2019 NCAA Free Agent Tracker: April 18th Edition

(Photo by Ryan Messier/Paint Touches)

It’s back and better than ever! Welcome to the NCAA Free Agent Tracker. This is Paint Touches’ fifth year of covering the NCAA basketball graduate transfer market. Every player listed here is eligible for either the Graduate Transfer Exception or the Graduate Transfer Waiver, meaning they will be immediately eligible for their new teams in the 19-20 season. This year, Paint Touches is also tracking  regular transfers on a separate list. 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 …who is also armed with several subscriptions to various advanced stat services. Now that we have that out of the way….to the list!

What a difference a week makes. During the last edition, Marquette only had one open scholarship and the need for a grad transfer seemed non-existent. With the Hausers departing, three scholarships are now available and the Golden Eagles are in desperate need of a grad transfer PF. Fortunately, the new number one on the tracker plays that exact position. In addition to the new top dog, a lot of new guards have been added to the tracker, pushing a few of the names from last week’s edition off the list entirely.

1. Kerry Blackshear Jr- 6’10” 260 lb RSJR PF from Virginia Tech
30.0 mpg, 14.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.8 bpg, 1.8 tpg, 54.5 2P%, 21 3PM, 33.3 3P%

It is hard to imagine anyone displacing this whale from the top of this year’s list. Kerry Blackshear Jr was one of the top two players on a Virginia Tech squad that just went to the Sweet 16 on the power of a 3 seed. He is a dominate offensive post player, scoring 168 points on post up opportunities with deadly efficiency and an additional 80 points on putbacks. He led the Hokies in rebounding and was particularly good on the offensive glass, cleaning up 13.7% of missed FGs when he was on the floor. While most of his work is done in the paint, he does have the ability to shoot from 15 feet out with some consistency and even had 21 3Ps on the season. Defensively, Blackshear is sound. He led the team in blocks per game and was good at walling off opposing big men. He struggled when he got stuck covering defenders in space and often got outmaneuvered. Blackshear is testing the NBA waters but is expected to return. He will have his pick of programs including the possibility of following Buzz Williams down to Aggieland.

2. Admon Gilder- 6’4” 198 lb SR SG from Texas A&M
32.0 mpg, 12.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.2 bpg, 1.7 tpg, 50.6 2P%, 47 3PM, 39.5 3P% (17-18 stats)

We were just about to hit submit on the first edition of this year’s tracker when we had to stop the presses because a whale had just been announced. Taking the top spot in the first edition of this year’s tracker is Texas Aggie Admon Gilder. Gilder was the leader of the Texas A&M squad that earned a 7 seed in 2018 and made the Sweet 16. DJ Hogg and Robert Williams Jr were the bigger names but Gilder was the engine that made all of that work. He led the team in minutes and took over lead guard duty when former Marquette Golden Eagle Duane Wilson went down with a career ending injury. He loves getting out in transition and is happy to feed teammates, knowing the ball often comes back to him for an easy catch and shoot. His true value comes on the defensive end where he is a hell hound of a perimeter defender. As of this writing, he is the best two-way free agent on the market. This is all assuming he is healthy of course. Gilder missed the entire 18-19 season after having surgery to remove a blood clot from one of his biceps. It’s an uncommon injury and how much it will affect his game is a relative unknown. If he is healthy, he can make an impact on any roster in the country.

3. Shakur Juiston- 6’7” 215 lb RSJR SF from UNLV
30.4 mpg, 14.6 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.6 bpg, 2.5 tpg, 63.7 2P%, 2 3PM, 100 3P% (17-18 stats)

Shakur Juiston arrived at UNLV as part of a class that was supposed to resurrect the Running Rebel basketball brand. Instead, he will leave it reeling as UNLV is losing its coach and seemingly half of its roster to transfer. Juiston was the #1 rated JUCO in the class of 2017 and more than lived up to that rating in his first season in Vegas. He averaged a double double for the year and showed all the signs of being a lockdown defender. He’s a bit undersized to play the 5 but doesn’t shoot well enough away from the rim in order to play anything else effectively. For Marquette fans, Ed Morrow wouldn’t be the worst player comp for Juiston. Big question for Juiston is his health. He’s an unquestionable talent but a torn meniscus sidelined him for most of the 18-19 season. If his explosiveness has been limited, that takes a lot of the shine off our early pick for one of the top free agents.

