Thoughts of the Day: May 5, 2021

A few thoughts to jump start your Wednesday morning:


As of Tuesday night, more than 3,000 Division I football and basketball players had placed their names in the NCAA transfer portal. If that sounds like a lot, then buckle up because we’re just getting started. The combination of the NCAA approved one-time transfer, the end of spring football, the conclusion of the spring semester and the fact that nearly all the schools that were going to fire a coach have already done so means the floodgates are now open.

As even more players begin their search for greener pastures, the next six or so weeks will only underscore which schools were prepared for the chaos and which ones were caught flatfooted. At Florida, where both Dan Mullen and Mike White have exceptional track records in finding good fits in the transfer portal, any losses have already been offset. Mullen has already landed two starting defensive tackles in Daquan Newkirk (from Auburn) and Antonio Shelton (from Penn State) and a kicker in Jace Christmann (from Mississippi State). He has one or two available scholarships and is thought to be seeking to bolster his offensive line. When Mike White lost four basketball transfers, he upgraded his roster by bringing in Brandon McKissic (UM-Kansas City), C.J. Felder (Boston College), Myreon Jones (Penn State) and Phlandrous Fleming Jr. (Charleston Southern). He also is known to be looking for another big guy to back up Colin Castleton.

Back in the early football signing period in December, Mullen pointed out that the transfer portal has changed the way he recruits. Instead of signing his limit of high school or junior college kids, a few roster spots will be held for transfers. This was in anticipation of the NCAA rule change but even without it, Mullen would have kept scholarships open for experienced kids looking for a new school.

Now that the rule has been changed allowing a one-time transfer the smart coaches will sign fewer high school kids and keep spots open for experienced players looking for a new place to play. After all, a high school kid who is unhappy for any number of reasons can bolt without fear of sitting a year whereas a transfer has used up his option and will have to sit if he decides he made a bad choice.

We got clear evidence on Monday just how the new transfer rule has changed football recruiting. It seemed that Ohio State wide receiver Jameson Williams had no sooner placed his name in the transfer portal when he announced he had committed to Alabama. On the basketball side, Kentucky’s John Calipari and Duke’s Mike Kryzyzewski, have both added two transfers and both are burning up the phone lines trying to fill out depleted rosters.

When Nick Saban, John Calipari and Coach K are active in the transfer portal, it’s a sure sign that recruiting as we know it has changed forever.

GATORS IMPROVE TO 31-13 WITH 9-6 WIN OVER STETSON The Gators won their third straight game and 11th in their last 13 Tuesday night when they pounded out a 9-6 non-conference win over Stetson (23-18) at the Florida Ballpark. Freshman Sterlin Thompson led a 12-hit Florida attack with two singles and a double and Kris Armstrong hit his third homer in the last four games. Picking up the win in relief was Trey Van Der Weide (2-1, 3.52 ERA).

The Gators (31-13, 13-8 SEC) travel to Lexington for a critical 3-game Southeastern Conference series with Kentucky (26-15, 10-11 SEC) starting Thursday evening.


SEC winners and losers in the basketball transfer portal as of May 4, 2021.

FLORIDA (WINNER): Mike White upgraded the Florida roster with the four transfers he brought in. The only loss of consequence is Noah Locke, but all three guards who transferred in are scorers and far better on the defensive end. C.J. Felder’s offense makes him a large upgrade over Omar Payne and he’s a serious shot blocker, too. If White can find someone in the 6-10 range who can play in the transfer portal, he’ll go after him.

Transferred out (4): Noah Locke (6-2, 203, JR, Transferred to Louisville); Osayi Osifo (6-7, 225, JR, Transferred to Jacksonville); Omar Payne (6-10, 230, SO, Transferred to Illinois); Ques Glover (5-11, 175, SO, Transferred to Samford)

Transferred in (4): Brandon McKissic (6-3, 195, GR); Phlandrous Fleming Jr. (6-4, 210, GR, Transferred from Charleston Southern); Myreon Jones (6-3, 185, JR, Transferred from Penn State); C.J. Felder (6-7, 235, SO, Transferred from Boston College)

Alabama (WINNER): Nate Oates hasn’t lost a single scholarship player to the transfer portal, but he picked up two who are going to play immediately. The big pickup was Noah Gurley from Furman, who averaged . He will help make up for the loss of John Petty Jr. Nimari Burnett from Texas Tech is a lock down defender.

Transferred out: None

Transferred in (2): Nimari Burnett (6-4, 200, FR, Transfer from Texas Tech); Noah Gurley (6-8, 210, SR, Transfer from Furman)

Arkansas (WINNER): Losing Desi Sills to Auburn hurt for a couple of days, but then Eric Musselman lured Chris Lykes from Miami, Au’Diese Toney from Pitt and Stanley Umude from South Dakota, all of whom can score. That also helps offset the loss of Justin Smith and Moses Moody, who went pro. Umude averaged 21.6 points and 7.0 rebounds at South Dakota. He’s a stud.

