After every college basketball season, the list of transfers on the move is seemingly increasing year after year after year. This summer was no exception as the transfer number might have reached an all-time high with nearly 500 players making their way to new schools.
The NEC is not immune to the transfer dilemma as nearly 20 players who were on NEC rosters in 2013-14 have left their teams for any of a multitude of reasons whether it is either for more playing time, to be closer to home, to play at a level more suitable to their skills, etc.
With these departures comes openings on rosters and a good way to fill some pressing needs is to bring in transfers, from either the junior college ranks or guys who left their previous schools for reasons mentioned above, that can help contribute right away.
This season, seven of the NEC’s ten teams with have at least one eligible transfer on their roster who will look to make an instant impact to their team’s success. Let’s take a look at this season’s NEC transfers looking to make their mark on the conference.
Sacred Heart will look to get immediate contributions from 6’6” Hofstra transfer Jordan Allen. Allen, who had reportedly been considering playing for LIU Brooklyn before making his final decision to play for head coach Anthony Latina and his Pioneers in July, started in all 30 games he played for Hofstra last season. He averaged 6.6 ppg and 4.8 rpg in his 28.2 minutes per game a season ago. He shot 45% from the floor last season. He does have some flaws to his game. He is a poor free throw shooter at 44.8% last season and committed 118 fouls and fouled out of 13 games. He reached double figure scoring eight times with a season-high of 18 points versus Delaware. Allen will likely be inserted right into the starting lineup in the front court as Sacred Heart will look for him to replace some of the production lost from Louis Montes and Mostafa Abdul Latif from graduation. Allen will have two years of eligibility remaining and is immediately eligible since he graduated from Hofstra in May.
Robert Morris will have a pair of junior college transfers coming in, both from Cloud County Community College in Kansas in 6’9” junior forward Lionel Gomis and 6’5” junior guard Rodney Pryor. Gomis played in 30 games last season with 29 starts and scored 5.3 ppg with 7.6 rpg. He shot 39.5% from the floor in 2013-14. This guy is a monster rebounder. He had ten games of at least ten rebounds or more last season and had one game where he ended up with 21 rebounds. He fouled out seven times and had 22 total blocks last season. Gomis is not much of a scorer, hitting double figures just twice and scoring a season-high 12 points both times. He does fit the defensive style head coach Andy Toole loves to play at RMU. Could see him making an impact on the defensive end this season for the Colonials.
Pryor is a bit of an enigma. He didn’t play last season after he tore his ACL last October. He played his freshman season at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa. He played in 22 games that season, scoring 91 total points. He shot 44% from the floor and was 8 for 31 from three. It will be interesting to see how much of a contribution Pryor will have on this RMU team in 2014-15 with guards like Charles Oliver and David Appolon likely ahead of him on the depth chart.
The Bryant Bulldogs will have one eligible transfer on their roster this season in 6’5” redshirt junior guard Zach Chionuma. He sat out last season after transferring to Bryant from Boston University. At Boston U., he appeared in 60 games during his two seasons at BU and averaged just 1.8 ppg while shooting 32.8% from the floor. He shot 28% from three and averaged just 6.7 mpg. If there is one position Bryant is loaded at, it is at guard, both point guard and shooting guard, and with Dyami Starks, Joe O’Shea and Curtis Oakley likely getting the bulk of the playing time, it is going to be hard to figure what kind of an impact if any Chionuma will have with Bryant this season.
At Mount St. Mary’s, there is plenty of size returning back for the reigning NEC champs. They add one more front line guy in 6’8” junior forward Andrew Smeathers. Smeathers sat out last season after transferring to the Mount from Butler where he averaged 1.5 ppg in 43 games played over two seasons. He shot 28.4% from the field and 26.2% from three in limited minutes at Butler. He did have a career-high 17 points against non-Division I opponent Oakland City. Smeathers like to shoot the three and at the Mount, that is encouraged so he should fit right in immediately into Christian’s Mount Mayhem offense which relies heavily on the three.
Another transfer coming into the Mount is 6’0” junior guard Chris Martin who arrives from Marshall. Martin sat out last season after playing in 41 games over two seasons at Marshall. He averaged 2.6 ppg over his two seasons there and shot 28.9% from the field and 27.6% from three. Averaged 15.1 minutes per game his sophomore season in 2012-13 and scored 13 points at Villanova and 12 points at Hofstra. Martin could possibly could see himself in the mix at guard as Christian is known for playing a lot of guys in the Mayhem system to keep the pressure on opponents both offensively and defensively.
Wagner got a bit of a surprise this offseason with the transfer of Mario Moody to Bethune-Cookman. That created a big hole in their front court. Wagner head coach Bashir Mason decided to hit the transfer market to plug in the holes up front. He landed 6’6” junior college transfer Stedman Allen from Labette Community College in Kansas. Allen put up some impressive numbers in junior college. He averaged 18 ppg and 10 rpg his freshman season and then repeated his fine play last season with an 18.1 ppg and 7.3 rpg season. He shot 45.4 % from the floor last season and hit nearly 77% of his free throws. He had sixteen games last season where he went for 20 or more points in a game and scored a season-high 31 points. Allen is also an outstanding rebounder. He had seven doubles-doubles a season ago and only fouled out of three games so he keeps himself in games. I would have to imagine Allen will be immediately inserted to Wagner’s starting lineup from game one to fill the hole left behind by Mario Moody.