4. Rayjon Tucker- 6’7” 213 lb RSJR SF from Little Rock
36.6 mpg, 20.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.4 bpg, 2.6 tpg, 55.8 2P%, 72 3PM, 41.1 3P%

Rayjon Tucker may have just missed out on our top spot in the first edition of this year’s tracker, but he is definitely the biggest crowd pleaser on the list. Tucker started his collegiate career at Dunk City (Florida Gulf Coast for the casual fan) and his dunking ability was prime even in a program with as elite of dunkers as the Eagles. He once dunked so hard that he cut the power to a shot clock. Despite his high-flying prowess, Tucker was getting limited minutes mostly due to his lack of defense and transferred to Little Rock seeking a bigger role. As a Trojan, his offense exploded to ridiculous levels. He found more consistency to his shot which only made his driving ability better. He’s not going to take many people one on one but he is a master at using picks to get free and get to the rim. His defense is still lacking but the offensive talent is undeniable. The scary thing is, he may just be scratching the surface on his potential. Tucker has only been playing organized ball since about 2013. A host of programs have already reached out including Memphis, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Auburn, North Carolina, Kanas, Louisville, Arizona, Arizona State, South Carolina, and Iowa State.

Update (4/18): Tucker visited West Virginia and is heading to Auburn this weekend. Memphis is expected to land a visit as well.5

5. Christian Keeling – 6’3” 175 lb JR SG from Charleston Southern
32.2 mpg, 18.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.7 bpg, 2.7 tpg, 53.8 2P%, 81 3PM, 38.0 3P%

Charleston Southern doesn’t have an elite history when it comes to producing basketball players, but for the past three years they have had a special talent in Christian Keeling. Since arriving on campus as an unheralded two star from a town known more for golf than basketball, Keeling has been putting up huge numbers for the Buccaneers. His resume includes several all-conference honors as well as the Big South freshman scoring record. In addition to his scoring, Keeling adds elite rebounding for his size and is a lockdown perimeter defender. Fans may be skeptical that Keeling would be able to replicate his success against high major opponents. All you need to do is ask us Marquette fans. Keeling put up a stat line of 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals with 8/12 shooting in an early season matchup with the Golden Eagles. He had similar success against Florida and Clemson. Lots of programs are already involved with North Carolina, Louisville, Texas Tech, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Memphis, NC State, Maryland, Ole Miss, Colorado, Georgetown, Nevada, Butler, Arizona, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Gonzaga, and Texas already reaching out.

Update (4/18): Keeling visited Georgia Tech and is going to visit Clemson this weekend. He has also set up a visit with the Tar Heels.

6. Chris Clarke- 6’6” 210 lb SR SF from Virginia Tech
24.6 mpg, 8.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.1 bpg, 2.3 tpg, 60.8 2P%, 14 3PM, 42.4 3P% (17-18 stats)

I have to say, as a Marquette fan there has been a little perverse pleasure in watching Buzz Williams leave another program in a smoking crater after taking a new job. Lots of transfers and decommits have already hit the Hokies and things look bleak in Blacksburg for next season. One of the more intriguing departures is rising senior Chris Clarke. Clarke was a top 100 recruit and was an integral part of the rotation in his first three seasons. He was a model of offensive efficiency and displayed the gritty in your face defense that Buzz teams have become known for. He was set to have a major role this past season but ended up never seeing the court. He along with freshman Lander Nolley Jr were suspended for the entirety of the season. No reason for the suspension was ever given but Virginia Tech did just fine without him, earning a top seed and eventually making the Sweet 16. The suspension raises some red flags but expect a lot of programs to get involved with Clarke. According to Clarke’s father, he is looking for a team that will let him be the starting PG. If your team has need of a lead guard with size, Clarke could be your man.6

