It's April, and while the casual fan has tuned out college hoops until the fall, well the diehards know the truth: This is where the real fun begins.
It's transfer season, BABY!!!!
That's right, it's a new world of college hoops, and now, April and May portal recruiting is often as important - if not more so - than year-round high school recruiting. And because of it, we'll have you covered from all angles here at Aaron Torres Online and Aaron Torres Media.
First off, if you're not following our portal tracker - @CBBTransfers on Twitter, make sure to do so. That's our one stop shop for all things transfer portal visits, commitments and players entering the portal. The full running list is available at CollegeBasketballTransfers.com.
But also, as I've done every year, I also keep a list of the my "Best Players in the Transfer Portal - Right Now."
Understand, these lists are hard - trying to balance high-upside young players, with seasoned vets who can help you win, high-major players with low-major stars.
But still, we do them anyway.
Well, a lot has changed, so let's get to Version 4.0 today
1. Hunter Dickinson, C, Michigan
Dickinson's entry into the portal during Final Four weekend sent shockwaves through college basketball, and with good reason: It isn't an exaggeration to say that the 7'1 center might be the most accomplished player to hit the portal ever, as a two-time All-American looking to get a fresh start after back-to-back disappointing seasons for his Michigan ball club. Just don't blame Dickinson for the Wolverines struggles, who finished this season averaging 18.5 points, nine rebounds and nearly two blocks a game, all while shooting 43 percent from behind the arc.
Since then, Dickinson has become the hottest name in the portal - and the man atop this list three weeks in a row.
It also appears as though we're finally starting to get a conclusion to his recruitment.
He visited Maryland and Georgetown last weekend, and will visit Kansas on Thursday. Kentucky has recently tried to make its move - although I'm not sure I totally buy the reports.
Whenever Dickinson does commit, it will change the landscape of college basketball for the 2023-2024 season.
2. Ryan Nembhard, G, Creighton
In what can only be described as a shocking move, Nembhard - a two-year starter at point guard for Creighton, who led the team in minutes played this season - has decided to leave Creighton.
The news is stunning, strictly because Nembhard had a near-perfect set-up at Creighton. He was the starter at point guard from the day he walked in the door as a true freshman, averaging 12 points, four rebounds and a little under five assists per game this season. He got plenty of playing time (leading the team in minutes played) the Jays obviously had a ton of on-court success, making the Elite Eight.
Yet, multiple people tell me that his family is frustrated with the role, that he wasn't part of the All-Big East teams and isn't found on draft boards. That might be due to the fact that - despite being insanely talented - he stands just 6'0 tall and isn't an elite athlete. It's possible that he is a great college player, who just doesn't have an NBA future.
Regardless, with brother Andrew had success transferring from Florida to Gonzaga, and now the younger Nembhard will try to find similar success out of the portal.
Nembhard visited both Arizona (coached by former Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd) and Gonzaga over the weekend, and it seems all but certain he'll choose one of those two schools. There is no timetable on his commitment, although you'd expect it to come soon.
3. Max Abmas, G, Oral Roberts
Say this for Abmas, the kid was loyal. After Oral Roberts' Sweet 16 run in 2021 he could've cashed in, each of the last two off-seasons in the portal but elected to return to Oral Roberts. But this year, with an extra year of eligibility, and with his head coach Paul Mills taking over at Wichita State he's going to give college basketball one more run, likely at a big-time school.
The 6'0 guard is an NBA talent, and had it on full display these past few years at Oral Roberts. He averaged 21 points per game this year, to go along with four rebounds and four assists, all while shooting 37 percent from three. Two seasons ago in 2021 he actually led the NCAA in scoring at 24.5 points per game.
Abmas recruitment appears to be coming down to Texas and Kansas State, with a decision expected soon.
4. Harrison Ingram, F, Stanford
A former McDonald's All-American, Ingram is coming off an up-and-down two seasons at Stanford.
On the one hand, he had a breakout freshman season, where he averaged 10.5 points and flirted with leaving early for the NBA Draft. Then he decided to return, only to put up near identical numbers across the board, electing to transfer after another disappointing season for the Cardinal.
Admittedly, Ingram is a good, but not elite athlete, but he has proven an ability to get double-figures, in a high-major conference as the focal point of an offense. Imagine what he could do with better talent around him?
Still, that hasn't stopped some of the biggest names in college hoops from reaching out. Kansas and North Carolina are both battling hard for Ingram's services, and don't sleep on Xavier, with Ingram's ties to Xavier assistant (and former Stanford assistant) Adam Cohen. Kentucky reached out early in the process as well.
5. Olivier Nkamhoua, F, Tennessee
Nkamhoua is one of the more interesting names in the portal, for a number of different reasons.
This past season, the versatile, 6'9 forward was one of the few offensive bright spots for Tennessee, averaging 10.8 points per game, to go along with five rebounds and two assists per contest as well. That included a 28-point masterpiece in a Round 2 upset of Duke.
