Transfer Check In
JuCo transfers who are having success in their first year of DI.
Now that we are nearing the halfway point of the college basketball season, it’s time to take a look at what junior college transfers are having the most impact during their first year of NCAA Division I basketball.
Junior college transfers don’t have it easy when arriving on campus. They only have two years of eligibility remaining which means there isn’t time to take a year and absorb the new system. They have to be ready immediately and are expected to be physically and mentally prepared to contribute from the first practice.
There are plenty of JuCo transfers across the country who are having success. Here is a look at a handful of players who are not only making an impact statistically, but are also helping their team win games:
Pierre Jackson | Baylor | 5-10/ Combo Guard
The former NJCAA DI Player of the Year at College of Southern Idaho hasn’t taken long to adjust to the next level. Jackson is averaging 11 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds per game. He is shooting 55 percent from the field, 51 percent from the three-point line and 90 percent from the free-throw line. Baylor is currently 11-0 and is ranked No. 6 in the country.
Sam Grooms | Oklahoma | 6-1/PG
Grooms, a transfer from Chipola College, has started every game since arriving in Norman. He has embraced his role as a leader on the floor and is a true point guard. Grooms is averaging 7 points, 5.2 assists per game to go along with a 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio. He leads the team in free throws attempted and gets to the line 4 times per game. The Sooners are 9-1 under first-year head coach Lon Kruger.
Tyrus McGee | Iowa State | 6-2/SG
McGee was one of the best shooters in the country during his junior college career at Cowley County CC in Kansas. Not much has changed at Iowa State; he is shooting 48 percent from the field, 47 percent from beyond the three point line and 90 percent from the free throw line. McGee is extremely productive in his 19.8 minutes per night; he is averaging 10 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. The Cyclones are 9-3 with one non-conference game remaining before their Big 12 schedule gets underway.
Marcos Knight | Middle Tennessee St. | 6-2/G
Knight has made a big-time impact during his first season at MTSU. The Chipola (FL) transfer is leading Middle Tennessee (11-2) in minutes played and is averaging 13.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per night. Knight’s strength and ability to defend has made his transition from JC to DI a very smooth process. Knight’s younger brother Trantel (currently a sophomore at Chipola) has signed his National Letter of Intent to play for Kermit Davis and MTSU next season. First year JC transfers Raymond Cintron and Bruce Massey are also giving Middle Tennessee quality production.
Julian Welch | Minnesota | 6-3/G
Welch made an immediate impact for the Gophers this season after transferring in from Yuba CC in California. Welch spent his freshman year at UC Davis and was named Big West Freshman of the Year. At Minnesota he is scoring 10 points per game in 23 minutes per night. He is shooting the ball well from the field as well (2FG%: 51, 3FG%: 42.5, FT%: 88). The Golden Gophers are off to a 12-1 start this season, but the true test will be when they enter Big 10 play. Last season they started off 11-1 and finished the season 17-4.
Dylan Talley | Nebraska | 6-5/SG
Talley is providing very productive minutes off the bench for Doc Sadler and the Huskers who sit at 8-3 before beginning the rugged Big 10 schedule after Christmas. Talley, a transfer from Blinn College in Texas, is averaging 10 points and 4 rebounds per game in 21 minutes per contest. Talley has a big frame and previous DI experience (Binghamton/America East Rookie of the Year ’09-10) which will be helpful with the transition to Big 10 play.
Jonathon Williams | Wagner | 6-6/SG/SF
Williams spent last season at City College of San Francisco and was named conference MVP, First Team All-State and helped guide CCSF to the California JC State Championship. Williams went nearly 3,000 miles to finish his academic and athletic career at Wagner. I’m sure there are many schools in between San Francisco and Staten Island that would love to have Williams now. Wagner is off to a 7-3 start under Danny Hurley and Williams is their leading scorer (13.9 ppg) and second leading rebounder (4.8 rpg). Williams is putting up these numbers in 24 minutes of action per night.
Kyisean Reed | Utah State | 6-6/F
Reed, an explosive forward out of Antelope Valley CC in California, is averaging 10 points and 5 rebounds per game for Utah State. He is shooting 63 percent from the field this season which is good for 27th in the country. Reed is coming off of a big game in a win over Kent State where he had 27 points on 12-13 shooting from the field.
Taaj Ridley | Iona | 6-7/F
Ridley is fitting in very well with Iona’s high-powered, up-tempo offense. He brings physical play and toughness to the Gaels. The Lawson State CC (AL) transfer is averaging 9 points and 4.5 rebounds for Iona (10-2). Ridley is shooting 55 percent from the field and has started every game this season.
Carl Hall | Wichita State | 6-8/PF
Hall transferred to Wichita from NW Florida State where he had an excellent career. He was named Panhandle Conference POY and made the All-Tournament Team at the NJCAA DI National Tournament. At Wichita, Hall is averaging nearly 10 points and 6 rebounds in 21 minutes per night. He is shooting 55 percent from the field for the Shockers, who are 9-2 on the season and are a few spots out of the AP Top 25.