BYU, Gonzaga among WCC winners during transfer portal season
SALT LAKE CITY – The transfer portal has played an important role in varsity athletics, but no sport is more impacted by the portal than varsity basketball. To build an NCAA tournament team, you probably need to be active on the portal. It’s the name of the game now, and BYU’s league, the West Coast Conference, is no different.
As the transfer portal madness ends as the rosters begin to lock down for the upcoming season, it’s time to take a look at the WCC winners and losers on the transfer portal.
WCC Transfer Portal Winners
Additions: Te’Jon Lucas (Guard, Milwaukee); Seneca Knight (Guard, LSU)
Departures: Connor Harding (UVU); Koly Lee (Dixie State); Wyatt Lowell (Snow College); Cameron Pearson
BYU has improved its roster by adding Te’Jon Lucas and Seneca Knight out of the portal. They have the appearance of another general bid team in the NCAA tournament. Te’Jon Lucas is teaming up with Alex Barcello to form one of the most experienced backcourt in the country and Knight, if he gets a waiver, fits well into all three.
Additions: Rasir Bolton (Goalkeeper, Iowa State)
Departures: Oumar Ballo (Arizona); Aaron Cook (Georgia); Pavel Zakharov (California Baptist)
The Gonzaga Bulldogs, national finalists, continue to produce talent. The transfer season hasn’t been as active for the Zags as in previous years, but they still land All-Big 12 interpreter Rasir Bolton, who will have the heavy task of trying to replace Jalen Suggs.
Oumar Ballo was a loss to Arizona due to his high scout status, but he never gave in to the Zags’ rotation.
Additions: Parker Braun (Avant, Missouri); Danilo Djuricic (forward, Harvard); PJ Pipes (Guard, Green Bay)
Departures: Ezekiel Richards (Northern Arizona); Trent Hudgens, Jr. (Northern Colorado); Austin Bags
This coming season looks to be the best lineup for Herb Sendek in his time with the Broncos. Santa Clara is sacking All-WCC performer Josip Vrankic for another season and teaming up with transfer portal headliners Danilo Djurici and PJ Pipes. The Broncos have the talent to be in the top three WCC teams this season.
Additions: Chris Austin (Garde, Fordham); Mike Meadows (Guard, Eastern Washington); Jack Perry (Guard, Eastern Washington); Tyler Robertson (forward, East Washington); Kristian Sjolund (forward, UTEP); Moses Wood (Forward, UNLV).
Departures: Chase Adams (SLCC); Ahmed Ali; Hayden Curtiss (State of Portland); Isiah Dasher (Saint-Pierre); Eddie Davis; Tahirou Diabaté (State of San Diego); Quincy Férébee; Clythus Griffith, Jr.; Mikey Henn (Denver); Latrell Jones (Nicholls State); Hunter Seymour (Cal State Dominguez Hills).
New Portland head coach Shantay Legans is revising a driver program that was just plain bad under Terry Porter. Legans is from eastern Washington and he’s brought a few talented players out of the portal, with former Georgia Tech and UTEP player Kristian Sjolund headlining, who shot 47% in three years. last at UTEP.
The Pilots will likely still be close to the bottom half of the league, but Legans injects some life into the Bluff, who haven’t been there since Eric Reveno was fired.
WCC Transfer Portal Losers
Randy Bennett sacked pretty much everyone from last year’s squad that reached the NIT. Yet in the age of college basketball, not actively pursuing transfers could backfire. The Gaels will be led by Logan Johnson, Tommy Kuhse and Matthias Tass.
The rest of the comings and goings of the WCC portal
Additions: Gary Harris, Jr. (Guard, Siena); Kwane Marble II (Guard, Wyoming); Alex Merkviladze (forward, Cal State Northridge); Cameron Shelton (Guard, Northern Arizona)
Departures: Parker Dortch; Lazar Nekic
Additions: Alphonso Anderson (Forward, State of Utah); Luke Avdalovic (guard, northern Arizona); Nicquel Blake (Goalkeeper, UNLV); Sam Freeman (Center, Minnesota); Greg Outlaw (Guardian, Central Connecticut State)
Departures: Broc Finstuen (Cleveland State); Jervay Green (Talladega College); James Hampshire (UNLV); Daniss Jenkins; Jahbril Price-Noël (Wagner); Jonathan salazar
Additions: Keith Fisher III (Forward, State of Illinois); Braun Hartfield (Goalkeeper, San Diego)
Departures: Sedrick Altman (Cavalier); Andre Ball (Cal State Dominguez Hills); Everett Perrot
Additions: TJ Berger (Guard, Georgetown); Terrell Brown (Avant, Pitt); Marcellus Earlington (Forward, St. John’s); Bryce Monroe (Guardian, Sam Houston State); Jase Townsend (Goalkeeper, Denver)
Departures: Felipe Doria; Jason Gallant; Mikal Gjerde (Rockhurst); Braun Hartfield (Pepperdine); Frankie Hughes; Marion Humphrey (SLCC); Yauhen Massalski (San Francisco); Ben Pyle; Jared Rodriguez (State of Idaho); Finn sullivan
Additions: Yauhen Massalski (forward, San Diego); Zane Meeks (Avant, Nevada); Gabriele Stefani (Guard, Colombia); Patrick Tape (striker, duke)
Departures: Trevanta Anderson (Idaho); Samba Kane (Milwaukee); Damari Milstead (Cal State Fullerton); Antoine Roy.
Mitch Harper is a BYU insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.