St. Joseph’s star Jameer Nelson, the 6-foot-2 senior guard averaged 20.6 points for Delaware, which led the Colonial Athletic Association. Miles’ departure gives Nelson a chance to showcase himself in the nation’s toughest conference.
Another no-brainer, the 6-foot senior guard was one of the most sought-after players in the transfer portal and the Longhorns nabbed him. The former Oral Roberts comes to Texas as the NCAA Division I active career scoring leader (2,562 points). Just give him the ball and let him work for 40 minutes.
Texas Tech brought in an intriguing group of transfers, and Cambridge might be the best of the lot. The 6-foot-6 senior forward from Arizona State has 899 points, 479 rebounds, 76 steals and 64 blocks in 127 career games. He helped ASU reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year.
If West Virginia is going to be successful this season it will come primarily on the back of the 6-foot-11 fifth-year center. He transferred in Syracuse after he averaged a double-double of 14.5 points and 10.3 rebounds, along with an ACC-leading 2.9 blocks per game. Interior offense and rim protection was an issue for WVU last season. Edwards should fix that right away.