Last week, we considered the Big 12. Before that it was the Big 12 and the Big East. Today we turn our attention to the Pac-12.
Note that we define “transfer in” as someone who actually played minutes before in a different four-year program. Conversely, “transfer out” is only for players who see time in the intended Pac-12 program.
It’s all pretty straightforward, huh? This is the most important Pac-12 transfer of the modern era.
Best transfers in: Ryan Anderson, 2015-16
Anderson may look like a tired option here over TJ McConnell and, more recently, James Akinjo. Then again, Anderson, a former Boston College star, had one of the best offensive seasons recorded by an Arizona player when he was the Wildcats ’top scorer in 2015-16. Like McConnell and Akinjo, Anderson was named the first-team All-Pac 12. He just happened to do all of the above during a relatively so-so year by Arizona standards, in which the Wildcats went 25-9 and earned No. 6 seeds.
Most important transfers: James Akinjo, 2020-21
Akinjo has now earned a rare distinction in this ongoing transfer series, having been selected as the most important player in Georgetown to exit the program. He also holds the title of Arizona. After two seasons with the Hoyas and one with the Wildcats, Akinjo moved to Baylor and averaged 13 points for the team that scored No. 1 in the 2022 tournament.
Best transfers in: Shannon Evans, 2016-18
Evans followed the example set by head coach Bobby Hurley and came to Arizona State after two years at Buffalo. In 2018, Evans started all 32 games and dropped 95 3-pointers as the Sun Devils reached their first NCAA tournament in four years.
Most important transfers: Remy Martin, 2017-21
Martin was named the 12-year-old Big preseason player for 2021-22 after he moved from Arizona State to Kansas. His season as a Jayhawk can be described as a success from start to finish, eventually becoming a national title. In the same category as the Sun Devils, it is worth noting that current UNLV head coach Kevin Kruger had a good senior year as a player with the Runnin ’Rebels in 2006-07 after three strong seasons at ASU.
Best transfers in: Marcus Lee, 2017-18
Lee averaged 11 minutes for a good 38-1 Kentucky team in 2014-15. The Antioch, California, product was then selected to return to its hometown for the senior season. Lee started 31 games and averaged 11 points for the Golden Bears in 2017-18.
Most important transfers: Jordan Matthews, 2013-16
Mathews got a nod here on a notably strong field from former Bears that included Matt Bradley (who transferred from Cal to San Diego State), Charlie Moore (Kansas, DePaul and Miami) and Justice Sueing (Ohio State), to name but a few. At Gonzaga in 2016-17, Mathews started every game, up to and including the Bulldogs ’71 -65 loss to North Carolina in the national title contest.
Best transfers in: Carlon Brown, 2011-12
Brown averaged 12 points for CU in 2011-12, a relatively modest amount, but he earned the top scorer award in his second season with head coach Tad Boyle. After playing three years for Utah and emerging as the Utes ’top scorer as a junior, Brown moved to Colorado for his senior season.
Most important transfers: Xavier Silas, 2006-08
Silas was initially recruited to CU by Ricardo Patton. He played in his sophomore season for new head coach Jeff Bzdelik and then chose to follow Patton to Northern Illinois. Silas averaged 21 points over two seasons for the Huskies.
Best transfers in: Joseph Young, 2013-15
Young won what can only be described as fierce competition among incoming Oregon transfers, including Jacob Young (who came to UO by way of Rutgers), De’Vion Harmon (Oklahoma), Quincy Guerrier (Syracuse), Eugene Omoruyi (Rutgers), Eric Williams Jr. (Duquesne), Elijah Brown (Butler and New Mexico), Dylan Ennis (Villanova), Mike Moser (UNLV) and Jason Calliste (Detroit). After making 46 starts in two seasons at pre-Kelvin Sampson Houston, Joseph Young ended his career with a 30-point performance in Oregon’s 72-65 defeat of No. 1 seed Wisconsin in the 2015 round of 32.
Most important transfers: Damyean Dotson, 2012-14
Dotson was a starter since the start of his first season in Oregon, but was still selected to move to Houston for his junior and senior years. In 2016-17, he averaged 3.4 making 3s per game by taking 44% and earning a first-team All-AAC award while the Cougars compiled a 22-11 record and scored number 2 in the 2017 NIT.
Best transfers in: Warith Alatishe, 2020-22
Alatishe distinguished himself as one of the top rebounders in the Pac-12 on both sides of the floor, as Oregon State not only won an automatic bid as the No. 5 seed in the league tournament but then reached the Elite Eight. Excellent work on the board has been seen when Alatishe was still in second grade at Nicholls State.
