It’s back and better than ever! Welcome to the NCAA Free Agent Tracker. This Paint Touches’ second year of covering the NCAA basketball graduate transfer market. Every player listed here is eligible for either the Graduate Transfer Exception of the Graduate Transfer Waiver, meaning the will be immediately eligible for their new teams in the 16-17 season. This year, Paint Touches is also tracking regular transfers. You can find that list here. One caveat I’ll give before sharing this list, this is merely one man’s opinion and analysis of which Free Agents are the best available. I am not a former player, I have never coached college basketball, I spent my high school years playing in the pep band not on the hardwood. I am merely some guy on the internet who, from a scary young age, has spent way too many waking hours watching, debating, and obsessing over college basketball. Now that we have that out of the way….to the list!
This past week saw the middle of our list get gutted. Free agents #6-9 have all found themselves new homes, some at the high major level, some dropping to the mid and low majors. Fortunately three new free agents made themselves known, including a starter from an NCAA tournament team. A lot of the players on our watch list also got picked up, so the back end of the free agent pool is starting to get really shallow. Except a high amount of competition for the remaining high major worthy free agents.
#7 John Gillon
#8 JC Hampton
#9 Junior Lomomba
#15 LJ Rose
#6 Grant Mullins (committed to California)
#7 Savon Goodman (committed to La Salle)
#8 Ronnie Johnson (committed to Auburn)
#9 Darion Clark (committed to Grand Canyon)
- Canyon Barry – 6”6 195 lb RSJR SG from the College of Charleston
31.9 mpg, 19.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.5 bpg, .402 FG% .333 3P%
Canyon Barry was the top scorer in the Colonial Athletic Conference before being sidelined with a season ending shoulder injury at the start of conference play. The Cougars, led by Barry, had a very impressive non-con going 8-3 with wins over AAC member East Carolina and Power 5 school LSU (insert obligatory Ben Simmons reference here). Barry had the Cougars looking like a contender for the Colonial crown before his injury in the 2nd game of the conference season sent them spiraling. Without Barry the Cougars finished in the bottom half of the conference. The Colorado Springs native can score all over the court. He can break defenders down off the dribble, shoot from the outside and has an especially dangerous mid-range game. While 33% from three may make it seem like he’s a great outside shooter, he we was making over 2 treys a game on 6.5 attempts. Transferring to a high major will allow him to decrease his usage and be much more efficient. We of course would be remiss if we didn’t mention that last year’s top grad transfer was also a 6”6 wing from the Colonial. Barry’s game compares to Damion Lee who transferred from Drexel to Louisville last offseason. Barry is not quite on Lee’s level, but will be an impact player on a high major next season. If all this wasn’t enough to make you want him on your team, he also is graduating with a 4.0 and plans to get his masters in either nuclear or mechanical engineering.
UPDATE (4/14): Barry has shortened his list to Florida, California, Kansas, Louisville, Miami (FL), Northwestern, and Ole Miss.
UPDATE (4/21): Barry is still considering Louisville, but his dad has said publically that the looming NCAA investigation is a huge barrier. Has visited Florida and is setting visits with Miami (FL) and Northwestern.
- Ben Carter- 6”9 225 lb RSJR PF from UNLV
24.0 mpg, 8.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.4 bpg, .556 FG%, .000 3P%
Serious question, who is left on UNLV’s roster? As of this writing I believe there are four scholarship players remaining, their head coach was fired, and their replacement head coach is supposedly the top candidate for the Texas Tech job that opened up. Apparently, no one wants to be in Las Vegas anymore. One of the most valuable departures from the Runnin’ Rebels is starting PF Ben Carter. While he’s not the most athletic and he doesn’t have the length you’d expect in 6”9 forward, Carter possesses a mastery of positioning and timing that allowed him to be a huge impact in the post. His range on offense isn’t very impressive but he makes his biggest mark on the defensive side of the ball. He has quick hands that allows him to disrupt passes to the post and an elite sense of timing to deny a lot of would be easy buckets. Carter also showed an adeptness for taking charges. Carter would be an instant impact player on almost any squad. The biggest question with Carter is his health, he suffered a torn ACL in February of this season. How he recovers will determine how hard teams go after him. But one thing that is not a concern, you can talk to anyone around the UNLV program and they will tell you that Carter plays with tremendous heart and was the leader of the Rebels this past season.
