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Atlantic 10 transfer update: A bounce back campaign on the horizon?

It’s been an exciting offseason of transfer pickups for some new-look rosters in the A-10

NCAA Basketball: St. Francis (PA) at Ohio State
Josh Cohen comes to UMass after being named the Co-NEC Player of the Year at St. Francis (PA) last season.
Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

After a down year for the conference as a whole in 2022-23, multiple teams in the Atlantic 10 have already laid the groundwork for bounce-back seasons in 2023-24. With several high profile transfers already committed to the conference, we’ll see a handful of new-look rosters, some exciting talent arriving from the Power-6 level and an injection of top mid-major players.

It’s far too early to determine who will lead the way in the A-10: between a reloaded VCU roster, an always strong Dayton team or even a scrappy, young contender like Saint Joseph’s.

Seemingly every team in the conference has added some top-tier talent. Here are some of the transfers who should play big roles next year.

Dayton Flyers

With a heavy portion of the Dayton roster moving on this offseason, head coach Anthony Grant had a lot of work to do post-March. His first move was to help secure up the point guard position. The addition of All-Horizon Third Team selection Enoch Cheeks should provide that. He averaged 15.4 PPG at Robert Morris last season.

Following Cheeks in the ball handling role will be 2022-23 NEC Rookie of the Year Javon Bennett of Merrimack. He looks a strong future prospect for the Flyers after managing 9.6 PPG and 3.4 APG for the NEC champs.

Rounding out this trio of Dayton transfers is former Buffalo 7-footer Isaac Jack, who averaged a solid 5.6 PPG and 4.2 RPG in limited minutes over the previous season.

While the majority of Dayton’s offseason pickups aren’t instant impact pieces, DaRon Holmes’ confirmed return to UD Arena for next season means this team could once again be very competitive in 2023-24 and Cheeks, Bennett, and Jack will all look to be key role players.

Duquesne Dukes

After a 20-13 finish in 2022-23 to mark the most successful season since 2020, Duquesne kept a solid core of its roster together and continued to build on it with some exciting transfer additions.

Most notably of which is perhaps Andrei Savrasov, who arrives following an All-Sun Belt Second Team selection with Georgia State. The Saint Petersburg, Russia, native was one of the most highly-touted international prospects in the class of 2019 and spent his freshman season at Texas Tech.

While in-conference transfers certainly aren’t commonplace, the Dukes secured commitments from a pair of twins in former La Salle (and Saint Peter’s) standouts Hassan and Fousseyni Drame. Both were consistent contributors for the Explorers last season. Fousseyni averaging 8.8 PPG and 5.3 RPG while shooting 43% from the field, and Hassan managing 6.4 PPG and 4.3 RPG, pouring in 31% from three.

To cap off this Dukes transfer class, Dusan Mahorcic was the explosive piece Keith Dambrot’s team needed. Limited playing time and injuries saw the 6-foot-10-inch forward average just 8.7 PPG for NC State last year.

Fordham Rams

To follow up the most successful season for Fordham since 1970-71, head coach Keith Urgo will have to deal with the losses of All-Conference seniors Khalid Moore and Darius Quisenberry. Urgo did a solid job of bringing in some strong talent to fill those holes and help build around/develop this highly touted young Rams core.

It starts with the addition of UTSA grad transfer Japhet Medor. The 6-foot guard is a JUCO journeyman who finally got his chance at the DI-level last season and tore up Conference USA, averaging 13.7 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 3.8 APG on 41% shooting.

While Medor will definitely carry that “instant impact” title and be expected to shoulder a portion of Moore and Quisenberry’s scoring, Lafayette transfer Josh Rivera looks to fit into that highly touted young Rams core. The 2022-23 Patriot League All-Freshman selection averaged 10.6 PPG for the Leopards this past season. He will be a role player this next year and will help Urgo to continue building his program into the future.

