SchuZ's Top 10 College Basketball Winners This Week
As the calendar turns to July, we are officially one month closer to the start of the college basketball season. While that is an exciting thought to ponder, many teams are still working on completing their 13-man rosters. Multiple commitments and transfers occurred this week, but there were ten that stood out the most to me.
#10 - FAU
FAU added a veteran guard into the fold this past week in Dre Fuller Jr, who has had a solid three-year run at UCF as a role player with a career average of 5.7 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 1.5 APG. He has shown flashes throughout his career of what he is capable of with a larger opportunity and should be given that from head coach Dusty May.
#9 - Southern Utah
In recent weeks, Southern Utah had multiple key players decide to return to the program for the upcoming season. There still were key roles that had to be filled, and Todd Simon did just that by going out and landing himself a veteran guard from Oakland in Zion Young. While his two-year career at Oakland did not go as many hoped, the 6-3 guard was still a key rotational player. What intrigues me the most about this addition for the Thunderbirds is that Zion was a notable transfer in 2020 after he averaged 13.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.5 APG at Western Illinois during the 2019-2020 season. If he can tap into that version of himself, he will give Southern Utah an even stronger core as they look to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001.
#8 - Michigan
Juwan Howard filled his final roster spot in Lebanese forward Youssef Khayat. Many view the 6-8, 19-year-old as a Top 100 recruit in 2022 who may even have NBA potential in the future. Talent-wise, Michigan may have added the second-best player this week, but since this ranking is based on the projected impact of players, I put the Wolverines at eight since I am not sure exactly the role that Khayat will have this season. If we look back at this list in a year, I would not be shocked if Michigan should have been much higher this week.
#7 - Hofstra
Hofstra landed a potential starter this week in former Manhattan forward Warren Williams. He remained productive last season, but in his junior campaign, he averaged 11.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 1.6 BPG. Speedy Claxton had already assembled a roster that should finish among the top of the CAA this year, but with the addition of Williams, the Pride could be heading to the big dance come March.
#6 - Temple
Aaron McKie was able to retain many of the key pieces from last year's 17-12 team but needed to replace Jeremiah Williams after he transferred to Iowa State. He did just that by landing former top 100 recruit Shane Dezonie. While Dezonie did not have much of an opportunity to display what he can bring to the table during his freshman season at Vanderbilt, the potential is there, as is the opportunity to give Temple potentially one of the best guard tandems in the country, alongside Khalif Battle and Damian Dunn.
#5 - Mississippi State
With multiple roster spots to fill, Chris Jans continued his rebuild of the Bulldogs by landing Southern Mississippi transfer Tyler Stevenson. Stevenson originally committed to UIC but decided to back out of that commitment and spend his final year of eligibility back home. The 6-8 forward averaged 14.6 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 1.1 BPG last year and should be expected to compete for a starting spot this season.
#4 - Rhode Island
Rhode Island filled out their final scholarship spot with Alabama transfer Alex Tchikou. I was extremely high on the 6-11 forward coming out of high school that I considered him a five-star recruit. During his two seasons at Alabama, Tchikou did not appear in many games due to a variety of reasons, but in large part due to his ruptured Achilles that he suffered. The Achilles injury is not easy to recover from, but if Archie Miller can bring that potential out of the skilled forward, he could have landed the biggest steal of the offseason.
#3 - Central Michigan
After ranking the Chippewas tenth in my top college basketball winners of the week a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that they would have been higher had MAC All-Freshman selection Kevin Miller not entered the transfer portal. Two weeks later, Miller decided to withdraw his name from the portal and return to Central Michigan and give Tony Barbee a dynamic duo in the backcourt between Jesse Zarzuela and Kevin Miller.
#2 - Kansas State
For the third week in a row, Jerome Tang landed a notable transfer that has landed on my top college basketball winners of the week. This week, the Wildcats added Tykei Greene to the mix. The former Stony Brook star averaged 14 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.1 APG, and 1.4 SPG last year and should expect to play a large role at Kansas State for his final year of eligibility.
#1 - Eastern Michigan
Stan Heath has landed multiple players in the transfer portal this year that left high school as highly touted prospects, but this week he made one of the biggest surprises of the offseason by landing former five-star recruit, Emoni Bates. While many were disappointed by the 17-year-old's freshman campaign at Memphis, the potential was still displayed multiple times throughout the year. By placing himself in a situation where he can once again be the guy and lead a team, I would not be surprised if he proves many people wrong this year and rises his draft stock.
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