In this era of the transfer portal frenzy, adding quality veteran players has become key to winning college basketball games. Defending two-time national champions UConn boasted a pair of transfers — Cam Spencer from Rutgers and Tristan Newton from Eastern Carolina — as their top two scorers this past season. Meanwhile, Kansas had two players — Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCullar Jr. — earn First-Team All-Big 12 status.

While many portal players are still uncommitted, some teams have been busy making key additions for the upcoming season. Why the Kansas Jayhawks lead our list of the biggest winners in the transfer portal thus far.


After being the preseason number-one team, it could be argued that this Kansas team ended up as one of the worst of the Bill Self era. The Jayhawks were just 10-8 in conference play — their worst mark since the league was known as the Big 8 back in 1988-89 — and Kansas looked woefully overmatched in its Second Round NCAA Tournament defeat to Gonzaga.

The issues for Self's team were apparent: a lack of three-point shooting (just 30.8% from deep in Big 12 play) and poor depth doomed a team with one of the most talented starting fives in the country. But Coach Self took this disappointment as a chance to reassess and entered the offseason on a mission. The program has added three high-level players for the 2024-25 season — solving the issue of backcourt depth and bringing much-added floor spacing.

Zeke Mayo — the 2023-24 Summit League Player of the Year — enters the fray. He averaged 18.8 PPG while shooting nearly 40% from deep and will hope to follow the paths of former Summit League POTYs Baylor Scheierman and Max Abmas. Riley Kugel of Florida adds strong three-and-D play with the size and shooting ability teams covet at the wing position. The centerpiece of this committed class thus far is former Wisconsin wing AJ Storr. As a sophomore, Storr was Second-Team All-Big Ten, leading the Badgers with 16.8 PPG. He will need to improve his offensive efficiency, but Storr is an NBA-level prospect who can score from anywhere on the floor.

With these offseason additions, Kansas should be a title favorite next year.

AJ Storr, Kansas, Transfer Portal


What initially looked like a minor makeover is becoming a major overhaul in Austin. Dylan Disu, Max Abmas, and Brock Cunningham are all out of eligibility, while Dillon Mitchell and Tyrese Hunter are in the transfer portal. Yet the scary part for the Big 12 is that Texas could be even better this year.

The program added the accomplished Indiana State duo of Julian Larry and Jayson Kent. Both shoot the ball well from three and offer elite offensive efficiency. Larry should slot in nicely at the point guard spot for Hunter, while Kent is the ideal addition down low to make up for Disu's departure. These former Sycamores will provide the perfect complimentary pieces to the team's newest signing — former Arkansas and Houston wing Tramon Mark.

Mark led Arkansas with 16.2 PPG last season and is a productive scorer at all three levels. The fifth-year wing finished with an offensive rating of 112.1 while shooting 75.8% on 91 shots at the rim. He also attempted 163 free throws. With his size and scoring ability, the former Razorback was one of the best players available in the transfer portal. Mark will immediately be a First Team All-Big 12 contender in his final collegiate season with Texas.


At the midpoint of the 2023-24 season, the Memphis Tigers were ranked 10th in the nation and poised to reestablish themselves among college basketball's elites under Penny Hardaway. But a team that was 15-2 went just 7-8 the rest of the way in a weak AAC, culminating in an ugly loss to Wichita State in the conference tournament.

Teams took advantage of Memphis' lack of an interior presence, punishing the Tigers on the offensive glass. Offensively, a lack of balance and chemistry limited what should have been an elite scoring unit. The team moves forward without much of last season's scoring, but that might not be a bad thing.

Coach Hardaway started the transfer portal by signing Tulsa guard PJ Haggerty. At 21.2 PPG, Haggerty was the 15th-highest scorer in the country as a freshman and led all underclassmen in scoring. The 6-3 guard shot 53.4% from two — improving that rate to 56.1% in AAC play Haggerty also finished third in the country in free throw attempts, trailing only Zach Edey and Jaedon Ledee. To compliment Haggerty's driving ability, the Tigers also added Wichita State guard Colby Rogers — a 40% three-point shooter who averaged 16.8 PPG.

Memphis' latest signing should shore up the team's shaky rebounding. Illinois center Dain Dainja averaged 3.6 rebounds per game while playing just over 10 minutes per contest. He also boasted a block rate of 7.0% against top-100 opponents. This new-look Tigers team might not have the talent of last year's squad, but a more balanced approach should be beneficial for head coach Penny Hardaway.


The transfer portal is not always about who you get, but also who you keep. The Marquette Golden Eagles are one of the few teams in the country that has not lost a player to the portal so far. While that might not be flashy or exciting, continuity has proven to be a key factor for success in college basketball — especially in this current landscape. Shaka Smart returns three starters from a year ago and numerous key bench players on a team that once again projects to be a contender in the Big East.


Doubling your win total is usually a positive for a college basketball program; not so much when that team is a former national champion that still finished just 8-24 on the year. Fortunately for Louisville fans, the Pat Kelsey era is off to a promising start thanks to some key transfer portal additions.

Kelsey first brought in two of his players from Charleston — Reyne Smith and James Scott. Smith is an elite long-range marksman, finishing 13th in the country in three-point attempts while shooting at nearly a 40% clip. Smith's 13.1 PPG scoring will be joined by the strong interior defense of the 6-11 Scott — a CAA All-Rookie Team nominee who led the team in blocks.

Kelsey's recruitment continues with Colorado wing J'Vonne Hadley, who led the high-scoring Buffaloes offense with an offensive rating of 127.0. BYU center Aly Khalifa is another intriguing piece. Khalifa finished second on the Cougars with 4.0 assists/game and his assist rate was the third-best in the Big 12. But the highlight of this transfer class is James Madison wing Terrence Edwards. The reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year averaged 17.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 3.4 APG, and his size and athleticism will cause problems for ACC defenders.

Louisville will not make an immediate return to prominence, but this transfer class is a sizeable step in the right direction.