College Basketball

College basketball transfer portal rankings 2023: Kentucky’s Sahvir Wheeler commits to Washington

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Former Kentucky point guard Sahvir Wheeler announced Wednesday that he is headed to Washington for his final season of collegiate eligibility after beginning his career at Georgia and spending the past two seasons with the Wildcats. Wheeler ranks No. 14 in the CBS Sports Transfer Rankings after averaging 6.1 assists per game during the first four years of his career.

Adding a proven distributor was key for the Huskies following the departure of promising guard Keyon Menifield for Arkansas and the decision of secondary distributor PJ Fuller to enter the portal. Wheeler ranks No. 5 all-time in SEC history for assists with 655 and has logged 86 starts over his career. Though he dealt with injuries and then a reduced role at UK this season, Wheeler is a proven, steady distributing adept at facilitating quality looks for teammates.

Overlooked amid Wheeler’s rocky 2022-23 campaign with the Wildcats was that his 3-point shooting percentage rose to a career-best 36.6% and that he committed fewer turnovers per 40 minutes than in any prior season of his college career. For a Washington program that will be seeking just its second NCAA Tournament appearance under seventh-year coach Mike Hopkins in the 2023-24 season, Wheeler is the type of addition who could be a difference maker.

He will also reunite with former Kentucky teammate Keion Brooks who led the Huskies in scoring at 17.7 points per game this past season. Wheeler is also following in the footsteps of another former UK point guard, Quade Green, who transferred to Washington for the 2019-20 season and proceeded to average double figures in both his seasons with the program.

Well over 1,000 Division I players have entered the portal and there are still weeks of player movement ahead before 2023-24 rosters will be settled. Here at CBS Sports, we have distilled the massive number of transfers to a list of the top 40 names to know. This list will grow and player rankings will change as the May 11 deadline for players to enter the portal approaches.

1. Hunter Dickinson

Old school: Michigan

Dickinson is one of the best big men in college basketball. At 7-1 and with a well-built frame, he can outmuscle most opponents on the block, protect the rim and rebound. He also continued demonstrating the ability to hit 3-pointers during the 2022-23 season while earning All-Big Ten honors for a third straight year. The Maryland native is a fiery competitor and proven veteran who has the ability to change the trajectory of whatever program he chooses to play for during the 2023-24 season.

2. Max Abmas

Old school: Oral Roberts

Abmas ranks No. 16 all-time for made 3-pointers and is a career 38.8% shooter on 8.8 attempts per game. The 6-1 guard won Summit League Player of the Year twice and also has experience playing beyond the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Even amid an uptick in competition in a tougher conference, it would still be easy to envision Abmas raining 3-pointers as the first or second scoring option for a quality team. He has defensive limitations but has plenty of offensive firepower to be a positive addition to the starting lineup of a high-major program.

3. Kel’el Ware

Old school: Oregon | New school: Indiana

Ware played just 15.8 minutes per game as a freshman at Oregon after ranking as the No. 7 overall prospect in the Class of 2022, according to 247Sports. The 7-footer blocked 1.3 shots per game in that limited action, though, and was effective offensively inside the arc. He also showed some signs of potential as a 3-point shooter. There was a logjam in the Ducks’ frontcourt, and Ware should be able to make an immediate impact as a rim protector and secondary offensive weapon at his new school. Ware has three seasons of eligibility remaining, but could be off to the NBA before using them all if things go well at his next stop.

4. LJ Cryer

Old school: Baylor | New school: Houston

Cryer made 42.5% of his 3-point attempts over 70 games in three seasons with Baylor. The 6-1 guard started all 31 games he played in for the Bears during the 2022-23 season, and would have scored even more than his 15 points per game if not for the fact that he was sharing the backcourt with high-quality guards Adam Flagler and Keyonte George. He is not a great defender but can play on or off the ball and provide a serious offensive spark for Houston with his outside shooting. As the Cougars transition to the Big 12, his experience in the league will be a nice boost.

5. Tramon Mark

Old school: Houston | New school: Arkansas

Mark started every game for Houston during the 2022-23 season, playing a key role on a team that spent several weeks at No. 1. The 6-5 guard is a great defender who averaged 10.1 points over the past two seasons. Though he is just a 30% career 3-point shooter, he has the tools and pedigree to be an impact player for an Arkansas program that thrives with transfers. Mark is also going through the NBA’s pre-draft process and could elect to end his college career. But if he does stick with Arkansas, he’ll be a key player.

