The DeMatha Stagline

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The DeMatha Stagline

The DeMatha Stagline

Big Ten Transfer Portal Mayhem


After March Madness has passed and teams have now entered the offseason phase there has been a lot of shifting in college basketball rosters, mainly because of the transfer portal.

In this day in the age of NCAA basketball, the transfer portal is hurting and helping many teams. NIL deals are also a huge part of the shift because of the large sums of money being tossed around to bring players to teams with large boosters behind them. The Big Ten has had many moves over this offseason, including many affected by NIL opportunities. Let’s dive into the most notable new rosters and decisions of the Big Ten this offseason.

The Iowa Hawkeyes are coming off of a boring season with not many accomplishments nor many failures. They were a middle-of-the-pack team for most of the year had a couple of solid players leave them this transfer portal phase. One of these big names was star guard Tony Perkins, who averaged 14/4/4 and had a career-high in points per game.

For a big improvement and a big name like Tony Perkins comes a big asking price and it was reported he was in the range of making $500,000 to find a new home in Missouri. Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery said,We were not going to be able to pay him that.” Iowa also lost some not-so-notable role players, specifically Dasontae Bowen and Patrick McCaffery, the head coach’s son. The Hawkeyes only landed one incoming transfer Drew Thelwell from Morehead State who averaged 10/3/6 and many fans are hoping for some more depth and firepower in the future to hopefully have a more successful season next year.

The Michigan State Spartans, led by the highly accomplished Tom Izzo, had many big names shifting this offseason so far. First off, the Spartans lost key players A.J. Hoggard and Mady Sissoko. Hoggard has cut his list down to the big names of Florida, Georgia, Vanderbilt, USC, and Washington. In addition to these many teams, he has also put his name in the NBA atmosphere but is unlikely to get a contract. With Hoggard leaving, the Spartans needed to fill a big hole and they landed Frankie Fidler, who had almost a baker’s dozen teams interested in him after an astounding 20/6/2 stat line. The Spartans are looking to further Tom Izzo’s March Madness streak and hopefully take another big step to make a deeper run next March.

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have huge expectations for next season. With two top-5 recruits for the 2024 class, Ace Bailey and Dylan Harper, adding another piece to them would certainly boost them to the next level this winter. Unfortunately, the offseason started with a big loss in Clifford Omoruyi, the 6-11 towering big man who led their team and transferred to Alabama. Another big loss is Gavin Griffiths who, as a 4-star recruit, was their biggest recruit in school history when he arrived. He is taking his talents to Nebraska.

The last notable player to leave the Knights is Mawot Mag, who has many holes in his game but is known for his lockdown perimeter defense and showed improvement with his interior defense with his impressive frame. With all these big players leaving, the Scarlet Knights put their heads down early this offseason and landed Jordan Derkack, Zach Martini, and Tyson Acuff, three huge pieces for this up-and-coming team. Derkack is a 6-5 guard who averaged 17/6/4 and was awarded with the Northeast Conference Player of the Year after he led Merrimack to a conference championship. Martini, a 6-7 forward, showed flashes during limited playing time for Princeton. Lastly, Acuff is a 6-4 guard for Eastern Michigan who averaged 22/4/3 and has one year of eligibility left. Many Scarlet Knights should be ecstatic with the incoming recruiting class and the transfers and will definitely be at the top of the Big Ten next season.

The Wisconsin Badgers have had a different offseason with many vital pieces to their team leaving with only a couple of incoming transfers. The Badgers lost guard Chucky Hepburn to Louisville. The junior averaged 9/3/4 and was offered upwards of $750,000 to go to his hometown team. This huge sum is astounding to think about for a player who has taken the role of a game facilitator and taken a step back in the scoring game. Another huge piece leaving is the 6-6 guard A.J. Stoor, who is leaving for Kansas but also put his name in the NBA Draft eligible circle. Stoor started at St. John’s then transferred to Wisconsin and flourished. This caught the attention of many schools and ended up with the transfer to Kansas. Reports say he is looking at upwards of $1.1 million in NIL opportunities.

These two stars leaving was already a gut punch for Badger fans but they also came up a bit short of expectations in their targeted potential transfers and were even short of the aforementioned Frankie Fidler. The players they did reel in are solid but really can’t repair the holes they’ve been left with this offseason. The transfers they got were highlighted by ​​John Tonje, Xavier Amos, and Camren Hunter. Tonje is a 6-5 guard from Missouri who had an injury-riddled season but in earlier years he averaged 15 points and 5 assists. He is hoping for a bounce back with only one year of eligibility left. Amos, a 6-8 forward from Northern Illinois, averaged 14/6/1 and looks to add more interior defense to this small Badgers team. Lastly, Hunter has also had an injury-riddled career but has had great showings of dominance when on the court, averaging 17/5/4. He has been awarded Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year and made the All-Atlantic Sun third team. These incoming players will hopefully improve many Badger fans’ morale.

The hometown Maryland Terrapins have had a very successful offseason pulling in DeMatha alum Rodney Rice, Ja’Kobi Gilliespie, and Tafara Gapare.

Rice battled injuries for his freshman season. DeMatha sophomore Patrick Moran spoke about Rice’s transfer, stating, “I’m very excited to see one of my DeMatha brothers at my hometown college. I didn’t pay too much attention to this previous season but since Rodney is now here and with this new and improved team I find myself so much more excited for this team.

Gilliespie is a both ends threat who was awarded MVC All-Defensive team while averaging 10/2/3 and even improved these scoring numbers near the end of this season. To round out this transfer class, Gapare, a 6-9 center from Georgia Tech, added much-needed height and was a four-star recruit out of New Zealand. Gapare will be joining the team with 5-star recruit Derik Queen and will bring a big duo to College Park.

Many Terps fans are very satisfied with this transfer class and sophomore Nathan Schneier commented.  “I casually follow the Terps but Derik and Gapare will be awesome to see and with the much needed defensive help and a DeMatha alum only a couple minutes away will bring many more eyes to the Terps this season.” Hopefully, this new-look team will live up to these big expectations.

Rounding out this early transfer portal portion of the offseason, many teams are hopeful for their new-look teams and unfortunately, many others are disappointed. Like any other sport anything can happen and in Big Ten basketball being so cut-throat and competitive many teams that are underlooked will have big splashes and many teams with a lot of looks will disappoint. This nature is Big Ten basketball is very cruel but it is very true and makes the Big Ten one of the premier conferences to admire collegiate basketball.

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