7. Jake Toolson- 6’5” 205 lb RSJR SG from Utah Valley
33.3 mpg, 15.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.2 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.2 bpg, 2.3 tpg, 60.9 2P%, 70 3PM, 45.4 3P%

Jake Toolson never got traction as an underclassmen at BYU, always coming off the bench and putting up unimpressive numbers. He got a fresh start down the road at Utah Valley and led the Wolverines to a 25-10 record this past season. Toolson is a scoring savant. Synergy sports gives Toolson and “excellent” (top 15%) or very good (60th to 85th percentile) ranking in every type of offensive play. It didn’t matter if Toolson was running the pick and roll, taking his man in isolation, posting up smaller guards, or spotting up for a catch and shoot, he scored with alarming efficiency. His eFG% of 63.1% was 36th best in the nation and top 15 for guards. Defensively he was a very good perimeter defender. Could sometimes get rocked to sleep by sharpshooting guards but good at disrputing the pick and roll and stopping penetration. His elite offense and solid defense netted him the WAC player of the Year award. The biggest question for Toolson will be the bump in competition. WAC has some bottom feeders to pad your stats against. However, BYU, Saint Mary’s, and Arizona all failed to stop him as he went for 14, 15 and 20 with good efficiency in each. Oh and for Marquette fans, Toolson is from Gilbert, AZ, the same hometown as one Markus Howard.

8. Justin Pierce- 6’7” 215 lb JR SG from William & Mary
34.3 mpg, 14.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.3 bpg, 2.2 tpg, 56.1 2P%, 44 3PM, 32.4 3P%

If we were playing baseball, Justin Pierce is what you would call a 5-tool player. He did a little of everything for the Tribe, ranking in the top two of all the major statistical categories other than blocks. Pierce took his time developing into this swiss army type role. As a freshman from Glen Ellyn, IL, Pierce barely saw the floor, only averaging about 10 minutes a game. He saw a big jump his sophomore year and played major minutes but was mostly a complimentary player. This past season was his peak, playing over 34 minutes a game and starring in a point forward type role. His 4.1 assists led the team as he always seemed to make the right pass to the right teammate. He’s tenacious on the glass and showed elite efficiency inside the arc. He could score with his back to the basket or facing it, and did well playing the roll man in pick and roll sets. He could step outside and shoot from three, not an elite level but well enough that it had to be respected. The challenge with players like Pierce is that while they do everything well, sometimes without an elite skill, they can’t replicate their success at higher levels. This concern is multiplied by Pierce being stymied by the only high major team he faced this season (of course it was Virginia and they stymie everyone). However, if Pierce is put in the right system he could be a strong starter for a high major program. He’d been a quality backup on almost any roster. Pierce may end up closer to home with his next stop as the first three major programs to reach out to him were Michigan, Ohio State, and Notre Dame with Notre Dame scoring an early visit.

Update (4/18): Pierce has already trimmed his list to three: North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Michigan.

9. Lindsey Drew- 6’4” 180 lb SR PG from Nevada
29.2 mpg, 8.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.9 bpg, 1.3 tpg, 51.7 2P%, 16 3PM, 39.0 3P% (17-18 stats)

No mid-major had higher expectations coming into the season than the Wolfpack of Nevada. Something missed in those projections was that their floor general was going to miss the season with a hip injury that required surgery. Lindsey Drew is an exceptional point guard who excels at putting his teammates in good positions to score. Surrounded by talent such as Jordan Caroline and the Martin twins, Drew carved opposing defenses with his passing. He has unmatched handles which allowed him to get deep inside of opposing defenses only to kick it out to an open shooter or rolling big man. He has a very high basketball IQ and is known for almost never making the wrong play. This is unsurprising given the basketball family that he comes from. His father Larry Drew is the current head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. High majors in need of a PG will be coming after Drew hard. He may opt to follow Musselmann to Arkansas as Drew was the first HS recruit that Musselmann convinced to come to Reno.