Wagner also landed a late transfer in former Wagner commit Mike Aaman. Aaman transferred in from Rhode Island where he played the last two seasons under former Wagner head coach Dan Hurley. The 6’8” forward averaged 4.4 ppg and 3.1 rpg in 30 total games at URI in his two seasons there. He played just five games last season due to various injuries including issues with concussions that ultimately caused him to leave URI. Aaman shot 28.9% from the field and 27.6% from three and just 44.4% from the free throw line while at URI. He choose to commit to Wagner in August after visits to LIU Brooklyn and Niagara. Aaman has applied for a transfer waiver in an attempt to play this season. If the NCAA accepts his waiver request, Bashir Mason will have another good piece for his front court. Aaman is a bit of a gamble considering he has major issues with concussions and could be one more concussion away from having his career being ended. On Tuesday, Aaman was medically cleared to play this season if he becomes eligible. Aaman reportedly played well and looked great at the Jersey Shore Summer League this summer. If he plays this season, he should have immediate impact on Wagner’s team this season.
LIU Brooklyn last week landed a late transfer in 6’5” junior college junior forward Jonathon Tshibury. Tshibury arrives to Downtown Brooklyn from Missouri State-West Plains. Here is more in-depth info I posted up last week regarding Tshibury. He joins a young but what may be a rather entertaining LIU Brooklyn team this season.
One team who went heavy on the transfer market was St. Francis Brooklyn. Head coach Glenn Braica and his staff brought in four junior college transfers. Two who signed early on this offseason is 6’6” junior forward Chris Hooper and 6’2” junior guard Tyreek Jewell. They also signed a pair of late transfers just last week in 6’5” guard/forward Jonathon Doss and 6’8” forward/center Antonio Jenifer.
Hooper is a Bronx native who did not play in 2013-14 after playing the previous two seasons at two different junior colleges. Two seasons ago at Odessa Community College, he played in 29 games and averaged 6.9 ppg and 5.8 rpg in shooting 51.6% from the floor. In his freshman season at Kaskaskia College, he played in 30 games and averaged 11.7 ppg and 9 rpg and shot 62% from the floor and averaged nearly a block a game defensively. Hooper adds depth to an already pretty loaded front court.
Jewell comes to Brooklyn Heights after a great season in 2013-14. He played at Jamestown Community College outside of Buffalo and averaged a tremendous 25.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 3.8 apg in 24 games a season ago. He shot 44.3% from the floor and 39% from three. Had four games where he DIDN’T go for at least 20 points in a game and nine times went for at least 30 or more points including a season-high 37 points. He also had an equally impressive freshman season where is averaged 21.3 ppg, 9.4 rpg and 2.1 apg and shot 46.2% from the floor and scored a career-high 38 points in his very first college game. There is little doubt he will land the open starting shooting guard spot available after the graduation of Ben Mockford.
Doss was one of two late transfers to the SFC roster. Doss is a 6’5” junior guard who comes from Eastern Wyoming College in Wyoming. Last season, Doss played in 17 games and averaged 18.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.1 apg while shooting 51.2% from the floor and 40.5% from three. He had a season-high 30 points in a game a season ago. Also had a nice freshman season where he played 31 games and averaged 13.8 ppg and 4.3 rpg and shot 41.5% from the field. Doss should be in competition to get himself into the rotation at the third guard spot with these kind of numbers in junior college. Will have to fight for time with guys like Kevin Douglas and Lowell Ulmer returning.
Lastly, Antonio Jenifer is arriving to SFC from Hagerstown Community College in Maryland. Jenifer did not play in 2013-14 although he was mentioned on Cal State Bakerfield’s athletics website last August but was never on their roster for last season. Two seasons ago at Hagerstown, Jenifer averaged 21.1 ppg and 8.4 rpg in 33 games that season. He shot 47.8% from the floor and 35.7% from three. Scored 30 or more five times in 2012-13 and scored a season-high 35 point in a game. In 2011-12, he averaged 16.6 ppg and 8 rpg in 32 games that season. He shot 54% from the floor and 32% from beyond the arc. He is also a good shot blocker with 49 blocks two seasons ago and 71 blocks his freshman season. It will be interesting to see how Glenn Braica will utilize Jenifer’s size in the middle. There is an opening at the five with Matt Milk’s departure but Jalen Cannon can play that spot and have other forwards play along side with him. Jenifer could make it interesting if he knocks off the rust and plays somewhat close to how he played in junior college. Far and away, SFC looks like they brought in some big time transfers that can play big roles in their success in 2013-14.
Also check out the first three installment of our 2014-15 NEC Previews. Part One: Manning the point: 2014-15 NEC Point Guard Preview, Part Two: Get Out the Three Goggles: The NEC’s Best Returning Three-Point Bombers and Part Three: Working the Interior: Previewing the 2014-15 NEC Bigs.