Curry among nation’s top transfers
It’s highly unlikely this year’s transfer crop will feature any guys who impacted the college hoops landscape as much as Wesley Johnson (Syracuse) and Ekpe Udoh (Baylor) did a year ago, but there will be plenty of guys who make a difference.
Here’s a rundown of who may be happier and more productive in their new environment:
Seth Curry, 6-3, 180, G, Soph., Duke: Stephen’s little brother left Liberty after averaging 20.2 points as a freshman and will likely be the third guard for the Blue Devils this season, playing both spots behind Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving. He’s just the third player to transfer to Duke in the Coach K era, joining Roshown McLeod and Dahntay Jones.
Freddy Asprilla, 6-10, 280, C, Jr., Kansas State: The big man transferred from Florida International and sat out last season after the school didn’t allow him to go to another Division I school. He averaged 13.7 points and 9.2 rebounds as a freshman and will give the Wildcats a big body and a low-post scoring threat.
Gerald Robinson, 6-1, 180, G, Jr., Georgia: The combo guard can really score the ball and could make his way into Mark Fox’s starting lineup before long. He averaged 17.8 points per game at Tennessee State, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can jump a level.
Jeff Peterson, 6-0, 190, PG, Jr., Arkansas: He’ll likely move right into the starting lineup and will give John Pelphrey stability at the point guard spot. Peterson averaged 10.6 points and 4.2 assists as a sophomore at Iowa.
Malcolm White, 6-9, 225, F, Jr., LSU: He’s a Baton Rouge kid who comes home after two years at Ole Miss. He started 27 games as a sophomore and averaged 7.2 points per game.
James Rahon, 6-5, 200, SG, Soph., San Diego State: The Aztecs have a shot to make some noise nationally this season, and Rahon, a San Diego native who averaged 11.3 points as a freshman at Santa Clara and shot 41 percent from beyond the arc, will help.
Quintrell Thomas, 6-8, 245, PF, Soph., UNLV: The New Jersey native left Kansas after one season in which he hardly played, but expect him to make an impact in Lon Kruger’s program.
A.J. Stewart, 6-9, 240, PF, Sr., and Edwin Rios, 6-0, 190, G, Jr., Texas State: Stewart was a Kentucky cast-off who could be dominant in the Southland, while Rios was once a highly touted guard who didn’t make it with Frank Haith at Miami.
Kenton Walker, 6-9, 240, C, Jr., Saint Mary’s: He was a solid role guy in his sophomore season at Creighton, averaging 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds. He should help ease the loss of Gaels big man Omar Samhan.
Carl Blair, 6-2, 215, G, Soph., Oklahoma: Blair averaged 9.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists at New Orleans and won’t have to sit after transferring to Oklahoma because his old school is leaving the Division I ranks. There’s a chance Blair could be a starter immediately for Jeff Capel.
Juan Pattillo, 6-6, 220, F, Sr., Western Kentucky: He’s a big-time athlete who played just one season at Oklahoma and averaged 6.2 points and 3.6 rebounds before leaving school. Blair’s got one year left for Ken McDonald and the Hilltoppers.
Emmanuel Negedu, 6-7, 220, F, Soph., New Mexico: Negedu, who didn’t play last season at Tennessee due to heart issues, was admitted and given a waiver to play immediately by the NCAA. He’s a freak athlete who will help Steve Alford and the Lobos.
Ron Anderson, 6-8, 255, F, Jr., South Florida: He averaged nearly 20 minutes a game as a sophomore at Kansas State. Anderson put up 5.2 points and 5.3 boards per contest before leaving and should be a pivotal player for Stan Heath at USF.
Justin Knox, 6-9, 240, C, Sr., North Carolina: Knox’s arrival in Chapel Hill could be critical since Roy Williams didn’t have much depth up front. Knox is a one-year guy after opting to transfer from Alabama because he was unhappy with his role. He’ll be eligible immediately.
John Fields, 6-9, 220, F, Sr., Tennessee: Fields played his first two years at East Carolina, then sat out the 2007-08 campaign after transferring to UNC Wilmington, where he averaged 10.2 points and 8.7 boards last season. He received a waiver to play this season for his one year left of eligibility and will give the Vols depth and experience up front.
Eniel Polynice, 6-5, 220, G, Sr., Seton Hall: He’s an extremely versatile player who opted to leave Ole Miss with one year of eligibility left. As a sophomore, he averaged 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists — but then injuries and the emergence of Chris Warren and Terico White reduced his role.
Tom Herzog, 7-0, 250, C, Sr., Central Florida: The highly rated big man rarely played at Michigan State. He graduated from the Spartans and has one year left to play right away for new Central Florida coach Donnie Jones.
GUYS ELIGIBLE AT THE BREAK
Greg Echenique, 6-9, 270, C, Soph., Creighton: The big Venezuelan left Rutgers and thought he’d be playing for Dana Altman. Instead, Echenique will play a significant role for new coach Greg McDermott when he becomes eligible after the first semester.
Jio Fontan, 6-0, 175, G, Jr., USC: He transferred to USC and Kevin O’Neill at the break from Fordham, where he was the team’s best player and also earned a spot on the A-10 Rookie team as a freshman. Don’t be shocked if he starts right out of the gates for the Trojans.
Drew Gordon, 6-9, 245, PF-C, Jr., New Mexico: He left UCLA just six games into his sophomore campaign and was averaging 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds. He wasn’t a good match with Bruins coach Ben Howland, but expect Gordon — once he becomes eligible on Dec. 19 — to be a factor for the Lobos.
Olek Czyz, 6-7, 240, F, Soph., Nevada: Czyz returns back home after an uneventful stint at Duke but will be an impact guy for David Carter.
Mike Holmes, 6-7, 230, F, Jr., Coastal Carolina: If he’s eligible at the break, he will be a force in the Big South. Holmes averaged 10.8 points and 7.7 rebounds in the SEC for South Carolina as a sophomore.