10. Keith Stone- 6’8” 240 lb RSJR SF from Florida
19.2 mpg, 6.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.5 bpg, 1.4 tpg, 38.0 2P%, 37 3PM, 40.5 3P%

No, this is not the Keith Stone from the short-lived Keystone Lite marketing campaign, though I’m sure this one has heard all the jokes. Stone was a top 100 recruit coming out of high school and has been a part of some very good Florida rosters. His best year was his redshirt sophomore season when he averaged 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. He is a stretch four in the purest sense. For his career, he has shot 39.4% from beyond the arc and it was a lot higher the last two seasons (44.7% and 40.5%). He can score in the post and mid-range but he never found a good level of consistency there. His last season got off to a rough start with his numbers dipping almost across the board. He was still hitting the three consistently but his rebounding, rim protection, heck even his FT% was down from the season before. Before he had a chance to correct the trend, he tore his ACL in an early conference matchup with Georgia. It is unclear if Stone will be able to return in time for the beginning of next season. His position on this list is assuming that he comes back 100% healthy and returns to more of his sophomore year self than his junior year one.1

11. Jaevin Cumberland- 6’2” 179 lb RSJR PG from Oakland
37.0 mpg, 17.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.2 bpg, 1.8 tpg, 47.8 2P%, 109 3PM, 39.9 3P%

Jaevin Cumberland came out of nowhere this past season. His first three years he could barely get off the bench, averaging a paltry 6.4 minutes a contest. He hurt his knee during the start of the 17-18 season and took the rest of the year off. He came back from the injury a new man. He led the team in minutes and was top two in points, assists, and steals for the Golden Grizzlies. The key for him was the development of his outside shot. Last season he hit 109 triples, most of any player on the tracker this season but over 20 makes. He was electric in transition, scoring 104 points in only 74 transition attempts. He showed no fear pulling up from three and making teams pay for dropping back in transition. In the halfcourt, he usually played off the ball but played the role of second point guard on the floor. His outside scoring attack could be used on any roster on the country though his defense could limit his effectiveness. Cincinnati may be his landing spot as his brother Jarron is a standout there.

12. Cameron Justice- 6’3” 180 lb RSJR SG from IUPUI
32.6 mpg, 18.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.0 bpg, 2.5 tpg, 51.7 2P%, 90 3PM, 35.2 3P%

Cameron Justice started his career playing for Kevin Stallings at Vanderbilt. He got off to a quick start for the Commodores, scoring 11 points off the bench against St. John’s and 9 against Kansas in the championship game of the Maui Invitational. It was right after that game against the Jayhawks that Justice injured his right groin. Justice elected not to get surgery and tried to play through it but he was clearly hampered. The injury combine with Stallings’ departure eventually led Justice to transfer to IUPUI. A year off to recover did wonders for Justice. He led the Jaguars in scoring, lighting up opponents from three and running the pick and roll with unmatched efficiency. His efforts eventually earned him All Conference Honors in the Horizon league and is now eyeing a return to the high major level.

13. Jahaad Proctor- 6’3” 205 lb RSJR SG from High Point
34.6 mpg 19.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.4 bpg, 2.2 tpg, 54.0 2P%, 55 3PM, 33.1 3P%

Jahaad Proctor will be looking for his fourth basketball program this offseason. The Harrisburg, PA product originally committed to Holy Cross before switching to Iona after a coaching change. At Iona he was a key bench player but wasn’t satisfied with his role. He went to High Point where he immediately become a scoring sensation. His quickness and ball control allowed him to dominate Big South defenses. He can shoot the three a little bit but his strength is his ability to weave in and out of defensive sets and get to the hoop. He excels at drawing fouls and then finishing through contact. He has also proven capable of posting up smaller guards and scoring nearly at will. The question will be if he can translate his success in the Big South to the high major level. In High Point’s one game against a high major opponent last season, Ohio State limited Proctor to 4 points on 2/9 shooting, not a ringing endorsement. Add to that the fact that Proctor struggled to defend Big South level competition and you have a high risk but potentially high reward prospect. Many have already enquired about the scorers’ services including Arizona, Maryland, Seton Hall, Nevada, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Murray State, Boston College, Utah State, Wake Forest, San Diego, Colorado State, and LaSalle.