6. Ryan Nembhard

Old school: Creighton | New school: Gonzaga

Nembhard averaged 12.1 points per game in the 2022-23 season and dished out 4.8 assists per contest. He is the younger brother of former Florida and Gonzaga point guard Andrew Nembhard but quickly made a name for himself while winning Big East Freshman of the Year honors for the 2021-22 season. He is a true point guard with two seasons of eligibility remaining and excellent experience as the lead facilitator for a pair of Creighton teams that won games in the NCAA Tournament. He will be instrumental in helping the Zags reclaim the backcourt prowess that coach Mark Few has been missing the past couple seasons.

7. Kerr Kriisa

Old school: Arizona | New school: West Virginia

Kriisa started at point guard for the past two seasons at Arizona as the Wildcats became an offensive juggernaut under coach Tommy Lloyd. His strengths are 3-point shooting and facilitating as he made 36.6% of his 3-pointers and dished out 5.1 assists for the Pac-12 Tournament champions in 2022-23. Aside from his perimeter shooting, Kriisa is limited as a scorer, and he’s not a plus defender. But, in total, he’s a proven point guard and great pickup for a West Virginia team replacing starting guards Erik Stevenson¬†and Kedrian Johnson.

8. Jesse Edwards

Old school: Syracuse | New school: West Virginia

Edwards finished third in scoring for Syracuse in 2022-23 at 14.5 points per game, led the ACC in blocks per game at 2.7 and finished second behind Armando Bacot of North Carolina in rebounding with 10.4 boards per contest. The 6-11 native of the Netherlands has just one season of eligibility remaining after four seasons with the Orange, but he should be able to make that year count as an impact player at West Virginia. Though he’s not an outside threat or much of a passer, he thrives doing everything else you could want from a big.

9. Jaylon Tyson

Old school: Texas Tech

Tyson is the epitome of an all-around player and one of the most underrated two-way wings in the sport after averaging 10.7 points and 6.1 rebounds on 53.8% 2-point shooting and 40.2% 3-point shooting during the 2022-23 season. He also ranked as Texas Tech’s best defender, according to evanmiya.com, while collecting 1.4 steals per contest. The former top-40 prospect began his career at Texas in the 2021-22 season but played sparingly before showing this past season why he was so highly regarded as a prospect.

10. Harrison Ingram

Old school: Stanford | New school: North Carolina

It’s possible that a change of scenery is all Ingram needs to recapture the NBA Draft buzz he once enjoyed as a five-star prospect from the Class of 2021. At 6-8, he’s a versatile forward who can play on the block or step out and hit 3-pointers. He’s also a savvy passer who can facilitate the offense. Ingram averaged 10.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in two seasons with the Cardinal. If he can bring up his career 62.9% free-throw shooting and 31.6% 3-point shooting percentage, Ingram can be a high-impact starter for the Tar Heels.

11. Ace Baldwin 

Old school: VCU | New school: Penn State

Baldwin is following former VCU coach Mike Rhoades to Penn State after spearheading VCU’s vicious defense for the past three seasons with relentless on-ball pressure. The 6-foot guard has averaged more than two steals per game for all three of his college seasons, and he led the Rams in scoring and assists as a junior in 2022-23. He earned the Atlantic 10’s Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards while leading the program to an NCAA Tournament bid in 2023.

12. Tylor Perry

Old school: North Texas

Perry led the NIT champions in scoring at 17.3 points per game while shooting 41.3% from 3-point range and draining 87.2% of his free throws. Though just 5-11, Perry clearly has the makings of an elite scoring guard and is also a good defender for his size. North Texas played with the slowest adjusted tempo in the country during the 2022-23 season, per KenPom, and Perry still managed to post gaudy offensive numbers.

13. Matthew Cleveland

Old school: Florida State

Cleveland is a 6-7 wing who led Florida State in scoring at 13.8 points per game this past season. The former five-star prospect needs to improve defensively but has all the tools to become an NBA Draft prospect. He improved his 3-point shooting to 35% on two attempts per game this past season, up from 17.6% during his freshman season. With two seasons of eligibility remaining, Cleveland has the size and talent to be an impact player at a big-time program.

