College Basketball: Top 5 Players in the 2023 Transfer Portal
While the champion for the 2022-23 college basketball season is yet to be determined, most programs have already shifted their focus to the upcoming 2023-24 season. With the opening of the transfer portal window for Division I men’s basketball players on March 13, a flurry of roster movement has begun across the country.
Louisville wasted no time in addressing its needs and making significant moves to bolster its roster following a lackluster start to coach Kenny Payne’s tenure. The Cardinals secured the commitment of guard Skyy Clark from Illinois after the former top-40 prospect left the Illini in January for personal reasons. Clark played in just 13 games as a freshman, but he possesses the skill set needed to make a difference. For struggling programs like Louisville, which ended the season 4-28, the transfer portal provides a ray of hope.
In college basketball, it has become increasingly possible to turn around the fortunes of a program within a single offseason by bringing in the right players through the portal. Hundreds of players have already entered the transfer portal, and many more are expected to follow suit in the coming weeks. Players have until May 11 to enter the portal, although they can announce their next school after that date.
2023 College Basketball Top Players in the Transfer Portal
1. Skyy Clark
2023 School: Illinois | 2024 School: Louisville
After starting in 12 out of 13 games for Illinois, Clark announced his departure from the program in January due to personal reasons. Now, the former top-40 prospect is set to join Louisville, where he is expected to be the primary ball-handler. In Payne’s first season as coach, the Cardinals lacked support for point guard El Ellis, making Clark’s arrival a positive development for the program as they strive to build a competent backcourt.
2. Fardaws Aimaq
2023 School: Texas Tech | 2024 School: Undecided
Aimaq, the former WAC Player of the Year from Utah Valley, transferred to Texas Tech last season but was sidelined by injuries and only played in 11 games. Despite his limited action, the 6-11 center proved to be a productive player in a physical league, averaging 11.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Aimaq has demonstrated his ability to protect the rim and also shoot 3-pointers over the past two seasons, making him a valuable addition to any team.
3. Walter Clayton Jr.
2023 School: Iona | 2024 School: Undecided
As a sophomore at Iona, Clayton was named MAAC Player of the Year after leading the team in scoring and helping the Gaels secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The 6-2 guard displayed impressive accuracy from beyond the arc, hitting 43.1% of his 3-pointers on an average of 5.2 attempts per game. In addition, Clayton contributed 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game, demonstrating his well-rounded skillset. There have already been rumors that Clayton Jr. is most likely to follow Pitino from Iona to his new gig at St. John’s. If he does, that would be a big addition to the St. John’s backcourt.
4. J.J. Starling
2023 School: Notre Dame | 2024 School: Syracuse
Starling, a former five-star prospect in the Class of 2022, had a solid freshman campaign at Notre Dame, averaging 11.2 points per game. However, his 3-point shooting could use improvement, as he only made 29.9% of his attempts from beyond the arc. The 6-4 guard will look to make strides in that area as he joins Syracuse and takes on a major role under first-year coach Adrian Autry.
5. Jamison Battle
2023 School: Minnesota | 2024 School: Undecided
As a 6-7 forward, Battle was a standout player for Minnesota in the 2021-22 season, averaging 17.5 points and 6.3 rebounds with a solid 36.6% 3-point shooting. However, his performance and shooting percentages declined in the past season as Minnesota struggled. Despite this, Battle is an experienced and versatile forward who has proven himself in the Big Ten conference.
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