These guys haven’t been with their new teams that long. But that’s why their debuts have been so impressive. The following transfers, who all became eligible this season, are vital for their new programs.
Mike Moser (UCLA to UNLV). Sometimes I wonder if the transfer from UCLA earns a salary. Not because of anything foul. It’s just that Moser puts in so much work every time I see him play. The Mountain West’s player of the year thus far is averaging 14.7 ppg and 11.6 rpg.
Arnett Moultrie (UTEP to Mississippi State). The UTEP transfer is one of the most exciting players in the SEC. He’s averaging 16.8 ppg and 11.3 rpg. If Mississippi State finishes strong, Moultrie will warrant more national player of the year buzz.
Royce White (Minnesota to Iowa State). Before his Wildcats lost at Iowa State last week, coach Frank Martin expressed concerns about matching up with Royce White, a 6-foot-8, 270-pound forward who plays point guard for Fred Hoiberg. Now we know why he and others around the league worry so much about this transfer from Minnesota. He hit the game-winner against Kansas State days after leading Iowa State to an upset over Kansas.
Elston Turner (Washington to Texas A&M). The Aggies have hit some early roadblocks. But Turner, who transferred from Washington, scored 23 points to help a depleted Texas A&M squad beat Oklahoma State 76-61 Saturday. The junior guard (14.7 ppg) is one of the most versatile players in the Big 12 and he’s carrying a heavy load for a Texas A&M squad that can’t seem to get healthy.
Matt Carlino (UCLA to BYU). I’m kind of rooting for the BYU guard just because I want “Carlino’s Way” to really take off nationally. But seriously, this midseason addition has helped BYU stay in the top tier of the WCC standings in its first season with the conference. Carlino (12.4 ppg) scored 15 points in BYU’s 80-66 loss to Saint Mary’s Saturday. That final score may have been different had Carlino hit one of his five 3-point attempts.
Devoe Joseph (Minnesota to Oregon). Another Tubby Smith recruit helping another team. The Canadian combo guard is averaging 15.4 ppg for Oregon. Since he joined the team in early December, Oregon has amassed an 11-4 record. Joseph is weapon for an Oregon team that’s definitely in Pac-12’s whacky mix.
LaRon Dendy (Iowa State to Middle Tennessee). The Blue Raiders, ranked 37th in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings, have hovered near the RPI’s Top 50 for weeks. But they’ll most likely need the Sun Belt tourney title to guarantee an NCAA bid. If they get there, watch out for Dendy (14.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and his disruptive Middle Tennessee teammates.
Kevin Dillard (Southern Illinois to Dayton). The Southern Illinois transfer is leading the Flyers in scoring (13.0 ppg) and assists (6.2 apg). Dayton has lost three in a row. But in the unpredictable Atlantic 10 that’s not a “sky is falling” skid. That league’s race is far from over. With Dillard, the Flyers can make a push back to the top.
Travis Wear (North Carolina to UCLA). The Bruins haven’t met preseason expectations. But the 6-foot-10 center is one of the program’s bright spots right now. Wear is on a tear. He’s recorded at least 14 points and five rebounds in six of his past seven games.
Justin Cobbs (Minnesota to Cal). Yes, this list features three players who originally played for Minnesota. Cobbs, a savvy guard for the Bears, is averaging 13.0 ppg. And his 5.0 apg in Pac-12 play ranks fourth in the conference.