14. Sahvir Wheeler

Old school: Kentucky | New school: Washington

Wheeler finished first or second in the SEC in assists each of the past three seasons, initially at Georgia and then at Kentucky for the past two seasons. He’s undersized and limited as a scorer but has proven himself to be a trusty traditional point guard over the past four seasons. If he’s surrounded by good 3-point shooters, he can be a game-changer for a program in need of an old-school guard to orchestrate its offense.

15. Caleb Love

Old school: North Carolina | New school: Michigan

Love is a former five-star prospect and McDonald’s All-American who helped spark North Carolina’s stunning Final Four run in 2022. But he’s just a career 36% shooter from the floor and made only 29.9% of his 3-point attempts on a whopping 7.4 tries per game this past season. His assist-to-turnover ratio also leaves something to be desired. Overall, he’s a talented but glaringly inefficient offensive player who might fit best on an offensively challenged team that needs someone capable of creating their own shot.

16. Skyy Clark

Old school: Illinois | New school: Louisville

Clark played in 13 games for Illinois, starting 12, before announcing in January that he was stepping away from the program for personal reasons. Now, the former top-40 prospect is headed to Louisville where he’ll likely be the primary ball-handler. The Cardinals had no help for point guard El Ellis in Kenny Payne’s first season as coach. Landing Clark is a good start for the program in terms of fielding a competent backcourt.¬†

17. Denver Jones

Old school: Florida International | New school: Auburn

Jones finished second in Conference USA in scoring at 20.1 points per game during his sophomore season on 37.1% 3-point shooting, 55.2% 2-point shooting and 84.5% free-throw shooting. The 6-4 guard reached the 20-point mark in 17 of 28 games this past season. He is the type of instant impact offensive player who can help make Auburn’s backcourt more efficient, provided that he embraces a role that will surely include fewer shots than he took at FIU.

18. J.J. Starling

Old school: Notre Dame | New school: Syracuse

Starling averaged 11.2 points per game as a freshman at Notre Dame after ranking as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2022. The 6-4 guard will be staying in the ACC as he heads to Syracuse where he will play a major role under first-year coach Adrian Autry. One obvious improvement opportunity for Starling is 3-point shooting after he made just 29.9% of his attempts from beyond the arc as a freshman.

19. Jalen Cook

Old school: Tulane | New school: LSU

Cook led a 20-win Tulane team in scoring at 19.9 points in the 2022-23 season and also led the team in assists with 4.9 per contest. He’s a bit undersized at 6-foot but is a career 36.9% 3-point shooter who shined as one of the AAC’s top scorers for two seasons after transferring from LSU following his freshman season. Defense isn’t Cook’s strength, but he could be a difference-maker on offense in a starting role for a high-major program.

20. Joe Girard

Old school: Syracuse

Girard quietly proved to be one of the sport’s best volume 3-point shooters during four years at Syracuse. He hit 40.3% of his long-range tries on 6.7 attempts per game last season and 38.1% on 7.2 attempts as a senior in 2022-23 while leading the Orange in scoring. At 6-1, he is undersized and limited defensively, especially after playing four seasons in Syracuse’s patented zone defense. But it’s easy to imagine Girard knocking down 3-pointers as a role player on an NCAA Tournament team.

21. TJ Bamba

Old school: Washington State | New school: Villanova

Bamba led Washington State in scoring at 15.8 points per game as a junior and should have two seasons of eligibility remaining. The 6-5 guard didn’t play particularly well against the Pac 12’s best teams this past season, but is a career 38.5% 3-point shooter. He is also going through the NBA Draft exploration process. Assuming he does play for Villanova, Bamba should immediately slot into a starting role for second-year coach Kyle Neptune amid the departures of key players like Caleb Daniels, Brandon Slater and Cam Whitmore.

22. Jamison Battle

Old school: Minnesota | New school: Ohio State
Battle is a 6-7 forward who averaged 17.5 points and 6.3 rebounds on 36.6% 3-point shooting in 2021-22 for Minnesota. But his shooting percentage and overall production dropped this past season as the Gophers continued to struggle. Ultimately, he is a versatile and experienced forward with a demonstrated track record of Big Ten production. On an NCAA Tournament team, his ceiling would likely be as a solid role player.

