In today’s modern college basketball landscape, it’s almost impossible to succeed without having impact transfers on the roster. That sentiment rings true all the way from the Dukes and North Carolinas of the world down to the Horizon League, MEAC or Mountain West.
Through the first month of the season, a handful of transfers have already proven that they’re going to be vital pieces to their respective teams’ success. Here are 10 transfers that are off to great starts with their new teams.
Note: All statistics and records are as of Dec 5.
Malachi Flynn — San Diego State (via Washington State)
The No. 1 team in The Other Top 25 is off to a perfect start thanks largely in part to Flynn’s play through the first month of the season. He gives the Aztecs a guard that’s capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor when he needs to take over a game. At 16.9 points per game, Flynn is the Aztecs’ leading scorer, but his ability to facilitate and create for teammates does not go unnoticed. He’s currently averaging over five assists per contest with an assist rate of 33.6% that ranks No. 57 in the country, per Kenpom. His talent was on full display against Iowa last week when he dropped 28 points to give San Diego State its third win over a top 60 team.
JaQuan Lyle — New Mexico (via Ohio State)
Sticking with Power-5 transfer guards in the Mountain West, Lyle has shown why his season-ending injury last offseason was such a brutal blow to the Lobos.
Lyle’s jack-of-all trades skill set has translated well to Paul Weir’s system. He’s New Mexico’s leading scorer at 18.2 points per game, and is second on the team in assists and rebounds per game at 4.4 and 5.0, respectively. He’s drawing a ton of fouls and is hitting over 40% from three-point range on a career-high 4.9 attempts per game. If he can cut his turnovers down from 3.7 per game, New Mexico should remain as a dangerous team in the Mountain West.
Camron Justice — Western Kentucky (via IUPUI)
Last year, the Hilltoppers struggled to shoot it from three-point range. They only hit 32.7%, which ranked No. 251 in the nation.
Enter Cam Justice.
The former Kentucky Mr. Basketball winner opted to take on a smaller role than he would have had if he stuck around at IUPUI, and it’s paid off. He’s hitting just under 43% from deep, and has stepped up as WKU’s second leading scorer at 13.4 points per game. His ability to space the floor and open up the lane has been crucial for guys like Charles Bassey and Carson Williams who may operate closer to the hoop.
Bryson Williams — UTEP (via Fresno State)
After playing his first two seasons at Fresno State, Williams followed head coach Rodney Terry to El Paso. The Miners have only played three games against Division I opponents, but it’s already clear that Williams is going to be an efficiency darling. Through six games, the junior forward is averaging 19.5 points per game on 73% shooting, which currently ranks third in the country. According to hoop-math, he’s hitting an insane 92.6% at the rim.
As a high-major talent playing in Conference USA, look for him to continue to put up big numbers as UTEP tries to break through in year two of Terry’s tenure.
Mason Faulkner — Western Carolina (via Northern Kentucky)
Faulkner went from role guy at Northern Kentucky to do-it-all guy for Mark Prosser and the Catamounts. Right now. he’s the only player in college basketball to average at least 20 points (20.9), five assists (6.3) and five rebounds (5.3) per game.
At just 6’1 and 165 pounds, Faulkner hasn’t been shy of carrying the load. He’s scored 20 or more points in six of Western Carolina’s seven games against Division I opponents, and his 13 point, 10 rebound and 10 assist performance is one of just six triple-doubles in college basketball this season. His play has been a huge reason why Western Carolina is only one win away from matching last season’s total.
Andre Fox — South Alabama (via High Point)
Richie Riley immediately made waves on the transfer market upon taking the South Alabama job, and Fox might be the cream of the crop.
He’s been a minutes workhorse at nearly 34 per game, and he’s made good use of that time by contributing 17.8 points per game to pace the Jaguars. He isn’t hitting threes at the same clip as last year, but he’s still hitting a solid 36.2%.
South Alabama currently sits at No. 123 in KenPom, which is the highest ranking of any team in the Sun Belt. Teammate Trhae Mitchell was tabbed as the Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year, but it may be Fox who’s on the inside track to the award after the first month of the season.
Marcus Burk — IUPUI (via Campbell)
IUPUI swapped one transfer on this list for another.
Best known for his time as a backcourt running mate with Chris Clemons that included a game in which the duo each hit 10 threes, Burk has been one of the best pickups in the Horizon League. The Indianapolis native is in the top 25 nationally in scoring average at 21.2 points per game, and his 32 made threes are tied for sixth in the country. He’s hit over 44% from deep, and his 26 points propelled the Jaguars to their lone Division I win against South Florida.
It’s looking more and more like a rebuilding year with interim head coach Byron Rimm II, but Burk has been an excellent addition as a junior.
Nate Darling — Delaware (via UAB)
Have you talked to your loved ones about the undefeated Blue Hens?
Nate Darling has been a darling for Martin Inglesby and co. so far as Delaware sits at 9-0. The UAB transfer has more than doubled his scoring average to 22.5 points per game, and he currently leads the CAA in threes made (30) and three-point percentage (47.6%). The high point of the season came on college basketball’s opening weekend when he went 8-10 from behind the arc in a 37-point performance against UTSA. He rarely comes off the floor too: His 93.8% of minutes played is the 11th highest in the country, per Kenpom.
Blake Francis — Richmond (via Wagner)
We’ve gone on record as a site as saying that Blake Francis is fun as hell. Something about lefty point guards that get buckets is just wildly pleasing, aesthetically.
Richmond has raced out to a 7-1 start with one of the nation’s best offenses thanks to Grant Golden and trio of guards that includes Francis, who may be the most potent. He’s the team’s leading scorer at 18.4 points per game on 42% shooting from deep. He’s hit at least three threes in every game but one (Auburn), and he’s improved his assist numbers as well. Jacob Gilyard may be the most important Spider guard, but Francis can make a claim as the most explosive and entertaining member of the backcourt.
Jake Toolson — BYU (via Utah Valley)
Toolson’s decision to follow Mark Pope to Provo appears to have been a good one. After playing his first two seasons of college basketball at BYU, the fifth-year senior is back for one last ride following two years at Utah Valley. In Yoeli Childs’s absence, Toolson has stepped up and led the Cougars in scoring at 16.2 points per game.
He’s shown a capability to help BYU pull out wins with different aspects of his game, especially in Maui. Against UCLA, he led the Cougars in scoring with 20 points. Against Virginia Tech, he went just 4-10 from the field for 11 points, but also added eight assists and seven rebounds while not turning the ball over. In an overtime loss to Utah last night, Toolson had 27 points to go with six rebounds and assists.