ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24: Lamont Jones #12 of the Arizona Wildcats celebrates after defeating the Duke Blue Devils during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
A host of transfers will be playing key roles for their new teams in 2011-2012. Here's a look at the 15 who will have the biggest impact this season.
There almost certainly isn't a player among this year's crop of eligible transfers who can come in right away and make his team a national title contender the way eventual Big East player of the year Wesley Johnson did at Syracuse two seasons ago. That said, there is a deep group of talented players who will be having an extreme impact on their new programs in 2011-2012.
Let's look at the 15 best:
15. Mike Moser (UCLA to UNLV)
The former top 100 recruit averaged 0.6 points and 0.5 rebounds in his only season at UCLA before opting to take his game elsewhere. After overhearing some people in Vegas saying that he "only averaged like 4.3 minutes" as a Bruin (it was actually 4.7 minutes), the 6-8 forward opted to change his number from 1 to 43. There were multiple reports a year ago that he was the Runnin' Rebels' best player in practice during his redshirt season.
14. Aaron Fuller (Iowa to USC)
Fuller earned an honorable mention All-Big Ten nod when he averaged a team-high 12.3 points and 9.7 rebounds in conference play for Iowa in 2009-2010. He'll have an opportunity to play right away for the Trojans, who have to find a way to replace Nikola Vucevic and Alex Stepheson in the frontcourt.
13. Jelan Kendrick (Memphis to Ole Miss)
Kendrick is the first McDonald's All-American ever to sign with Ole Miss. He wound up in Oxford after multiple disciplinary issues led to Memphis coach Josh Pastner dismissing the talented guard before he ever played a game for the Tigers. When Kendrick becomes eligible at the close of the fall semester he'll be looked to right away to help shoulder some of the scoring load left by Chris Warren's departure.
12. Tony Woods (Wake Forest to Oregon)
Woods was the No. 20 overall prospect in the country when he committed to Wake Forest in 2007, but he was dismissed from the school in 2009 after pleading guilty to assaulting his girlfriend. In the incident he allegedly pushed and kicked his girlfriend in front of their infant son, a pair of actions that led to her breaking her spine. Woods, who averaged 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds as a sophomore, was all set to play for Louisville before assistant coach Tim Fuller (who had previously been at Wake) left for Missouri following the past season. Woods then flirted with both Kentucky and Texas before ultimately deciding to become a Duck.
11. Travis Taylor (Monmouth to Xavier)
Both Taylor and fellow 6-7 transfer Andre Walker from Vanderbilt will be counted on to contribute significantly for the highly-touted Musketeers. In his final season at Monmouth, the versatile Taylor averaged 17.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He's the most likely candidate to fill the void left by Jamel McClean (10.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg).
10. Olu Ashalou (Louisiana Tech to Oregon)
A graduate student who is eligible to play his senior season right away, Ashalou joins Dana Altman's squad after averaging 14.2 points and 9.4 rebounds last season at Tech. He's already drawn favorable comparisons to the graduated Joevan Catron, who led the Ducks at just under 16 points per game a year ago.
9. Carlon Brown (Utah to Colorado)
Another senior, Brown figures to walk right into a starting guard role with the Buffs. He led Utah in scoring (12.6) and tied for the team-lead in rebounding (4.1) as a junior in 2009-2010, but was oft-criticized for his reluctance to play defense and contentious relationship with head coach Jim Boylen. Brown was one of four Utes to leave the program after the 2010 season, a move which was at least partially responsible (the 13-win season might have had more to do with it) for Boylen's firing in March.
8. David Wear (North Carolina to UCLA)
The former McDonald's All-American contributed just 2.9 points and 1.7 rebounds during his only season in Chapel Hill, but still figures to provide a major boost to a Bruin team looking to take some pressure off of center Josh Smith.
7. Travis Wear (North Carolina to UCLA)
See, I'm not like everyone else who combines the Wear twins into one entry each time they warrant mention. You wouldn't do that with the Sklar brothers, would you? Of course I do have to list one immediately after the other. Che wasn't a big enough revolutionary to buck that unspoken rule.
6. Brandon Reed (Arkansas State to Georgia Tech)
Reed was the Sun Belt's Freshman of the Year when he averaged 15.1 ppg at Arkansas State in 2009-2010. If he can find a way to mesh in the backcourt with Glen Rice Jr., it would go a long way in helping Brian Gregory's first season at Tech be less rough than expected.
5. Rakim Sanders (Boston College to Fairfield)
Sanders has been a model of consistency in college, averaging 11.3, 12.9 and 11.3 points per game in three seasons at Boston College. The versatile forward, who left BC after the firing of Al Skinner, dropped 35 in one of Fairfield's exhibition games in Italy over the summer. He'll play a major role for a Stag team that many expect to repeat as MAAC champions.
4. Lamont "MoMo" Jones (Arizona to Iona)
A 38-game starter and key contributor during Arizona's run to the Elite Eight last season, Jones will be eligible to play right away at Iona after being granted a hardship waiver by the NCAA earlier this month. He joins a backcourt that already includes all-conference point guard Scott Machado, one of the nation's top assist men. If the pair can find a way to play effectively at the same time, the Gaels should have a strong chance to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006.
3. Brandon Wood (Valparaiso to Michigan State)
Wood, who averaged 16.7 ppg in his final season at Valpo, earned his degree last year which allowed him to transfer with immediate eligibility. The sharp-shooter will provide some veteran leadership in a backcourt that will include talented freshmen Branden Dawson and Travis Trice. Head coach Tom Izzo recently said that if he were forced to come up with a starting lineup right now, Wood would have to be a part of it.
2. Mike Rosario (Rutgers to Florida)
Never shy with the ball in his hands, Rosario averaged better than 16 points a night in both his seasons at Rutgers. Things will change for him now as he joins a Florida squad whose two leading returning scorers (Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker) and most talented freshman (Brad Beal) are all guards. Still, Rosario's talent will demand solid court-time, a fact which has already led Billy Donovan to state that he isn't opposed to playing all four guards at the same time.
1. Royce White (Minnesota to Iowa State)
White is the headliner on an Iowa State team whose success will be predicated largely on the effectiveness of its transfer players. He came to Minnesota with all the hype in the world, but legal issues forced him to leave the school in December of 2009 without ever playing a game. He's had zero off-the-court issues since that time, and now has folks in Ames talking about his potential to be the best Iowa State hooper of all-time.