21 Mar

Ranking top 25 players in portal as Clifford Omoruyi paces Rutgers exodus

Rutgers has signed the nation’s No. 4 recruiting class in the 2024 cycle, according to 247Sports. The unprecedented haul for the Scarlet Knights is highlighted by five-star prospects Ace Bailey and Dylan Harper, who will collectively give coach Steve Pikiell’s program more star power than it’s ever had.

But as Rutgers welcomes in the most-celebrated class in school history, it is also dealing with a significant exodus of key players. Highlighting the crop of Scarlet Knights indicating their intent to transfer is defensive superstar Clifford Omoruyi. The 6-foot-11 center led the Big Ten in blocks during the 2023-24 season and has four seasons of high-level experience under his belt.

Other Rutgers players indicating their intent to transfer include Derek Simpson, Mawot Mag and Antoine Woolfolk, each of whom started at least six games in the 2023-24 season. Rutgers’ final 15-17 record marked its first sub-.500 season since 2018-19, so perhaps a roster revamp was necessary. But the exodus means that Pikiell’s work isn’t done with the signing of a great freshman class. He will have to be active in the portal as well, working hard to replace a hefty crop of departed production.

The spring portal window opened on March 18 and will remain open until May 1. However, players who have entered the portal by then don’t face a firm deadline on when they must commit. Additionally, graduate transfers and players impacted by coaching changes that occur after May 1 will be able to transfer after the deadline.

As players enter the portal, we will rank the best of them here. The rankings will be updated regularly as players either enter the portal or announce their intentions to enter the portal.

Check out the latest transfer portal updates from 247Sports

  1. Clifford Omoruyi
    Old school: Rutgers

Entering the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Omoruyi’s 93 blocks ranked fourth nationally. The 6-foot-11 center is an elite rim protector with consecutive Big Ten All-Defense honors. Omoruyi also averaged double figures in each of the last three seasons and posted 29 double-doubles in his four years with the program. He can’t do much away from the rim offensively but is excellent defensively.

  1. Jevon Porter
    Old school: Pepperdine

Porter ranked as a top-100 prospect in the Class of 2022 and earned honorable mention All-WCC honors this season while averaging 16.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and one block per game. The 6-foot-11 younger brother of Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. is a career 32.5% 3-point shooter and could get high-major interest because of his size, pedigree and flashes of perimeter shooting.

  1. Darlinstone Dubar
    Old school: Hofstra

Dubar is a 6-foot-6 wing who averaged 17.8 points and 6.8 rebounds on 39.9% 3-point shooting for a 20-win Hofstra team. He began his career at Iowa State, starting seven games for the Cyclones in 2020-21. As a fifth-year player with a proven shot and size, he’ll have opportunities to return to a major conference. Alabama guard Aaron Estrada is an example of a quality high-major player to come through Hofstra.

  1. Maxime Raynaud
    Old school: Stanford

Raynaud was named the Pac-12’s most improved player after nearly doubling his scoring average to 15.5 points per game as a junior. The seven-footer collected 9.6 rebounds per game and hit 36.1% of his 3-pointers on 61 attempts. The drawback is how limited he is defensively for a player of his size (0.8 blocks per game in 29.1 minutes).

  1. Tyrin Lawrence
    Old school: Vanderbilt

Lawrence is a 6-foot-4 guard with 105 career appearances for an SEC program under his belt. Though just a career 28.7% 3-point shooter, he’s a good defender and averaged better than 13 points per game the past two seasons. He is the type of seasoned veteran with a track record of production who could provide reliable minutes for a good high-major program.

  1. Brandon Garrison
    Old school: Oklahoma State

Garrison showed glimpses of why he was a top-50 prospect and McDonald’s All-American in the Class of 2023 during his freshman season at Oklahoma State. There are offensive strides to be made, but Garrison blocked 1.5 shots per game in just 22.7 minutes and has three seasons of eligibility remaining to continue realizing his potential.

  1. Gibson Jimerson
    Old school: Saint Louis

Shooters like Jimerson don’t come around often. The 6-foot-5 wing hit 39.5% of his 789 long-range attempts over five seasons for Saint Louis. He’s got one season left to play and should be highly sought after demonstrating one of college basketball’s most consistent outside strokes in an unparalleled sample size.

  1. Jacob Crews
    Old school: UT Martin | New school: Missouri

Crews shot 41.4% from 3-point range on 6.7 attempts per game as a junior for a UT Martin team that won a share of the OVC regular-season title. He also yanked down 8.2 rebounds per game for the Skyhawks. There are questions about his defense, but at 6-7 and with a good shooting stroke, he will garner significant interest.

  1. Dug McDaniel
    Old school: Michigan

McDaniel averaged 16.3 points and 4.7 assists while shooting 36.8% from 3-point range on 5.8 attempts for a bad Michigan team. The 5-11 guard also rated as the Wolverines’ top defender, per evanmiya.com. Although his offensive numbers dipped against Big Ten foes, the former four-star prospect will help a team needing to upgrade its guard play.

  1. Kanaan Carlyle
    Old school: Stanford

Carlyle averaged 11.5 points and 2.7 assists per game in his freshman season at Stanford after ranking as a four-star prospect in the Class of 2023. His best games came against Arizona and Washington State, which were both NCAA Tournament teams. With three seasons of eligibility remaining and a proven body of work at the high-major level, there is some upside here.