23. Khalif Battle

Old school: Temple | New school: Arkansas

Battle ranked fourth in the AAC in scoring at 17.9 points per game for Temple in his fourth season of college basketball. The 6-5 guard has struggled with injuries during his career but has proven to be a dynamic and explosive offensive player when healthy. One downside is that he needs to improve as a defender to be a high-impact starter for a better team. Part of Battle’s appeal is that he should have two seasons of eligibility after his 2021-22 campaign was limited to seven games due to injury.

24. Aaron Estrada

Old school: Hofstra, Oregon, Saint Peter’s |¬†New school: Alabama

Estrada won CAA Player of the Year for the second season in a row while averaging 20.2 points on 47.8% shooting for a Hofstra team that finished 25-10. The 6-4 guard also collected 5.5 rebounds and dished out 4.3 assists for the Pride while hitting 36.8% of his 3-pointers. As a physical, veteran backcourt player who can play on or off the ball, Estrada should be in high demand.

25. Fardaws Aimaq

Old school: Texas Tech | New school: California

Aimaq is the former WAC Player of the Year at Utah Valley who transferred to Texas Tech last season but played in just 11 games because of injuries. In that limited action, the 6-11 center averaged 11.1 points and 7.9 rebounds, which demonstrated that he can be productive in a rugged league. Aimaq is a serviceable rim protector and has shown the ability to step out and make 3-pointers over the past two seasons. At Cal, he is reuniting with former Utah Valley coach Mark Madsen after the two enjoyed success together in the past.

26. Brandon Murray

Old school: Georgetown | New school: Ole Miss

Assessing Murray’s performance at Georgetown is tough since the Hoyas were just 7-25 (2-18 Big East) in the 2022-23 season. He averaged 13.7 points per game but made just 31.8% of his 3-pointers. The 6-5 shooting guard also averaged 10.0 points per game as a freshman on an LSU team that reached the NCAA Tournament. He’s a good athlete and good defender, which makes it easy to imagine Murray slotting in as the No. 3 option or sixth man on a good power conference team.

27. Olivier Nkamhoua

Old school: Tennessee

Nkamhoua is a stretch big man with a smooth offensive skill set who averaged 10.8 points on 51.3% shooting for an offensively challenged Tennessee team in the 2022-23 season. At 6-8 and 223 pounds, he’s big enough to play the five in most systems but versatile enough to defend power forwards and some wings. If he played 30 minutes per game in an open, fast-paced system, Nkamhoua could average 13 or 14 points per game as a solid two-way player.

28. Jared Bynum

Old school: Providence | New school: Stanford

Bynum is an undersized but battle-tested guard after playing heavy minutes at Providence the last three years. He’s just a career 33% 3-point shooter but averaged 4.3 assists this past season against just 1.6 turnovers. He also made 83.1% of his free throws in 2022-23, which is a nice characteristic for a point guard.

29. Graham Ike

Old school: Wyoming | New school: Gonzaga

Ike led a 25-9 Wyoming team in scoring and rebounding during the 2021-22 season with 19.5 points and 9.6 rebounds before missing the 2022-23 season due to injury. If the 6-9 big man can return close to 100%, he could be a multi-year contributor for a Gonzaga team that is expecting to lose star forward Drew Timme. While his sheer production jumps off the page, Ike does have limitations since he is not a shot blocker or outside shooting threat.

30. Walter Clayton Jr.

Old school: Iona | New school: Florida
Clayton won MAAC Player of the Year while leading Iona in scoring and helping the Gaels to an NCAA Tournament appearance as a sophomore. The 6-2 guard hit 43.1% of his 3-pointers on 5.2 attempts per game and also averaged 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals. He has the makings of a starter for a Florida team that will be seeking traction in Year 2 under coach Todd Golden.

31. Jae’Lyn Withers

Old school: Louisville | New school: North Carolina
Somewhere inside the 6-8, 230-pound frame of Withers is an excellent college basketball player and maybe even an NBA prospect. The former four-star prospect earned ACC All-Freshman honors in 2020-21 for a respectable Cardinals’ squad before regressing offensively over the past two seasons amid chaos within the program. Withers ranked as Louisville’s best defender this season, per evanmiya.com, and UNC coach Hubert Davis will have a chance to build off the potential Withers showed earlier in his career.

