With a record number of D1 players transferring and another impressive class of high school seniors on the way, it’s easy to overlook one of the major avenues for acquiring talent in the offseason: taking on experienced players from lower-division NCAA programs and junior colleges.
Transfers from D2 and JUCO schools are nothing new, but while the respect for lower-level college hoops does seem to be growing in the age of social media, these offseason moves don’t always get the same amount of hype as D1 transfers or prized recruits. In fact, it’s hard to even categorize the moves sometimes.
Are these players part of recruiting classes? Transfer classes? Both? Neither? Something else entirely? (For the record, we included D2 transfers in our recent transfer class rankings, but not JUCO recruits.)
All of that is academic, really. The players are on the roster, and that’s all that matters. Regardless of the label you slap on these players, though, the hype for them isn’t always easy to find.
One of the go-to recruiting databases on the internet, 247Sports, does include a separate category for JUCO rankings, but their list only runs about a dozen players deep. Verbal Commits is an incredible resource for D2/JUCO transfer information and college basketball rosters in general, but it is most useful (in my experience) as a jumping-off point for further research. There are plenty of other niche sites and blogs out there to aid in that research, but a lot of it is highly localized and/or specific to a single player.
So, the information is out there — you just have to hunt a little to put it all together.
Luckily for you, dear reader, I’ve done just that. These are all highly decorated players who stood out in my research, whether for past performance, lofty potential, or a healthy dose of both. I believe each of these players possess skills that will translate to the next level, and in some cases, to the pros.
With that in mind, here are my top 20 impact transfers from Division II and JUCO schools, including highlight reels for each player. They are ranked based on how much impact (a vague enough term, at best) they will have next season and beyond.