The deadline to enter the college basketball transfer portal came and went early last week and, as the mad scramble to secure the portal’s most talented prospects begins to wind down, a few highly touted names have already arrived in the mid-major ranks.
Whether it be a senior who couldn’t find much playing time over three years at the Power-6 level, or a former top recruit who didn’t play in the role they thought they deserved as a freshman, a Power-6 to mid-major transfer can often be a program changer for the team they join.
While there’s still lots of scouting and recruiting to be done this transfer portal season, here are 10 Power-6 transfers already committed to a variety of mid-major programs ahead of the 2023-24 season that deserve the attention of our readers.
*Editor’s note: Power-6 includes the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, ACC and the Big East.
10: Jordan Davis, Wisconsin to Illinois State
After finding some success in the transfer portal during his first season at the helm, Illinois State head coach Ryan Pedon has picked up another home-run player heading into year two with Wisconsin transfer Jordan Davis. The La Crosse, Wisconsin, native averaged 5.1 PPG and 3.5 RPG this past season and played an integral role for the Badgers, managing 18 starts over 35 appearances at about 21 MPG. The 6-foot-4-inch junior instantly slots into a starting position with the Redbirds ahead of the season and should garner the consistent playing time needed to further develop his game.
Oh .. and he’s not the only Power-6 addition that Pedon has added this offseason with the signing of former Illinois 7-footer Brandon Lieb.
9: Philmon Gebrewhit, DePaul – Northern Illinois
After finding some success with a young core of guards in 2022-23, NIU head coach Rashon Burno has found his next big addition with the coup of Philmon Geberwhit from his alma mater. Obviously, DePaul hasn’t posted the best resume among he Power-6 and Big East in recent years, but Gebrewhit was a solid contributor over two seasons with the Blue Devils averaging 5.8 PPG and 2.1 RPG in 31 appearances and 21 starts last season.
The 6-foot-7-inch wing fits well into what Burno is building in DeKalb and projects to be a starter on what could be a vastly improved Huskies squad that finished .500 in the MAC just a season ago. With a name like Philmon Gerbrewhit, he’s destined for mid-major stardom.
8: Joel Brown, California – Iona
With Tobin Anderson arriving at Iona following his success at the NCAA Tournament, New Rochelle has been a hot transfer destination and Cal guard Joel Brown is a huge reason for that. The 6-foot-3-inch senior was a four-year starter for the Golden Bears, making 122 appearances which included starting 31 of 32 games this past season to the tune of 6.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 3.2 APG. Brown is primed to take on the lead ballhandling role for the Gaels in what should be an interesting, but still highly competitive, year in Iona’s first season without Rick Pitino.
7: Darius Maddox, Virginia Tech – George Mason
Head coach Tony Skinn has already reloaded this George Mason team with a bevy of talented DMV products in just his first offseason at EagleBank Arena, with Virginia Tech transfer and Bowie, Maryland, native Darius Maddox set to lead the way for the Patriots. Between Siena transfer Jared Billups, Oklahoma State transfer Woody Newton, and returners Ronald Polite III and Devin Dinkins, the Patriots should easily bolster one of the Atlantic 10’s best backcourts and Maddox is more than capable of playing a key role.
Having spent three seasons with the Hokies, Maddox made 67 career appearances under Mike Young, including an NCAA Tournament appearance in the Round of 64 in 2022. After finishing the 2022-23 campaign averaging 8.5 PPG and 3.2 RPG while slashing 37/32/88, the 6-foot-5-inch guard could be a pivotal piece to any success Skinn finds in year one.
6: Kuany Kuany, California – VCU
In hopes of rebuilding a deconstructed VCU roster after joining on as head coach just two months ago, Ryan Odom has made some great offseason additions and perhaps none better than Kuany Kuany from Cal. The 6-foot-9-inch forward out of Australia averaged nine PPG and 3.9 RPG this past season and started 26 of 32 games for the Golden Bears while slashing 36/30/82.
Kuany joins a team in VCU that’s found a lot more success in recent history then his former program Cal, and will have an opportunity to contribute as Odom and the Rams look to contend in the A-10.
5: Reese Dixon-Waters, USC – San Diego State
In an effort to retool after the program’s run to the 2023 NCAA National Championship, San Diego State added 2022-23 Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year Reese Dixon-Waters from USC. The 6-foot-5-inch guard averaged 9.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 1.1 APG while shooting 44% from the field for the Trojans this past season. With the Aztecs set to lose some key seniors this offseason, Dixon-Waters should command one of those starting roles right away.
4: Jalen Hill, Oklahoma – UNLV
Jalen Hill will join UNLV marking yet another exciting Power-6 pickup for the Mountain West Conference with the 6-foot-7-inch forward arriving on the back of 67 consecutive starts for Oklahoma. This past season, Hill saw career highs in both minutes and scoring, playing 32.7 MPG and averaging 9.7 PPG to go along with 5.8 RPG, 1.3 APG, and a highly respectable shooting percentage of 50% from the field.
A return home for the Las Vegas native should continue his production rise, as Hill projects to slot directly into the Rebels frontcourt for his graduate transfer season.
3: Chuck Harris, Butler – SMU
Former Big East All-Freshman selection Chuck Harris will head to the American Athletic Conference to join head coach Rob Lanier, who’s looking to rebound after a rocky first season in charge. Having averaged 10.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 2.4 APG this past season, and looks like the perfect addition to help Lanier do so.
In Harris, the Mustangs are getting a three-year starter who, despite taking a down role scoring wise at Butler over the past two seasons, has shown consistent improvement. This is best highlighted by career highs in rebounding, assists, field goals, free throws, and steals to finish out his junior season. In addition, Harris is joined at SMU by former Texas Tech and Oklahoma State standout Tyreek Smith, as well as Georgetown transfer Denver Anglin and former top-100 prospect BJ Edwards, who arrived from Tennessee.
2: Lars Thiemann, California – Loyola Marymount
Marking our last player from the mass exodus Berkeley, Lars Thiemann moves about 350 miles south to join Loyola Marymount, coming off a historic season for the program that included two ranked upsets. Thiemann will have an opportunity to help head coach Stan Johnson build off that, with the 7-footer coming off a career year of his own for the Golden Bears.
Starting a career-high of 30 games last year, Thiemann averaged 9.5 PPG and 5.4 RPG which were both career-highs. He took a career-best 229 field goal attempts on 49% shooting, and he even put in the work on the defensive side with career highs in blocks and steals. With the Lions losing multiple key pieces after last season, Johnson has retooled with several exciting transfer portal portal including Justice Hill from LSU. It’ll be senior center Thiemann with an opportunity to lead this group and further develop on the accomplishments of Johnson and Co. last year.
1: Caleb Mills, Florida State – Memphis
Kind of a boring pick, huh?
Memphis barely feels like a mid-major these days and Caleb Mills is a guy who already found some success at this level. While I tried to limit the rest of the list to strictly guys who hadn’t previously played in a mid-major conference, however, Penny Hardaway is easily one of the elite guard play coaches in all of college basketball, and after the success of Kendric Davis, I think Mills’ arrival from Florida State could signal Hardaway’s next success story.
Mills spent his first two seasons at Houston, earning All-Conference honors as a freshman and an All-AAC second team selection in 2019-20. Now, he returns to the conference after two years spent at Florida State, averaging 13 PPG, 3 RPG, 3.4 APG, and 1.3 SPG to finish out his senior campaign. He’s a solid shooter, managing 41% from the field last season and a career 3-point percentage of 34%, and could be the next pivotal ballhandler for Hardaway on what will be a new-look Tigers team for 2023-24.