32. Jameer Nelson Jr.

Old school: Delaware | New school: TCU

Nelson led the CAA in scoring at 20.6 points per game during the 2022-23 season and topped the conference in steals with 2.4 per contest. The 6-1 guard is only a career 31.3% 3-point shooter but is good at finding his spots inside the arc and thrives at reaching the free-throw line, where he made 77.6% of his attempts this past season. He will be instrumental in helping TCU replace star guard Mike Miles, who declared for the NBA Draft.

33. Caleb Mills

Old school: Houston, Florida State | New school: Memphis

It feels like a lifetime ago that Mills earned All-ACC honors as a freshman at Houston during the 2019-20 season. Now, he is headed back to the conference where his career began and should play a vital role in helping Memphis replace departing star Kendric Davis. Mills averaged double figures the past two seasons for a struggling Florida State team and can play on or off the ball. Pairing an established veteran like Mills next to touted freshman Mikey Williams in the backcourt is a wise move for Memphis coach Penny Hardaway.

34. Jaden Bradley

Old school: Alabama

Bradley’s role diminished as the season progressed during his freshman season at Alabama. But the former McDonald’s All-American reached double figures 11 times and averaged 3.1 assists per game in just 19.8 minutes of action. The 6-3 former top-30 prospect has a ton of upside and plenty of eligibility remaining to grow into a greater role than the one he played for the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed this past season.

35. Rienk Mast

Old school: Bradley | New school: Nebraska

Mast averaged 13.8 points, eight rebounds and 2.4 assists for a Bradley squad that won the Missouri Valley regular season title before falling one game short of reaching the NCAA Tournament. At 6-9, he is not much of a rim protector but can step out and hit 3-pointers. The Netherlands native should have two seasons of eligibility and has the tools to challenge for a starting spot at a power conference program.

36. Damian Dunn

Old school: Temple | New school: Houston

Dunn rated as Temple’s top offensive player in 2022-23, per evanmiya.com. The 6-5 guard scored a game-high 16 points in the Owls’ 56-55 upset win at No. 1 Houston, and will now be joining the Cougars as they head to the Big 12. He was also second on the team at Temple with three assists per game. Dunn’s defensive metrics are not particularly impressive, but he is a skilled offensive player who should be able to find a role for Houston as the Cougars see Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark depart from their backcourt.

37. Steven Ashworth

Old school: Utah State | New school: Creighton

Ashworth tied for sixth nationally in 3-point percentage at 43.4% among players who attempted at least 2.5 per game this past season. He also finished ninth nationally in total 3-point makes to stand out as one of the sport’s best pure shooters 7.3 long-range attempts per contest. He also averaged 4.5 assists for the Aggies this past season. At just 6-1, there are questions about how he will translate in a tougher conference on both ends of the floor. But in a worst-case scenario, he can be a valuable role player at Creighton because of his ability to space the floor as a shooter. In a best-case scenario, he will seamlessly step into the role vacated by transferring point guard Ryan Nembhard as a better shooter than the player he’s replacing.

38. Noah Fernandes

Old school: UMass | New school: Rutgers

Fernandes made 45.2% of his 3-pointers and 50% of his 2-pointers while averaging 4.1 assists in 11 games for UMass before injuries ended his 2022-23 season. The 5-11 point guard was similarly productive for the Minutemen in 2021-22, and is capable of landing a starting spot for a Rutgers program that has established itself as a steady force in the Big Ten.

39. Hakim Hart

Old school: Maryland | New school: Villanova

At 6-6 and 200 pounds, Hart is a veteran wing with good size and a proven track record of production for a Big Ten program. He appeared in 116 games over four seasons with Maryland and averaged 11.4 points this past season on 58.6% shooting inside the arc. His career 31.6% 3-point percentage is unspectacular, but he’s solid enough in the games other facets to be a nice addition for a Villanova program seeking traction in Year 2 under coach Kyle Neptune.

40. Dalton Knecht

Old school: Northern Colorado | New school: Tennessee

Knecht exploded during the 2022-23 season at Northern Colorado to the tune of 20.2 points per game on 38.1% 3-point shooting. At 6-6, he’s got good size for a shooting guard and helped on the glass with 7.2 rebounds. His Northern Colorado team was just 12-20 in the 2022-23 season, and there will be questions over how his sharpshooting prowess translates to a better team and league. But he’s clearly worth a shot for Tennessee after the Volunteers made just 32.9% of their 3-point attempts last season.

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Publish Date:2023-04-27 03:41:18

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