UPDATE (4/21): Carter has cut his list to Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan State, Miami (FL), and NC State. He is also considering a return to UNLV.
UPDATE (4/29): Carter will visit Michigan State this weekend.
- Spike Albrecht- 5”11 175 lb SR PG from Michigan
32.0 mpg, 7.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.0 bpg, .404 FG%, .365 3P% (14-15 stats)
After double hip surgery in the summer of 2015, Albrecht attempted to play for the Wolverines. He wasn’t fully recovered and was not able to help the team in a significant way. Albrecht elected to step away from the team and focus on his recovery in December. In fact, he is on record as considering stepping away from basketball for good. After Michigan’s season ended, Albrecht decided to use his last season of eligibility. After a brief stalemate with head coach John Belien, Albrecht managed to get all transfer restrictions lifted. He is free to transfer anywhere, even to another Big Ten school (pending conference approval). What teams would get from Albrecht is a ready-made point guard who already has high major experience. He will never be an elite scorer but his distribution ability will help a lot of teams. Given his fight against transfer restrictions, it seems like he might have a Big 10 school in mind to transfer to.
UPDATE (4/14): Albrecht has said that he will wait to explore his options until after graduation. He has mentioned the possibility of returning to Michigan now that there is an open scholarship.
UPDATE (4/21): Albrecht has shortened his list to Purdue, Wichita State, Indiana, Texas A&M, Syracuse, USC, and UW-Milwaukee. For those confused about UW-Milwaukee, former Michigan assistant LaVall Jordan just took over as the Panthers’ head coach.
UPDATE (4/29): Albrecht will visit Syracuse this weekend
- Anthony Livingston- 6”8 230 lb JR PF from Arkansas State
31.0 mpg, 15.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.8 bpg, .431 FG%, .262 3P%
Livingston is an absolute monster of a forward. After averaging a double double in his sophomore season, the DC native was expected to do big things in Jonesboro. He didn’t disappoint but he actually saw his production drop slightly. Even so, averaging 15.5 ppg and 9.4 rpg is nothing to get too upset about. Livingston does most of his damage around the hoop. He is especially dangerous on the offensive glass. He does have range out the three point line, but he will never be a consistent threat. He uses his athleticism to take on bigger defenders when guarding in the post. Livingston could be a destructive force for a high major team next season, but he does come with a bit of baggage. Livingston was arrested in May of 2015 for punching a police officer. Details are unclear but it seems that Livingston had been ordered to a medical facility against his will and punched the officer when they attempted to compel him into the center. The nature of the medical center and why Livingston was being required to attend there is not known. Despite this incident, Livingston was a fall participant on the court this season. Arkansas State coach John Brady is on record saying that this incident was totally out of character for Livingston. It will be up to teams to decide whether or not this will be a barrier to pursuing Livingston.
UPDATE (4/14): Livingston has set a visit with St. John’s.
UPDATE (4/29): LSU, West Virginia, and Boston College are all in the mix along with St. John’s.
- Patrick Steeves- 6”7 220 lb SR SF from Harvard
22.7 mpg, 9.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.4 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.7 bpg, .449 FG%, .458%
Patrick Steeves might be the best comeback story in college basketball today. If you haven’t heard about his journey, you should read this story here. The Montreal native arrived in Cambridge as the most promising piece of the Crimson’s 2012 recruiting class, but Steeves fractured his foot in his first scrimmage and was forced to watch from the bench. An ACL tear kept him off the floor for his second and third years. It was until has fourth year at Harvard that he was finally able to suit up for the Crimson. He filled the role of spark plug off the bench, averaging 9 points a game and doing most of his damage from beyond the arc. His best outing was in the second to last game of the season where he exploded for 25 points and led the Crimson to an upset of Ivy league power Princeton (ironically helping arch rival Yale secure the conference championship). Steeves is also a good passer for his size, averaging 2.4 assists off the bench. Steeves is being forced to transfer by an Ivy League rule that keeps graduate students from being able to play, but his injury history means that he has two years of eligibility left. He would not be a star, but his ability to stretch the floor and hit open shooters could absolutely help a lot of high major squads. Especially ones with offenses built around high speed and outside shooting.
