College Basketball: Transfers Who Could Play Key Roles This Season

Mike HendersonCorrespondent IIMay 30, 2011

College Basketball: Transfers Who Could Play Key Roles This Season

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    This year's list of transfers, though noticeably lengthy, doesn't feature the depth of the past few seasons.

    There are some very intriguing grabs by teams that are either rebuilding or need to add a piece to what is already a solid nucleus.

    It is risky in many cases to sign transfers. On some occasions, the player has graduated and wants one more year to play (and study) closer to home or in a more competitive environment.

    On many more occasions though, difficulties with team rules, coaches or the law seem to predicate the change of scenery. So, in many cases, teams are gambling that problems of the past will not be problems in the future. 

    Here is a list of the top transfers, or more aptly, the ones who have the best chance to make an impact with their new teams.

Carlon Brown (Utah to Colorado)

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    Utah's leading scorer two seasons ago, Brown comes to the Buffaloes at a very opportune time.

    First, Alec Burks (NBA) and Cory Higgins (graduation) are gone. Second, the Buffs are moving to the Pac-12 for the upcoming year, into a conference that has seen its share of ups and downs during the past two seasons.

    Brown will give Colorado scoring and, because he has already played three seasons in college, some leadership that will help ease the losses of Burks and Higgins.

Olu Ashaolu (Louisiana Tech to Oregon)

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    Though not a known commodity, Ashaolu averaged close to a double-double last season (14.2 points, 9.4 rebounds per game) with Louisiana Tech.

    He is a very athletic 6'6" and is a relentless rebounder, and will be a good fit into Dana Altman's one-in, four-out system. He is eligible this season because he has graduated.

    If Ashaolu finds his niche with the Ducks, he could be a key piece to darkhorse Ducks team.

Rakim Sanders (Boston College to Fairfield)

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    Sanders had a good three-year stay at Boston College, averaging close to 12 points per game.

    He comes to a team that returns its top two players, Derek Needham and seven-footer Ryan Olander. The Stags finished first in the MAAC with a 15-3 record before a loss to St. Peter's in the league tournament spoiled what was otherwise a very good season.

    Sanders will start immediately for new coach Sydney Johnson and could help Fairfield reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1997.

Royce White (Minnesota to Iowa State)

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    White's story is well-chronicled.

    Suspensions and legal issues ended his career with the Gophers before it ever started. 

    Within Fred Hoiberg's up-tempo, pro-style attack, White will have the opportunity to realize the potential he showed coming out of Hopkins High School two years ago.

Kevin Dillard (Southern Illinois to Dayton)

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    Dillard is also a little under the radar, but is a solid point guard and an excellent three-point shooter.

    He is going to get minutes for new coach Archie Miller, especially in light of Juwan Staten's departure. Dillard averaged over 12 points per game in two seasons with the Salukis, despite toiling in an offensive system that was, to be flattering, stifling.

    If Miller decides to more up-tempo, Dillard could really excel.

Gary Franklin (California to Baylor)

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    Playing time wasn't an issue for Franklin last season with the California Bears, but whatever the reason, he was gone less than 10 games into the season.

    With Baylor lacking a standout point guard, Franklin could have a very important role when he is eligible in December.

    Baylor is loaded up front with Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy and freshman Quincy Miller. Finding a guard with a good handle and distribution skills could transform a team with great potential into a great team.

    Franklin will have the opportunity to be that guard.

Arnett Moultrie (UTEP to Mississippi State)

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    Moultrie's decision to come to Starkville is huge for the Bulldogs.

    The 6'11" center is an excellent rim defender, a solid rebounder and can score off of the offensive glass. His presence will allow Renardo Sidney a little extra space in the offensive end as well.

    His career averages of 9.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in two seasons with UTEP were solid but with Sidney, Dee Bost and Rodney Hood on the floor with him, Moultrie will have the opportunity to improve those numbers.

Devoe Joseph (Minnesota to Oregon)

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    Another former Gopher who ran afoul of the program and coach Tubby Smith, Joseph was suspended for the first six games of the season, played eight, then after another suspension, decided to transfer.

    This is more good news for the Ducks, if they don't have to endure the same headaches. Joseph was averaging 11.3 points per game, a career-high, before his departure and can play the point or the two-guard spot.

    He is eligible after the fall semester so will suit up for the full Pac-12 slate. He is good enough to make an impact if he shows the maturity the Ducks need.

Kenny Kadji (Florida to Miami)

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    Kadji's time in Florida wasn't what anyone had anticipated for the highly regarded recruit. After a decent freshman season, Kadji missed the majority of his sophomore season due back problems that required surgery.

    Kadji is a true post player who had Vernon Macklin, Alex Tyus and Patric Young ahead of him on the depth chart so his time would have been limited.

    He may get more of an audition for new Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga, who has another big man down low in Reggie Johnson. The two could be a formidable duo for a team that could easily find themselves in the top half of the ACC.

Jelan Kendrick (Memphis to Mississippi)

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    Kendrick was also a highly-touted recruit, one of the top small forwards from last year's class.

    But he didn't play a minute for Memphis.

    Coach Josh Pastner essentially told Kendrick to be a team player or play on another team. He stuck to his guns and the latter is now a Rebel, an ironic twist.

    Kendrick has the skills to be a great player but needs to mature and realize that he can't do it all himself. Mississippi will give him minutes right away to see if he can figure this out.