College Basketball

College basketball transfer rankings 2023: Former Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa commits to West Virginia

arizona kriisa

arizona kriisa

Former Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa announced Wednesday that he is transferring to West Virginia, where he is expected to have two seasons of eligibility remaining after a three-year stint with the Wildcats. Kriisa ranked as the No. 6 player in the CBS Sports 2023 transfer rankings as of Wednesday and will help the Mountaineers replace some departing production in the backcourt.

Guards Erik Stevenson and Kedrian Johnson exhausted their eligibility during the 2022-23 season as WVU finished 19-15 with a first-round NCAA Tournament loss against Maryland. Both were double-figure scorers and full-time starters. Kriisa averaged 9.9 points per game for Arizona this past season and dished out 5.1 assists as the Wildcats won the Pac-12 Tournament. They secured a No. 2 seed for the NCAA Tournament but were upset in the first round by No. 15 seed Princeton.

Kriisa hit 36.6% of his 3-pointers on 6.5 attempts per game this past season while logging 31.1 minutes per game. He is a strong passer and shooter but is limited defensively and is not much of an attacker on offense. Ultimately, he is a proven producer with a deep well of experience for a strong program, and that makes him a big pickup for WVU coach Bob Huggins as the Mountaineers look to rebound following consecutive sub-.500 seasons in Big 12 play.

Kriisa is just one of several big-name players on the move in college basketball this offseason. Here at CBS Sports, we have distilled the massive number of transfers to a handful of names to know. For starters, here are the top 25 And 1 transferring players.

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

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 seven-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 a 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

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 20222-23 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 other 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 with his outside shooting.

5. Tramon Mark

Old school: Houston

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 on a high-level team. Mark is also going through the NBA’s pre-draft process and could elect to end his college career. But if he does transfer, he will be highly sought. 

6. 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 and Kedrian Johnson.

7. Ace Baldwin 

Old school: VCU

Baldwin spearheaded VCU’s vicious defense for the past three seasons with relentless on-ball defense. 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.

8. Sahvir Wheeler

Old school: Kentucky

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.

9. Caleb Love

Old school: North Carolina

Love is a former five-star prospect and McDonalds 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.

10. 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. 

11. Denver Jones

Old school: Florida International

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 is the type of instant impact offensive player who can help fill a production gap for a team in need. He reached the 20-point mark in 17 of 28 games this past season.

12. 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 shot just 29.9% of his attempts from beyond the arc as a freshman.

13. Jalen Cook

Old school: Tulane

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.

14. 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.

15. TJ Bamba

Old school: Washington State

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. If he returns to college basketball, he would be a huge pickup for any team looking for a proven producer at shooting guard.

16. Jamison Battle

Old school: Minnesota
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.

17. Khalif Battle

Old school: Temple

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.

18. Fardaws Aimaq

Old school: Texas Tech

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.

19. Brandon Murray

Old school: Georgetown

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.

20. 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.

21. Jared Bynum

Old school: Providence

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.

22. Graham Ike

Old school: Wyoming

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 NCAA Tournament team. While his sheer production jumps off the page, Ike does have limitations since he is not a shot blocker or an outside shooting threat.

23. Walter Clayton Jr.

Old school: Iona
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 high-major contributor.

24. Jae’Lyn Withers

Old school: Louisville
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, and the right coach will be able to build off the potential Withers showed earlier in his career.

25. 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 at helping TCU replace star guard Mike Miles, who declared for the NBA Draft.

26. Caleb Mills

Old school: Houston, Florida State

It feels like a lifetime ago that Mills earned All-ACC honors as a freshman at Houston during the 2019-20 season. He averaged 13.2 points that season before transferring out the following year and landing at Florida State. He averaged double figures the past two seasons as the Seminoles struggled. He needs to demonstrate more consistency from the outside. But with a career average of 12.8 points per game at Houston and FSU, he’s clearly got the talent to be a proficient scoring guard in the right system.

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Publish Date:2023-04-06 02:31:12

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