UPDATE (4/21): Steeves is considering George Washington, Richmond, San Francisco, Vanderbilt, and Cal
- LG Gill- 6”7 210 lb JR SF from Duquesne
30.0 mpg, 10.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.2 spg, 0.6 bpg, .439 FG%, .338 3P%
LG Gill is a bouncy, sharpshooting forward from the Duquesne Dukes. On offense, Gill specializes in catch and shoot, making 50-148 attempts last season. He was especially good at the trailing three on fast breaks started by Duquesnes duo of dynamic guards, in Derrick Colter and Micah Mason. Despite his slight frame, Gill should a great willingness and ability to mix it up on the boards, grabbing a team high 6.5 rpg. Gill’s defense is a bit suspect but his ability on the boards and shooting more than makes up for it. Gill has already been contacted by several high majors and would have a productive role on any of them. A team looking for a forward who can run the floor but still bring an interior presence would be very happy with Gill’s services. Early leaders for Gill appear to be Texas, Maryland, Iowa State, and Marquette. ECU, Alabama, and Cincinnati have also been in contact.
UPDATE (4/29): Gill will visit Marquette this weekend. Will visit Maryland next weekend.
- John Gillon- 6”0 168 lb RSJR PG from Colorado State
31.7 mpg, 13.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.8 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, .383 FG% .333 3P%
Gillon started his college career as a Little Rock Spartan where he made an immediate impact with his speed and outside shooting. His performance as a freshmen was enough to get the attention of Larry Eustachy and the Colorado State Rams. After sitting out the 13-14 season, Gillon found himself starting in the Mountain West. This past season he was putting up impressive numbers with 13.2 ppg, 3.8 apg, and 60 3PMs. He was even more impressive in his last 12 games where he average 16.5 ppg. Gillon isn’t known as a great defender but he is more than passable enough to cut it on a high major. Any squad looking for a veteran PG would benefit greatly from his services. Gillon has moved quickly and has already narrowed his list to Syracuse, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M.
- JC Hampton- 6”0 175 lb RSJR SG from Lipscomb
32.9 mpg, 15.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.1 bpg, .401 FG%, .353 3P%
Hampton is one of the most versatile scorers on this list. Besides an injury shortened freshman season, the Georgia native has been starting and scoring for the Bison down in Nashville for the past three years. Hampton has the finesse and speed to get around larger defenders. His primary weapon is the three ball, he’s made over 175 of them in the past three seasons. He’s played point guard on and off but he’s better attacking off the ball. His size is a major concern, but a high major in need of a versatile scoring guard could take a chance on him, or he could star at the mid-major level. He’s already heard from several SEC schools including Alabama, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M.
- Junior Lomomba- 6”5 205 lb RSJR SG from Providence
24.4 mpg, 5.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.0 bpg, .404 FG%, .319 3P%
Lomomba was one of the other starters from the Kris Dunn/Ben Bentil show that was the Providence Friars this past season. A three star recruit out of high school, Lomomba committed to play his first season at Cleveland State. He broke his foot before the season started and missed the first two months of the season. When he returned, he was a bench player for the Vikings, playing well in limited minutes. Still, it was a surprise when Ed Cooley came calling from a Big East program. After sitting out a season, Lomomba struggled to find playing time, only earning 11 mpg his first year as a Friar. This past season, Lomomba earned himself the last starting spot and spent most of his time on the court finding ways to get the ball to the two headed monster of Dunn and Bentil. Lomomba is a sound defender and by all accounts showed good leadership for the Friars. He is somewhat limited offensively by his subpar shooting. Still, he can hit the open three and can score when called upon. Lomomba could bring experience and defense to the right high major, but it is more likely that he returns to the mid major level to find a starring role.