George Mason Patriots

First-year head coach Tony Skinn has been possibly the nation’s busiest head coach this offseason, securing seven highly touted names out of the transfer portal who will represent the DMV with pride. Those seven include:

  • Nicolas Pavrette (Central Michigan) - 4.6 PPG & 4.5 RPG
  • Keyshawn Hall (UNLV) - 5.4 PPG & 1.6 RPG
  • Darius Maddox (Virginia Tech) - 8.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, & 1.1 APG
  • Jared Billups (Siena) - 8.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, & 1.8 APG
  • Amari Kelly (UNCW) - 7.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, & 1 BKPG
  • Woody Newton (Oklahoma State) - 4.3 PPG & 3.4 RPG
  • Tre Wood (LIU) - 7.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, & 4.3 APG
  • Jalen Haynes (East Tennessee State) - 14.6 PPG, 6.4 RPG, & 1.5 APG

This will be a completely new-look Patriots team that should prove competitive in the A-10 once again.

George Washington Revolutionaries

After a fairly successful campaign in 2022-23, led by James Bishop IV and Brendan Adams, and a subsequent name change to the Revolutionaries, head coach Chris Caputo added some big-time prospects to his roster this offseason.

Benny Schroder, a transfer from Oklahoma, will join George Washington ahead of next season. Despite averaging just 2.3 PPG during his freshman campaign with the Sooners, the Munich, Germany, native was regarded as one of the top international prospects from the Class of 2022.

Additionally, 6-foot-7-inch Washington, DC, product Darren Buchanan has committed his future to the Revolutionaries after a redshirt freshman season at Virginia Tech.

Princeton transfer Garrett Johnson has marked Caputo’s most recent addition after having redshirted for the Tigers due to injuries over the past two seasons.

While all three transfers are young and offer something to the future of GW’s program, we can expect them to be contributing role players on what looks to be an even stronger roster heading into 2023-24.

Loyola Ramblers

Loyola’s first season in the A-10 didn’t quite go to plan for Drew Valentine and Co., but with a solid rotation to build on heading into the offseason, the Ramblers have been ever present in the transfer portal.

A pair of All-Ivy League Second Team selections are headed to Chicago. Dame Adelekun arrived from Dartmouth after averaging 13.8 PPG and 7.2 RPG. Greg Dolan managed 13.3 PPG for Cornell.

Desmond Watson represents another in-conference transfer, moving to find minutes with the Ramblers after two season’s at Davidson. He averaged 9.4 PPG to finish out his sophomore season.

Lastly is Patrick Mwamba, who transfers in after earning some NCAA Tournament minutes with Oral Roberts in 2022-23. He averaged 7.9 PPG and 5.4 RPG during the campaign.

Behind Philip Alston and Braden Norris, Loyola had a few quality pieces to work with already, and Valentine has done an excellent job of complementing those two by filling in some crucial roles which should help the Ramblers to prove far more competitive in 2023-24.

UMass Minutemen

While the total number of portal pickups hasn’t been extreme for Frank Martin. the talent has been massive.

Josh Cohen, the 2022-23 Co-NEC Player of the Year, averaged 21.8 PPG and 8.3 RPG this past season for St. Francis (PA). He putting together one of the most efficient career’s from a mid-major player in recent memory. The senior will obviously play a huge role for the Minutemen next season.

Daniel Hankins-Sanford, who makes his way to the Minutemen from Martin’s previous program in South Carolina, offers arguably just as much to the future development of UMass. The 6-8 forward averaged just 2.3 PPG in limited minutes for the Gamecocks last season, but the former top-150 prospect will now look to reach his potential outside the Power-6 level.

This Minutemen squad will be fairly new-look as well heading into 2023-24 due to a few key losses this offseason, but expect Cohen to be a lethal leader in the A-10 next year.