Transferred out (4): Desi Sills (6-1, 202, JR, Transferred to Auburn); Ethan Henderson (6-8, 210, JR, Transferred to Texas A&M); Emeka Obekwulu (6-8, 235, SR); Abayomi Iyiola (6-9, 230, JR)

Transferred in (3): Chris Lykes (5-7, 165, GR, Transferred from Miami); Au’Diese Toney (6-6, 210, JR, Transferred from Pittsburgh); Stanley Umude (6-6, 210, GR, Transfer to South Dakota)

Auburn (WINNER): Bruce Pearl came up big, particularly with the additions of Walker Kessler from North Carolina and Desi Sills from Arkansas. Kessler gives Pearl a rim protector who can score and Sills is a serious defender and underrated scorer. Wendell Green can’t be pressed and Zep Jasper is a streaky long distance shooter.

Transferred out (4): Justin Powell (6-6, 205, FR, Transfer to Tennessee); Javon Franklin (6-7, 200, JR, Transferred to South Alabama); Jalen Johnson (6-4, 195, JR, Transferred to UAB); Tyrell Jones (6-1, 170, SO, Transferred to South Alabama)

Transferred in (4): Wendell Green Jr. (5-11, 170, FR, Transfer from Eastern Kentucky); Zep Jasper (6-1, 175, JR, Transferred from Charleston); Walker Kessler (7-1, 245, FR, Transferred from North Carolina); Desi Sills (6-1, 203, JR, Transferred from Arkansas)

Georgia (LOSER): Tom Crean lost his two best players in Sahvir Wheeler and Toumani Camara. Four others left the program. The best of the transfers is Javi Abdur-Rahim from Virginia, who has a lot of potential but played less than five per game.

Transferred out (6): Sahvir Wheeler (5-10, 180, SO); Tye Fagan (6-3, 195, JR, Transfer to Ole Miss); Toumani Camara (6-8, 230, SO, Transferred to Dayton); Christian Brown (6-6, 205, SO, Transferred to Tennessee State); Mikal Starks (6-0, 160, JR); Jaykwon Walton (6-7, 205, SO, Transferred to Shelby State Community College)

Transferred in (4): Jailyn Ingram (6-7, 215, SR, Transferred from Florida Atlantic); Braeylin Bridges (6-9, 225, Transferred from Illinois-Chicago); Noah Baumann (6-6, 217, SR, Transferred from Southern Cal); Jabi Abdur-Rahim (6-7, 210, SO, Transferred from Virginia)

Kentucky (LOSER): Oscar Tschiebwe and Kellan Grady are upgrades from the two who transferred out, but John Calipari needs at least two more to supplement a two-man prep recruiting class. Cal is striking out right and left, notably with Walker Kessler, Garrison Brooks and Brandon McKissic. He’s pulling out all stops to get Sahvir Wheeler from Georgia.

Transferred out (2): Cam’Ron Fletcher (6-6, 180, FR, Transferred to Florida State); Devin Askew (6-3, 195, FR, Transferred to Texas

Transferred in (2): Oscar Tschiebwe (6-9, 260, SO), Transferred from West Virginia); Kellan Grady (6-5, 205, GR, Transferred from Davidson)

LSU (LOSER): Although Will Wade didn’t lose anyone of consequence and all four of his incoming transfers will probably start, he did not address needs for size. He’s out of scholarships and will have one of the smaller teams in the SEC next year.

Transferred out (2): Aundre Hyatt (6-6, 225, RSO, Transferred to Rutgers); Jalen Cook (6-0, 205, FR, Transferred to Tulane)

Transferred in (4): Seneca Knight (6-7, 215, JR, Transferred from San Jose State); Xavier Pinson (6-2, 170, JR, Transferred from Missouri); Tari Eason (6-8, 220, JR, Transferred from Cincinnati); Adam Miller (6-3, 180, FR, Transferred from Illinois)

Mississippi State (WINNER): Ben Howland more than offset the loss of Deivon Smith by landing grad transfer Garrison Brooks from UNC and power forward D.J. Jeffries from Memphis.

Transferred out (3): Deivon Smith (6-1, 165, FR, Transferred to Georgia Tech); Keondre Montgomery (6-7, 200, FR, Transferred to Alcorn State); Quinten Post (7-0, 240, SO, Transferred to Boston College)

Transferred in (2): Garrison Brooks (6-10, 240, SR, Transferred from North Carolina); D.J. Jeffries (6-7, 225, SO, Transferred from Memphis)

Missouri (LOSER): Cuonzo Martin lost his entire starting five, three to the pros and two in the transfer portal. Three others transferred out. Of the incoming transfers, Jarron Coleman is a volume scorer (17.1) and a 28 percent 3-ball shooter.

Transferred out (5): Mark Smith (6-5, 220, SR, Transferred to Kansas State); Xavier Pinson (6-2, 170, JR, Transferred to Auburn); Drew Buggs (6-3, 195, SR); Torrence Watson (6-5, 205, JR, Transferred to Elon); Parker Braun (6-8, 217, SO, Transferred to Santa Clara); Ed Chang (6-8, 220, JR)

Transferred in (3): DaJuan Gordon (6-4, 190, SO, Transferred from Kansas State); Jarron Coleman (6-5, 205, SO, Transferred from Ball State); Amari Davis (6-3, 170, SO, Transferred from Green Bay)

Ole Miss (LOSER): K.J. Buffen leaving for UAB hurt. Kermit Davis Jr. brought in some size but he didn’t bring in people who can put the ball in the hole.