Most important transfers: JaQuori McLaughlin, 2016-18
McLaughlin announced his intention to move out of Oregon State’s six -game program into the second season. He landed at UC Santa Barbara, and in 2020-21 he was named this year’s Big West player. As a senior he averaged 16 points and five assists for the Gauchos while draining 40% of his effort from beyond the bow.
Best transfers in: Drew Shiller, 2007-10
Shiller averaged 16 minutes off the bench for the San Francisco 11-17 team in 2005-06. Then Stanford beckoned from across the Gulf, and with the Cardinals, Shiller redefined the term “3-point specialist.” As a senior in 2009-10, he shot 31% of only 51 2-point attempts while turning 39% of 149 3-point attempts. If the name “Shiller” doesn’t appear in your memory, remember, the most incredible, last transfer to get a regular minute for the Cardinals was Santa Clara player Andrew Zimmermann in 2011-12. Stanford prefers to develop their own talents.
Most important transfers: Reid Travis, 2014-18
Travis was an All-Pac 12 first team pick twice before playing last season in Kentucky. In 2018-19, Travis made 57% of 2 and averaged seven rebounds for the Wildcats team that scored No. 2 and reached overtime in the Elite Eight before falling to Auburn.
Best transfers in: Johnny Juzang, 2020-22
Juzang recorded one of the best individual tournaments in recent memory in 2021 when UCLA played from First Four to overtime against No. 1 seed. 1 overall Gonzaga in the Final Four. In six tournament games the former Kentucky reserve 137 points and capped its efforts with a brilliant 29-point performance in a 12-of-18 take against the Bulldogs.
Most important transfers: Joshua Smith, 2010-12
Smith never averaged more than 22 minutes during the four-year career that took him from UCLA to Georgetown. On a 40-minute basis, however, Smith consistently makes a difference in score and rebound, especially on the offensive page.
Best transfers in: Tahj Eaddy, 2020-21
Eaddy began his career in Southeastern Missouri State and then played two seasons in Santa Clara before finishing his playing days with the Trojans in 2020-21. The listed weight of 165 pounds didn’t stop Eaddy making half of the 2s (or 39% of the 3s) for the first USC team to reach the Elite Eight in 20 years.
Most important transfers: Byron Wesley, 2011-14
Wesley won this honor on a close call through Jordan Usher. When Gonzaga reached the 2015 Sweet 16 (first of seven consecutive regional semifinals and counting for the Bulldogs), Wesley was the first Mark Few on the wing. For Usher, he saw sporadic minutes during two seasons at USC before starting 80 games for Georgia Tech over the past three years.
Best transfers in: David Collette, 2016-18
Collette’s minutes were limited due to a foul problem, but he still averaged 13 points over two seasons for the Utes. He achieved this level of production in the Pac-12 after making a splash in Mountain West during the first season of his career at Utah State. Note that Delon Wright moved to Utah in 2013 from City College of San Francisco and therefore does not fit the transfer definition of “four -year school to four -year school” used here.
Most important transfers: Timmy Allen, 2018-21
Allen is one of the Utah 2020-21 teams that also includes outbound transfers like Alfonso Plummer (Illinois) and Pelle Larsson (Arizona). In three seasons with the Utes, Allen rang up over 1,300 points and grabbed more than 500 rebounds. It was enough to catch the eye of one Chris Beard, who then brought Allen to Texas.
Best transfers in: Jamaal Williams, 2004-06
Williams was the second scorer behind Brandon Roy on the Huskies team that reached the 2006 Sweet 16 before falling in overtime to UConn’s No. 1 seed. Before becoming a star in Washington, Williams scored more than 500 points during his first two seasons for Fran Fraschilla and then to Ritchie McKay in New Mexico.
Most important transfers: Nigel Williams-Goss, 2013-15
Williams-Goss teamed up with Jordan Mathews (see Cal, above), among Gonzaga’s team that lost to North Carolina in the 2017 national title game. Prior to becoming Zag, Williams-Goss in 2013-14 was the latest in a string of recruits. very well signed by Lorenzo Romar in Washington. Elston Turner, who excelled at Texas A&M from 2011 to 2013, was another Romar signee who went to great lengths in different programs.
Best transfers in: Taylor Rochestie, 2006-09
Rochestie is a match on Tony Bennett’s Washington State team that also features Klay Thompson and Aron Baynes. When the Cougars reached the 2008 Sweet 16, Rochestie averaged 10 points and shot 43% in 3s. The tournament hosted by WSU marked an incredible fortune for the players who started their careers on the Tulane team 10-18 in 2004-05.
Most important transfers: Malachi Flynn, 2016-18
Flynn won the award for best player and best defender in the Mountain West after leading San Diego State to a 30-2 record in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season. Success in one season at SDSU came after two productive years as a starter at Washington State. Flynn followed the same Cougars-to-Aztec order as Xavier Thames almost ten years before.
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