Update (4/18): Proctor has set up visits to Purdue and Arkansas.

14. Dazon Ingram- 6’5” 205 lb SR SG from Alabama
22.2 mpg, 7.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.1 bpg, 2.0 tpg, 48.1 2P%, 16 3PM, 38.1 3P%

His senior year of high school, Dazon Ingram won Mr. Basketball for the state of Alabama which naturally led to him starring for the Crimson Tide. Ingram was an instant starter, though his true freshman season was shortened to 7 games due to an injury. In his first three years, Ingram started 73 out of 76 games usually taking the role of a confident slashing guard. This past season, Ingram struggled to find his place in the rotation. He cycled in and out of the starting lineup throughout the season and played a more reduced role than he had the past two seasons. He was dealing with a nagging back injury sustained during non-conference play that may have impacted his ability. The end of the season was particularly rough as he averaged only 5.1 points a game over the last 9 games of the season, reaching double digits only once. Alabama went 3-6 during this stretch, including a first round NIT loss to Norfolk State. If Ingram gets healthy this offseason, he has the potential to be a plus defender and scoring guard for a very good high major squad. Early repots have Nevada, Michigan, Oregon, Murray State, and Gonzaga reaching out to Ingram.

15. Matt Milon- 6’4” 200 lb RSJR SG from William & Mary
29.7 mpg, 13.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.1 bpg, 1.6 tpg, 56.9 2P%, 89 3PM, 40.1 3P%

A couple of years back, Matt Milon popped up on Paint Touches’ traditional transfer tracker. He was a backup guard from lowly Boston College but he had shown some shooting prowess that led us to believe that there was more to come from him. He ended up at William & Mary where he continued to build and expand upon that shooting talent and is now eyeing a return to the high major level. Milon hit 89 long balls this past season with over 40% accuracy from deep. He has an extremely quick trigger and needs next to no space in order to get his shot off. While the vast majority of his damage is done from range, he has learned how to use his shooter’s reputation to get defenders up in the air so he can cruise past them for an easy two. He shot an impressive 56.9% inside the arc. Combined with his penchant for triples that gave him an eFG% of 59.3%. Unfortunately, as good as he is on offense, he is about that bad on defense. High major teams in need of some outside shooting and instant offense should be interested provided they can afford to hide him on the defensive end.

15 other free agents we are watching:
Terrell Allen- 6’2 180 lb RSJR PG from UCF
Thomas Bruce- 6’8 195 lb SR C from Binghamton
Alihan Demir- 6’9” 215 lb RSJR PF from Drexel
Edric Dennis Jr- 6’3” 188 lb RSJR SG from UT Arlington
Daryl Edwards- 6’3” 165 lb SR SG from LSU
Jaire Grayer- 6’4” 192 lb SR SG from George Mason
Donnell “Red” Gresham Jr- 6’1” 197 lb RSJR PG from Northeastern
Wesley Harris- 6’8” 200 lb RSJR SF from West Virginia
Max Hazzard- 5’10” 165 lb RSJR PG from UC Irvine
Dazon Ingram- 6’5” 205 lb SR SG from Alabama
Jayce Johnson- 7’0” 235 lb RSJR C from Utah
Matt Milon- 6’4” 200 lb RSJR SG from William & Mary
Dominik Olejinczak- 7’0” 249 lb RSJR C from Ole Miss
Matt Ryan- 6’7” 228 lb RSJR SF from Vanderbilt
Derrik Smits- 7’2” 240 lb RSJR C from Valparaiso
Yanni Wetzell- 6’10” 235 lb RSJR C from Vanderbilt
Akwasi Yeboah- 6’5” 233 lb RSJR SF from Stony Brook


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Categories: Analysis, Offseason, Recruiting

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic


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