Did I mention he did this all coming off major knee surgery a year ago, and wasn't really "himself" until late in the year?
With an extra year of eligibility though, Nkamhoua decided to see what else is out there, and the hunch here is that he will land in a much more offensive-friendly system, especially for a guy of his skill-set.
Arizona is believed to be one of the leaders for Nkamhoua, in an otherwise quiet recruitment.
6. Dalton Knecht, G/F, Northern Colorado
I'm always wary of ranking mid-major players too high on these lists, fearful of what a step up in competition will do to some players. But as the gap between high-major and mid-major begins to shrink, we consistently see more and more mid-major guys able to step up to the high-major level and thrive.
The list this year goes on and on from Antonio Reeves to Mark Sears, Jabari Rice and Baylor Scheierman.
And really, when watching film of Knecht, that's who the 6'6 wing from Northern Colorado most reminds me of - Creighton's Baylor Schiemerman. He's a legit 6'6, but also super athletic, able to put the ball on the floor, but also step back and hit threes. This year as the focal point of a bad Northern Colorado team, he scored 20.2 points and grabbed 7.2 rebounds, all while shooting 38 percent from three.
Knecht has been in the portal for a while, which makes his slow movement all the more interesting. Indiana, North Carolina and Kentucky all have been known to have been in connect with Knecht.
7. Tylor Perry, G, North Texas
Perry is one of the more interesting high-level players in the portal, but also one of the most productive. He is the reigning Conference USA Player of the Year (no small feat considering that league had Florida Atlantic in it) averaging 17.3 points per game, on a blistering 41 percent shooting from three. The only real knock is that he's undersized (just 5'11) and really at his best with the ball in his hands, so the offense kind of has to evolve around him.
Like so many others on this list, Perry's recruitment is staring to come down to the wire. He visited Arkansas last weekend, but the Hogs took El Ellis instead, and Perry recently cancelled a visit to Alabama. He will visit Ole Miss later this week, and choose between Ole Miss, Florida, Kansas State and Texas Tech in the coming days.
It's worth noting that his former head coach at North Texas Grant McCasland is now running the show at Texas Tech.
8. Jaylon Tyson, G/F, Texas Tech
The only new player to enter the portal since our last list, Tyson is an interesting story. He actually committed to Texas Tech out of high school, then when Chris Beard was at Texas followed him there, only to leave after a semester and go back to Texas Tech.
Because of it, it's hard to know if Tyson will even be eligible next season, but if he is, someone is about to get one of the most talented players in the portal. Tyson is a big, physical guard who averaged 10.1 points and six rebounds, to go along with 43 percent three-point shooting.
He's the kind of big, tough wing, who could kind of fit in just about anywhere.
9. Jaden Bradley, G, Alabama
A former McDonald's All-American, Bradley was an integral part of Alabama's top-ranked team early, only to see his numbers dip as the season wore on. He scored just two points total in Alabama's three NCAA Tournament games, finishing the year averaging six points and three assists per game.
Yet while the numbers dipped, the talent is still there for another program to unlock. Bradley is super-quick with the ball, with ability to get to the hole at will, and - considering he averaged three assists in less than 20 minutes of play this year - he has an ability to create for others as well.
Bradley's recruitment has been eerily quiet since he entered the portal, with no tangible reports on where he could end up.
10. Moussa Cisse, C, Oklahoma State
A former McDonald's All-American who's now played three years of college basketball, Cisse does one thing extremely well - protects the rim. He has led the Big 12 in blocked shots each of the past two seasons, averaging just under two per game in 2023. He also grabbed eight boards per contest. His offense is still evolving though, averaging just seven points per game this season.
What's interesting is what's next for the 7'0 center.
Because he's already transferred once (he began his career at Memphis) he will be an interesting case study as to whether the NCAA will actually hold out players who are transferring for a second time.
Should he play next year, he'll be one of the best rim protectors in the sport.
11. Graham Ike, F/C, Wyoming
It's been a whirlwind two years for Ike, a 6'9 Ike, as he was an All-Mountain West first team performer two years ago. Last year he averaged 19.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, helping Wyoming to the NCAA Tournament. This year he missed the entire year, as the Cowboys plummeted to last place in the conference.
Well after the season he decided to transfer, and should bring immediate size and physicality to some team.
Think of him in the Oscar Tshiebwe/Adama Sanogo mold. He's not super tall or long, but tough as hell, and able to finish around the rim.
Ike has recently been linked to Gonzaga, where he could fill in the Drew Timme spot down low.
12. Nick Timberlake, G, Towson - UPDATE: Nick Timberlake has committed to Kansas
Timberlake is an old-school testament to hard work and dedication, getting better every year in his four seasons at Towson. Now with an extra year of eligibility, he has decided to hit the transfer portal, as an immediate plug-and-play difference maker at one school.
And really, there is no other way to put it: The 6'4 guard is a bucket-getter, finishing this past season averaging 17 points per game in the uber-competitive CAA, while shooting 41 percent from three.
