FILE - In this file photo made on Friday, Nov. 5, 2010, Duquesne's T.J. McConnell shoots during a practice session with his NCAA college basketball team in Pittsburgh. The Arizona Wildcats made it to the Sweet 16 last season without a true point guard. After transferring from Duquesne last season McConnell gives them that point guard. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Friday, November 08, 2013 3:37 am
Transfers again expected to have a big impact
By JOHN MARSHALLAP Basketball Writer
Top-ranked Kentucky has a starting five and more, led by potential lottery picks Julius Randle and Wayne Harrison. Aaron Gordon and Rondae-Hollis Jefferson are expected to play big roles at No. 6 Arizona, Jabari Parker could be a star at No. 4 Duke and Andrew Wiggins at No. 5 Kansas could be the best of the bunch playing alongside fellow freshman Wayne Seldon.
Those guys could be great, but at this point, the season hasn't even started, so their impact is all still based upon potential.
There are a group of newcomers who do have a proven track record: Transfers.
College basketball has been filled with good players transferring to new teams and this season will be no different.
And while they may not have the profile of some of these stars-in-waiting freshmen, but some of them could have a bigger impact than some of their younger counterparts.
Here are a few to keep an eye on for the 2013-14 season:
T.J. MCCONNELL, GUARD, ARIZONA: The Wildcats made it to the Sweet 16 last season without a true point guard. Mark Lyons was a good player, but more of a shooting guard filling in at the point. McConnell gives them that point guard. The heady, gritty junior sat at last season after transferring from Duquesne and already has chemistry with Arizona's returning players after practicing with the team last season. He's a pass-first point guard who shoots well and may be the best perimeter defender this side of Ohio State's Aaron Craft.
MIKE MOSER, FORWARD, OREGON: The rugged forward was one of the best big men in the West as a sophomore, averaging 14 points and 10.5 rebounds with UNLV in 2011-12. He was plagued by injuries last season and will be allowed to play immediately for the Ducks after completing his undergraduate degree at UNLV. Moser should help Oregon offset the loss of Arsalan Kazemi and give the Ducks some frontcourt help on a team that has superb guards.
RODNEY HOOD, GUARD, DUKE: The Blue Devils already have a deep roster and one of the best incoming freshmen in Parker. Even on a team like that, Hood should have a big impact. The 6-8 swingman sat out last season after transferring from Mississippi State and gives the Blue Devils a multidimensional player who can play the point, shooting guard and both forward spots. He averaged 10.8 points and 4.8 rebounds at Mississippi State in 2011-12.
TARIK BLACK, FORWARD, KANSAS: Another instance of the rich getting richer. Black graduated from Memphis, so will be eligible to play right away, and gives coach Bill Self some added beef and leadership to go with a deep roster that includes Wiggins. Black was mostly a backup at Memphis, starting five of 32 games last season, shooting nearly 59 percent while averaging 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds. Black never quite lived up to his blue-chip status coming out of high school, but could be a good addition to an already talented team.
JOSH DAVIS, FORWARD, SAN DIEGO STATE: Davis has yet to play a game for the Aztecs, but is already drawing comparisons to former SDSU star Kawhi Leonard. That may be a stretch this early in the process - Leonard is in the NBA, playing for the San Antonio Spurs now - but there's little doubt Davis will be a big contributor. The 6-8 senior was a dominating force inside for Tulane last season, averaging 17.6 points and 10.7 rebounds, which was eighth nationally.
EVAN GORDON, GUARD, INDIANA: Gordon played one season for Arizona State after transferring from Liberty and never completely meshed with the Sun Devils. He averaged 10.1 points per game, but often scored in bunches or hardly at all. As a graduate, he will be eligible to play for the Hoosiers right away and give them a veteran presence on young team. Gordon, the younger brother of NBA player Eric Gordon, can score - he scored 29 points against Sacramento State and 28 against USC last season - and could fill in at point guard for Indiana.