Rhode Island Rams

With the loss of Ishmael Leggett to Pitt, the Rams will be yet another new-look roster within the A-10 as head coach Archie Miller gears up for year two of his tenure. Currently, Rhode Island has added five major pieces from the transfer portal:

  • David Green (Louisiana Tech) - 6.5 PPG & 2.8 RPG
  • Jaden House (High Point) - 17.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, & 2.3 APG
  • Zek Montgomery (Bradley) - 8.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, & 1.1 APG
  • Luis Kortright (Quinnipiac) - 10.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, & 3.9 APG

House, Kortright, and Montgomery are all names that standout in this grouping having found success at the mid-major level. Greens has a lot to offer with multiple years of eligibility on the table.

Look for the Rams to be a bounce back candidate with Miller learning from his mistakes in year one and now developing his roster to what better suits the conference.

Richmond Spiders

Richmond secured a really talented pair of East-Coast-based guards in Albany, N.Y., native Jordan King, who transfers in from East Tennessee State, and Wagner transfer DeLonnie Hunt, a native of Upper Marlboro, Md.

King finished the 2022-23 campaign with career-high numbers, averaging 15.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 3.1 APG during his second season with the Buccaneers. Hunt similarly saw a career-high in scoring with 11.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.7 APG as a Seahawk.

With King joining the Spiders as a graduate transfer and Hunt only maintaining two years of eligibility, both will be expected to have a quick impact for a program that’s seen a lot of roster turnover during the past two offseasons.

St. Bonaventure Bonnies

Mark Schmidt often does more with less at St. Bonaventure, and last season was a solid example of that. The Bonnies scraped together a finish just under .500 in the A-10 after having his roster gutted from the previous offseason.

While maintaining a strong core of his key pieces, Schmidt added Bryant transfer Charles Pride, signed Noel Brown from George Washington, and brought in Mika Adams-Woods from Cincinnati to strengthen his reserves this offseason.

Pride averaged 14.6 PPG and 6.1 RPG this past year, earning an All-AEC Second Team selection. Syracuse, N.Y., native Adams-Woods managed 9.1 PPG and 3.2 APG in 36 games for the Bearcats during his junior campaign. Lastly, Brown averaged 3.2 PPG and 2.2 RPG for the Revolutionaries.

Aided by three strong additions to the roster, the Bonnies should be right back near the top of the A-10 where they’ve consistently been under the tutelage of Schmidt.

Saint Louis Billikens

It’s been an interesting offseason for Saint Louis, who has shown a lot of interest in some exciting names but hasn’t secured many commitments outside of Tulsa’s Tim Dalger and Bradley Ezewiro from LSU and Georgetown. In addition, the Billikens had a reported commitment from Oklahoma transfer CJ Noland, who ultimately decommitted and will take his talents to North Texas.

Dalger was a strong recruit, averaging 10.2 PPG and 5.3 RPG for the Golden Hurricane in 2022-23. Ezewiro has struggled to get his feet under him at the Power-6 level with just 4.3 PPG and 3.5 RPG for Georgetown as a sophomore.

VCU Rams

With Mike Rhoades’ departure to Penn State and the subsequent hiring of former Utah State head coach Ryan Odom, the Rams have been active in the transfer portal with six new recruits ahead of the 2023-24 season:

  • Kuany Kuany (Cal) - 9 PPG & 3.9 RPG
  • Roosevelt Wheeler (Louisville) - 1.2 PPG & 2 RPG *Former Top-100 Prospect*
  • Joe Bamisile (Oklahoma) - 4 PPG & 2.3 RPG *Former Top-100 Prospect*
  • Sean Bairstow (Utah State) - 10.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, & 2.6 APG
  • Max Shulga (Utah State) - 11.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, & 4 APG
  • Jason Nelson (Richmond) - 8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, & 2 APG

Between a pair of coups from Odom’s former program with NCAA Tournament experience, a trio of Power-6 transfers, and a standout freshman, VCU is shaping up nicely to defend its crown as A-10 Champs.