In terms of what's next, Timberlake has dubbed this "Decision Week." He's already visited UConn, Kansas and North Carolina, and could come off the board at any moment.
13. Daniel Batcho, F, Texas Tech
Batcho is an interesting story, as a player who was recruited to Arizona by Sean Miller, then got hurt and missed his entire freshman season. When Miller was let go he left the school, landing at Texas Tech.
Batcho struggled returning from injury in 2021-2022, but really had a breakout year at full strength this past season, averaging just under eight points and six boards as an athletic rim runner.
He isn't the type of big you can run an entire offense through, but plays hard and does all the little things.
Like both Tyson and Cisse above, because this is his second transfer, it's uncertain if he will be eligible in 2023-2024.
14. Avery Anderson, G, Oklahoma State
Anderson was one of the few remaining holdovers at Oklahoma State from the Cade Cunningham era, and to be blunt, his role on that Cowboys team is exactly who he is as a college basketball player.
He's a secondary guard who is best off the ball, making plays and attacking the rim. He shouldn't be the point and shouldn't be your go-to player, but when he can be in a complimentary role, has real value for a high major team.
After averaging double-figures each of the last three seasons in Stillwater, Anderson is now in the portal. There are no tangible reports of where he could land next.
15. Kario Oquendo, G, Georgia
The 6'5 Oquendo is an A+++++ elite that does one thing at an extreme level: He gets buckets. The high-flier averaged 15 points per game two seasons ago in Athens, before finishing second on the team with 12.7 points per game in 2022-2023.
And when the season ended, he decided to both enter the portal and declare for the draft.
Because of the limitations on his game, Oquendo will probably end up returning to school. While he can score at will on opposing teams (even at the high-major level), he doesn't shoot the ball well (just 27 percent this year) and really doesn't make anyone around him better.
Right now Oquendo's recruitment is quiet as he goes through the draft process, but should he decide to return to college will find a landing spot at a high-major school.
16. Yohan Traore, F/C, Auburn
17. Matthew Cleveland, G/F, Florida State
18. Kadin Shedrick, F, Virginia
19. RaeQuan Battle, G/F, Montana State
20. Keshod Johnson, G/F, San Diego State
21. Arterio Morris, G, Texas
22. Primo Spears, G, Georgetown
23. Hakim Hart, F, Maryland
24. Aaron Estrada, G, Hofstra
25. Chris Ledlum, F, Harvard - UPDATE: Chris Ledlum has committed to Tennessee
26. Jamario Sharp, C, Western Kentucky
27. Tarin Armstrong, G, Cal Baptist
28. Joe Girard, G, Syracuse
29. Posh Alexander, G, St. John's
30. Hunter Sallis, G, Gonzaga
Committed since our last list:
Jesse Edwards, F/C, Syracuse (committed to West Virginia)
TJ Bamba, G, Washington State (committed to Villanova)
Steven Ashworth, G, Utah State (committed to Creighton)
El Ellis, G, Louisville (committed to Arkansas)
Khalif Battle, G/F, Temple (committed to Temple)
Will Baker, F/C, Nevada (committed to LSU)
Reese Dixon-Waters, F, USC (committed to San Diego State)
AJ Storr, G/F, St. John's (committed to Wisconsin)
Ugonna Onyenso, C, Kentucky (will return to Kentucky)
Darrion Williams, F, Nevada (committed to Texas Tech)
Ace Baldwin, G, VCU (committed to Penn State)
LJ Cryer, G, Baylor (committed to Houston)
Kel'El Ware, F/C, Oregon (committed to Indiana)
Tramon Mark, G/F, Houston (committed to Arkansas)
JJ Starling, G, Notre Dame (Committed to Syracuse)
Jameer Nelson Jr., G, Delaware (committed to Delaware)
Jalen Cook, G, Tulane (committed LSU)
Caleb Love, G, North Carolina (committed to Michigan)
Brandon Murray, G/F, Georgetown (committed to Ole Miss)
Dayvion McKnight, G, Western Kentucky (committed to Xavier)
JayKwon Walton, G/F, Wichita State (committed to Alabama)
Keyon Menifield, G, Washington (committed to Arkansas)
John Tonje, G, Colorado State (Committed to Missouri)
Walter Clayton Jr., G, Iona (committed to Florida)
Denver Jones, G, Florida International (committed to Auburn)
Jayden Epps, G, Illinois (committed to Georgetown)
Micah Handlogten, C, Marshall (Committed to Florida)
Caleb Mills, G, Florida State (Committed to Memphis)
Steele Venters, G, Eastern Washington (committed to Gonzaga)
Fardaws Aimaq, F, Texas Tech (committed to Cal)
Kerr Kriisa, G, Arizona (committed to West Virginia
Jamison Battle, G/F, Minnesota (committed to Ohio State)
Skyy Clark, G, Illinois (Committed to Louisville)
Paxson Wojcik, G, Brown (Committed to North Carolina)
Read Version III of our "Best Players in the Portal" HERE