Transferred out (5): KJ Buffen (6-7, 235, JR, Transferred to UAB); Khadim Sy (6-10, 238, SR); Dimencio Vaughn (6-5, 215, SR, Transferred to Rider); Antavian Collum (6-7, 224, SO, Transferred to Cal-Bakersfield); Shon Robinson (6-11, 212, FR)

Transferred in (3): Tye Fagan (6-3, 195, JR, Transferred from Georgia); Nysier Brooks (6-11, 245, GR, Transferred from Miami); Jaemyn Brakefield (6-8, 220, FR, Transferred from Duke)

South Carolina (LOSER): Six transferred out including Justin Minaya. None of the incoming transfers can make up the offensive loss of A.J. Lawson who went to the NBA.

Transferred out (6): Justin Minaya (6-6, 215, JR, Transferred to Providence); Trae Hannibal (6-3, 217, SO, Transferred to Murray State); T.J. Moss (6-4, 195, SO, Transferred to McNeese State); Jalyn McCreary (6-7, 225, SO); Tre Anderson (6-6, 203, SO); Patrick Iriell (6-10, 248, FR)

Transferred in (4): Chico Carter (6-2, 190, SO, Transferred from Murray State); A.J. Wilson (6-7, 230, SR, Transferred from George Mason); Erik Stevenson (6-3, 198, JR, Transferred from Washington); James Reese (6-4, 170, SR, Transferred from North Texas)

Tennessee (WINNER): None of the outgoing transfers were of any consequence and Rick Barnes outrecruited Kentucky for shooter Justin Powell.

Transferred out (4): E.J. Anoskie (6-7, 245, SR); Corey Walker (6-8, 219, FR); Davonte Gaines (6-7, 181, Transfer to George Mason); Drew Pember (6-10, 200, Transfer to UNC-Asheville)

Transferred in (1): Justin Powell (6-6, 205, FR, Transfer from Auburn)

Texas A&M (LOSER): The revolving door continues for Buzz Williams who lost eight to the transfer portal. Of the five he brought in, the best are Wyoming point guard Marcus Williams and Duke sophomore Henry Coleman.

Transferred out (8): Savion Flagg (6-7, 220, SR, Transferred to Sam Houston State); Kevin Marfo (6-8, 245, GR, Transferred to Quinnipiac); JayJay Chandler (6-4, 180, JR, Transferred to South Alabama); Jonathan Aku (6-9, 263, SO, Transferred to Stephen F. Austin); Cashius McNeilly (6-4, 191, SO, Transferred to TCU); Emanuel Miller (6-7, 208, SO. Transferred to TCU); LaDamien Bradford (6-4, 223, FR, Transferred to Louisiana Tech); Jaxson Robinson (6-7, 193, FR)

Transferred in (5): Javonte Brown (6-11, 243, SO, Transferred from UConn); Ethan Henderson (6-8, 210, JR, Transferred from Arkansas); Marcus Williams (6-2, 180, FR, Transferred from Wyoming); Henry Coleman (6-7, 220, SO, Transferred from Duke); Jordan Hall (6-8, 210, FR, Transferred from Saint Joseph’s)

Vanderbilt (LOSER): Jerry Stackhouse got the center he wanted in 7-1 Liam Roberts from Minnesota, but he lost power forward Dylan Disu to Texas. Rodney Chatman from Dayton is a good player but he can’t make up the loss of offense is Scotty Pippen Jr. elects to stay in the NBA Draft.

Transferred out (6): Isaac McBride (6-1, 190, SO, Transferred to Oral Roberts); D.J. Harvey (6-6, 230, SR, Transferred to Detroit); Maxwell Evans (6-2, 190, SR, Transferred to TCU); Ejike Obinna (6-10, 243, SR, Transferred to Saint Joseph’s); Clevon Brown (6-8, 232, SR); Dylan Disu (6-9, 220, SO, Transferred to Texas)

Transferred in (3): Liam Robbins (7-0, 235, JR, Transferred from Minnesota); Rodney Chatman (6-1, 180, SR, Transferred from Dayton); Terren Frank (6-8, 235, FR, Transferred from TCU)

ONE FINAL PITHY THOUGHT: Maybe I’m not the only one who questions the folks who tend to believe JT Daniels is the greatest thing since the invention of sliced bread. The dust has barely settled on the 2021 draft but already mock drafts for 2022 are popping up everywhere. Ryan Wilson of published a mock draft Tuesday that had five quarterbacks going first round, not a one of them named JT Daniels. Wilson has Sam Howell (UNC, No. 2), Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma, No. 8), Kedon Slovis (Southern Cal, No. 9), Malik Willis (Liberty, No. 10) and Desmond Ritter (Cincinnati, No. 26) in the first round. But no JT. I’m not surprised. I am surprised that Matt Corrall of Ole Miss isn’t a first rounder, but not that JT Daniels isn’t.

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