- Torian Graham- 6”4 200 lb RSJR SG from Arizona State
- mpg, 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg, 0.0 apg, 0.0 spg, 0.0 bpg, .000 FG%, .000 3P%
Torian Graham has had a very, very long journey to try and find an opportunity to play NCAA basketball. As a member of the Class of 2012, Graham was a four star and consensus top 100 recruit. He had offers from several high majors but ultimately committed to the Wolfpack of NC State. His academics would get in the way and force him to put his NCAA dreams on hold. Graham landed at Chipola College where he averaged 12.9 ppg and shot 41% from deep, earning him a top 5 JUCO ranking on 247sports. Graham committed to be a member of Kelvin Sampson’s first class at the University of Houston but transferred before ever playing a game. When asked why, Graham has only said “It wasn’t a good situation.” Graham looked for something more familiar in his next destination. He committed to the University of Buffalo where Levi Watkins, the assistant coach who recruited him at NC State, was now working. Per NCAA, rules, Graham had to sit out the 14-15 season. When Buffalo coach Bobby Hurley got the job at Arizona State, he took Watkins with him to Sun Devil Country. Wanting to stay with the coaches that he felt comfortable with, Graham left Buffalo behind and went down to Tempe. He applied for a waiver to play right away but was denied, meaning he had to wait another year to play college basketball. Graham is a scoring guard who can hit threes from all over the court. It’s hard to tell what he could bring to a team due to his long absence from actual game time. In addition, Graham spent his spring semester at Arizona State suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Schools will need to make a decision about whether or not Graham is worth the risk.
- Kelvin Amayo- 6”5 205 lb RSSR SF from Iona
24.6 mpg, 7.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.4 bpg, .510 FG%, .200 3P% (14-15 stats)
The Iona Gaels used a very tight 7 man rotation in the 2014-2015 season. Amayo was one of the 5 starters on that squad that ended up winning 26 games and a Metro Atlantic regular season championship. Amayo is a highly efficient player making over 50% of his shots from the wing position. Amayo did all of his damage off the bounce and attacking the rim. His shot leaves a lot to be desired. He only made 4-20 three pointers and shot a miserable 50.4% from the charity stripe…though he was very good at getting to the line. Amayo is a good rebounder for his size, sees the floor well, and is also a tenacious defender. A torn quad sidelined Amayo at the beginning of this season. He has used the time off to focus on his school work. He reportedly needs three classes in order to successfully graduate in June. Amayo could potentially fill the role of a glue guy off the bench for a high major squad or be a starter for a quality mid major.
- LaRon Smith-6”8 190 lb RSJR PF from Bethune Cookman
25.4 mpg, 7.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg,
Smith is one of the most interesting players on this list. He comes from a very bad low major in Bethune Cookman. He’s not a great scorer at 7.1 ppg. He has a great FG% of .585 but is an embarrassingly bad shooter, he shot an atrocious 13-49 from the free throw line. He may not be able to shoot, and he may foul at an alarming rate, but Smith is an amazing athlete and what he does well, he does very well. Smith was the sixth best shot blocker in Division 1 at 3.0 bpg. He wasn’t too shabby on the boards either with 6.9 rpg. He will never be able to score at a high major level, but if the right team was in need of an athlete who would claw for the tough boards and defend the rim with a vengeance, than Smith might just find a role. He has been hearing from Kansas State and UNLV.
