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Portal Probability: Best Transfer Fits for KU, KSU, and Mizzou

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

The college basketball season is upon us once again, and with plenty of holes to fill for all three local programs the transfer portal will most certainly be utilized. There will be plenty of action to watch for from both players and teams as to what these rosters will look like next season, and with this article I wanted to analyze who would be the best fit for each school. Feel free to add your opinions in the comments below, and let's see if these teams will get whoever is on their wish list.

Kansas: Nicolas Timberlake, Guard, Towson

Kansas has perhaps the most holes to fill out of any of the three teams. They've lost Jalen Wilson, Gradey Dick, more than likely Kevin McCullar, MJ Rice, Joe Yesefu, Zach Clemence, Bobby Pettiford, and Cam Martin, roughly half their roster. While Kansas has a solid group of recruits coming in, they'll need some help from the transfer portal if they expect to be contenders next year. Guard is a significant need for KU at the moment. They have VERY little depth and experience behind Dajuan Harris and could really use a guy that can start immediately, can shoot effectively, and has the ability to compete in the Big 12. Enter Nicolas Timberlake. Timberlake is 6'4", averaged 17.7 PPG, 3.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and was 42% from 3. A tall guard that is an absolute sniper, Timberlake could bring back consistent perimeter shooting for the Hawks, something that really ebbed and flowed throughout the year. Not only that, but he has two years of eligibility remaining, which means two years of building the very young roster the Hawks will have next year. A lot of Caleb Love, LJ Cryer, Max Abmas, etc. is being thrown around with regard to guards, and while I agree that they would also make an immediate impact if they were to come on board, Timberlake is the most consistent performer, he's the tallest of the group, and really doesn't have that many suitors as the guards listed. Love is a marquee North Carolina transfer, Cryer will more than likely go to Tang and Kansas State (More on that later), and Max Abmas hit the portal once his coach at ORU left for Wichita State, which tells me he will more than likely follow. A big like Hunter Dickinson would also be beneficial, but not as needed given the presence of Ernest Udeh, KJ Adams, and Zuby Ejiofor. It's a bit deeper, and Kansas has shown they don't necessarily need a deep lineup of bigs to play quality basketball. In the end, Timberlake makes the most sense out of any on the list of guards in the portal now.

Kansas State: LJ Cryer, Guard, Baylor

Told you he'd make an appearance again, and I know a lot of Kansas folks will be mad at me for this one, but in the end, this move just makes too much sense. Cryer and K-State Head Coach Jerome Tang were a player-coach duo at Baylor until last year, and with the successes that Tang has brought to Kansas State over this past year, there's little doubt Cryer has plenty of interest. Not only that, but Kansas State is also looking for another guard to make a similar impact that Markquis Nowell made this past year, and Cryer can be that guy. Similar size, a desire to be the lead point guard and ball handler, and the ability to score off a whim are all traits Cryer shares with Nowell. 45.3% average FG%, 15 average PPG, 89.4% FT%, and 41.5% 3PT% are just a few of the traits that makes Cryer a hot commodity in the portal, but the Baylor connection along with the potential to have a Nowell 2.0 is incredibly enticing for both Kansas State and Cryer. I would be shocked if this transfer does not happen, but stranger things have occurred...

Missouri: Tamar Bates, Guard, Indiana

Missouri is coming off a revitalizing season that saw the Tigers be competitive in the SEC for what feels like the first time in a long while. Dennis Gates has given this team new life after having one of their worst seasons a year ago. After this memorable season though, this Missouri roster could look incredibly different next year. Multiple seniors leaving, losing Mo Diarra and Ronnie DeGray III while gaining a backcourt player in Colorado State's John Tonje, and the roller coaster that is recruiting and the topic of this article could potentially give this Tiger team a brand-new look. Two guys in particular catch my eye personally, and that would be North Carolina guard Caleb Love and Indiana guard Tamar Bates. While Missouri needs some front court help, and a guy like Hunter Dickinson or Olivier Nkamhoua would be a huge get, it's not entirely realistic given the connections and the popularity of these two guys. After these two guys, the level of play you see from transfer portal bigs drops pretty dramatically (Let's be honest, does Mizzou want Zach Clemence or Cam Martin? DO they?) The thing about Caleb Love and Tamar Bates is this: They're both plug and play guards that could increase Mizzou's backcourt play even further to the point of where it could be the best in the nation, and they're both Missouri natives that Mizzou actually pursued when they were in high school. I like Tamar Bates more though because he's flying more under the radar than Caleb Love, who has a TON of interest, including interest from Bates's old program Indiana. Bates had a 39.2% FG%, a 37.4% 3PT%, averaged 6.1 PPG, and had a 92.6% FT%. Not eye-popping but given the fact that he averaged 20 minutes a game along with playing in a frontcourt focused team like Indiana, he has the potential to be a breakout starter for the Tigers. He has a ton of eligibility left, so he could also play behind Kaleb Brown, Isiaih Mosley, and/or Kobe Brown if he decides to stay, and get more minutes than he would at IU. Bates has a ton of potential, he's a Missouri native, and could be another key piece to a deep MU backcourt, a unit that looked really good last year. If Mizzou wants to continue that into next year and beyond, I believe Bates to be the most feasible option.

What do you think though? Any players on your transfer list that you want to see your team add? Let me know down below or on social media. The college basketball offseason can be a wild time, and we should all be here for it. I'd argue it's garnering more attention than this National Championship game will, but that remains to be seen....

Burn Notice: 8/10 Just wait until the Summer when the portal will really heat up...

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