  1. Koren Johnson
    Old school: Washington

Johnson earned Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year honors while averaging 11.1 points, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals for Washington. The 6-foot-2 guard is a career 35.1% 3-point shooter over his two seasons and also rates as a good defender for his size.

  1. Malik Dia
    Old school: Belmont

Dia shined as a dynamic frontcourt player in his sophomore season at Belmont after playing sparingly during his freshman season at Vanderbilt. He averaged 16.9 points and 5.8 boards for the Bruins while shooting 34.1% from 3-point range. He’s 6-9 and has surprising athleticism for a player with such a big frame. His game needs refining, but Dia’s upside is clear.

  1. Ja’Kobi Gillespie
    Old school: Belmont

Belmont was at its best with Gillespie on the floor; he averaged 17.2 points, 4.2 assists and 2.2 steals for the Bruins. The 6-foot guard is on the smaller side but shot a ridiculous 66% inside the arc and a solid 38.7% beyond it. With two seasons of eligibility remaining, he’s worth a shot for a high-major team in need of an on-ball guard.

  1. Houston Mallette
    Old school: Pepperdine

Mallette is a career 37.5% 3-point shooter on 512 attempts over three seasons at Pepperdine. The 6-foot-5 guard upped his mark to a career-best 41.5% in 2023-24 and had big games against quality foes like Indiana State and UNLV. His combination of size and proven track record of perimeter shooting will be attractive.

  1. Bensley Joseph
    Old school: Miami

Joseph played a key role on Miami’s Final Four team in 2023 and upped his contributions to 9.6 points and 3.4 assists per game as a starter in 2023-24. The 6-foot-1 guard is a career 37.9% 3-point shooter and has one season left to play.

  1. Amari Williams
    Old school: Drexel

Williams earned CAA Defensive Player of the Year for a third straight season while averaging 1.8 blocks per game. The 6-foot-10 rim protector rated among the top-100 defenders in all of college basketball following the conclusion of conference tournament play, per evanmiya.com. He also scored 12.2 points and grabbed 7.8 rebounds for a 20-win Dragons team.

  1. Michael Ajayi
    Old school: Pepperdine

Ajayi is 6-foot-7 and hit 47% of his 3-pointers on 2.5 attempts per game while averaging 17.2 points in his lone season at Pepperdine. While Ajayi was a rebounding force for the Waves with 9.9 per game, his defense is a question mark. But there is enough here to pique the interest of high-major programs.

  1. Frankie Fidler
    Old school: Omaha

Fidler finished second in the Summit League in scoring at 20.1 points per game. The 6-foot-7 forward hit 35.6% of his 3-point attempts in 2023-24 and was effective against Big 12 foes TCU and Texas Tech. Max Abmas (Oral Roberts to Texas) and Grant Nelson (North Dakota State to Alabama) are recent examples of players from this league transferring up and playing big roles for good teams.

  1. Andrej Stojakovic
    Old school: Stanford

Stojakovic averaged 7.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 22.3 minutes per game as a freshman at Stanford after ranking as a top-25 prospect in the Class of 2023, per 247Sports. He hit just 32.7% of his 3-pointers and was not an impact defender. But with three seasons left to play, he’ll have time to realize the potential that made him a McDonald’s All-American.

  1. Clark Slajchert
    Old school: Penn

Slajchert shot 42.2% from 3-point range on 6.1 attempts per game in 2023-24 while averaging 18 points per game. At 6-foot-1, adapting to the defensive demands of the high-major level could be a challenge. But his offensive game will be attractive to high-major programs in need of perimeter firepower.

  1. Sincere Parker
    Old school: Saint Louis

Parker is the definition of instant offense. The 6-3 guard averaged 15.9 points per game in just 20.7 minutes per contest off the bench for Saint Louis while shooting 42.6% from 3-point range. He went for 30 or more three games in a row during one February stretch of A-10 play. That should make him interesting to high-major programs.

  1. Jordan Sears
    Old school: UT Martin

Looking for a bucket? Sears has you covered. The 5-foot-11 guard ranked ninth nationally in points per game at 21.6 after making 43.2% of his 3-pointers on 5.5 attempts per game for UT Martin. He also dished out 4.5 assists and rated as the Skyhawks’ top defender, per evanmiya.com. How it might translate to a tougher conference is difficult to decipher, but he’s worth a look for teams needing some scoring punch.

  1. Mikeal Brown-Jones
    Old school: UNC Greensboro

After two years of major minutes at UNC Greensboro, Brown-Jones has proven himself worthy of a high-major opportunity. He’s 6-foot-8 and hit 43.1% of his 3-pointers in 2023-24 for a 21-win team. In a past life, Brown-Jones was on the outskirts of the rotation for a VCU team that reached the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

  1. Jacob Meyer
    Old school: Coastal Carolina

Meyer was a bright spot for an otherwise bad Coastal Carolina team as a freshman, averaging 15.7 points on 40.2% 3-point shooting. The 6-foot-2 guard was an unheralded high school prospect but could get some high-major looks after a solid season in the Sun Belt.

  1. Dominick Harris
    Old school: Loyola Marymount

After beginning his career as a reserve at Gonzaga behind a logjam of good guards, Harris finally spread his wings at Loyola Marymount, averaging 14.3 points on 44.8% 3-point shooting in 2023-24. The 6-foot-3 guard is worth a shot from a high-major school.

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