- Corban Collins- 6”3 192 lb RSJR PG from Morehead State
29.8 mpg, 11.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.1 bpg, .393 FG%, .425 3P%
Back in 2013, Corban Collins was a three star prospect, ranked in the top 200 per 247sports, on his way to Baton Rouge to play for the LSU Tigers. As a freshman he showed good shooting touch and promise, but wasn’t happy with his limited role. Corban headed north by a few states and landed at Morehead State. This past season, he was the top scorer for the Eagles and led them to an impressive 23-15 record. Collins’ go to weapon is definitely the long ball. 57 of his 107 FGMs were from range. He shot an impressive 42.5% from deep while making a much more…modest…36.2% from 2 pt range. While he played the point at Morehead State, it is unlikely that he would be able to successfully translate that to a high major team. Collins could be star guard for most mid major squads. If he wants to return to the high majors, he will most likely be a three point specialist coming off the bench.
UPDATE (4/29): Collins might be heading back to the SEC. He has narrowed his list to Alabama, Mississippi State, and Central Florida.
- Shy McClelland- 6”0 180 lb RSJR PG from South Dakota
28.8 mpg, 11.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.5 spg, 0.1 bpg, .493 FG%, .375 3P%
Shy McClelland is a Milwaukee native who spent his first two years at Mesa Junior College in Arizona. He originally committed to play for the Detroit Titans after he obtained his associates degree, but transferred before playing a game when the assistant who recruited him left the program. McClelland found himself in Vermillion, South Dakota where he immediately became an impact player for the Coyotes. He spent time playing the point and the 2 guard position. There is nothing “shy” about McClelland’s game. He is a downhill runner (a holdover from his days as a tailback in high school) that uses quickness to get past defenders and score easy buckets. He shot over 50% from 2 point range, a fantastic rate for a guard. He showed promise at the three point line, making 37.5% of his attempts. His aggressive style also shows up on the defensive end where he was the team leader in takeaways. Unfortunately, McClelland wasn’t able to finish the season with the Coyotes. Two thirds of the way through the season, McClelland was suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules. McClelland left the program shortly after that. Coaches will need to determine whether or not that baggage is worth McClelland’s talents. It is unlikely that McClelland’s game would have the same kind of success at the D1 level. He Is most likely to end up with a mid-major squad in need of a new floor general.
- LJ Rose- 6”3 200 lb RSJR PG from Houston
34.6 mpg, 9.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 5.3 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.2 bpg, .372 FG%, .296 3P%
LJ Rose is a Houston native who was a major player for his hometown Cougars. He didn’t start his career that way. A consensus top 100 recruit out of high school, LJ Rose originally committed to Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears. He had a minimal impact his freshman year, playing the backup to the backup PG. Rose would leave Waco after his freshman year when his mother was diagnosed with Lupus. Wanting to be closer to her, he transferred back to Houston and received a wavier to play immediately from the NCAA. Rose immediately seized the starting PG position and went on to average an impressive 5.4 apg his first two seasons at Houston. A broken foot ended his junior season early, and complications from it caused him to miss all but two games of this past season. Despite his absence, the Cougars went on to have an excellent 15-16 campaign, with a lot of credit going to freshman PG Galan Robinson Jr. It was uncertain that Rose would be the starting PG when he returned from injury. Still, he is an agile guard with a strong handle and elite distribution skills. He has never been a great scorer, mostly due to suspect shooting numbers. His three point range is a bit of a mystery. He shot a very impressive 41% his sophomore year but saw that percentage drop to 29.6% the following season. If Rose has recovered well from the injury and has worked on his shooting stroke in his season off, then Rose could absolutely be a starter for a high major in need of a PG.
10 other free agents we are watching:
Chad Rykhoek- 6”11 230 lb RSJR C from Baylor
Christian Jones-6”7 230 lb RSJR PF from St. John’s
Christian Kessee- 6”2 180 lb RSJR PG from Coppin State
Que Johnson- 6”5 205 lb RSJR SF from Washington State
Uche Ofoegbu- 6”4 200 lb RSJR SF from San Francisco
Trevon Seymore- 6”3 160 lb RSJR SG from Coppin State
Lew Evans- 6”9 230 lb RSJR PF from Utah State
Norville Carey- 6”7 228 lb RSSR SF from Southern Mississippi
Nick Banyard- 6”8 205 lb RSJR PF from Illinois State
Karon Waller- 6”4 205 lb RSJR SG from Binghamton