The transfer market has become a more viable option for college basketball coaches to build programs.
In the SEC, several coaches turned to transfers during the past two offseasons to fill areas of need.
Here’s a look at six transfers eligible this upcoming season who could have an impact within the conference:
Jalen Hudson, Florida — A 6-foot-6 swingman from Virginia Tech, Hudson sat out last season per Division I rules, but showed in practice that he was among the most gifted offensive players on UF’s roster. The question remains how much Hudson will continue to grow and buy in defensively to become a more complete player. Hudson is a crafty scorer and consistent perimeter shooter, a bigger version of former Gator transfer guard Mike Rosario, and should be able to put points up in bunches either as a starter or sixth man coming off the bench.
Duane Wilson Jr., Texas A&M — A grad transfer point guard, the 6-2 Wilson averaged 4.8 points and started just seven games for Marquette last season. But Wilson fills a vital area of need for the Aggies. Texas A&M finished last in the SEC in turnover margin last season (-2.5) while averaging 14.2 turnovers per game due to poor point guard play. With an assist-to-turnover ratio of 31 to 12 last season, Wilson should provide a steadying influence in the backcourt while getting the ball to inside scoring threats Tyler Davis and Robert Williams.
Daniel Giddens, Alabama — The former Ohio State center sat out last season per Division I transfer rules. He gives the Tide a scoring threat inside that they have lacked in prior seasons. The 6-foot-11, 236-pound Giddens averaged 3.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 18.2 minutes per game in his freshman year with the Buckeyes. A top 50 recruit coming out of high school, Giddens will team with returning sophomore Braxton Key and returning junior forward/center Donta Hall to form a formidable frontline for Alabama this season.
Markel Crawford, Ole Miss — A grad transfer from Rice, the 6-foot-5, 208-pound Crawford gives Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy another scorer in the backcourt. Crawford averaged 12.8 points and 4.4 rebounds for Memphis last season while shooting 33.3 percent from 3-point range. With Deandre Burnett and Terence Davis also returning for Ole Miss, the Rebels will have multiple options on the perimeter next season.
Egor Koulechov, Florida — The 6-5, 205-pound Koulechov, a grad transfer from Rice, could step in right away for the departed Devin Robinson and start at small forward next season. A first-team All-Conference USA standout last season, Koulechov averaged 18.2 points and 8.9 rebounds for Rice while shooting 47.4 percent from 3-point range. Playing in a league with bigger forwards and centers this season, Koulechov’s rebounding numbers may not be as gaudy in the SEC. But Koulechov’s shooting numbers could be similar if the Gators can get him open looks.
Kassius Robertson, Missouri — While the addition of top incoming 2017 national recruit Michael Porter received much fanfare at Missouri, the 6-3 Robertson, a grad transfer guard from Canisius College, fills a big area of need for the Tigers. Robertson is a career 40.3 percent 3-point shooter who made 98 3-pointers at Canisius last season. Last season, Missouri was the worst 3-point shooting in the SEC, finishing at 30.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Contact Kevin Brockway at 352-374-5054 or email@example.com. Also check out Brockway’s blog at Gatorsports.com.