With the NCAA passing one-time transfer waiver legislation last spring and the graduate transfer path still an option for players to move in the offseason, the number of immediately eligible college players is at an all-time high. So it no longer makes sense to separate preseason player rankings by transfers and freshmen -- all players enter the season with the same opportunity to make an immediate impact.
That's why we started grouping transfers and freshmen last October, and why we are doing it again. Below we take a look at the top 91 players -- and a handful of other notables -- whose wearing of new jerseys in the 2021-22 college basketball season will have the most substantive impact on their teams.
One reminder: This is a ranking based purely on expected impact during the 2021-22 season. It's not a mock draft and it's not a rehash of the recruiting rankings. For example, Michigan State's Max Christie was ranked behind classmates Nate Bittle (Oregon) and Moussa Diabate (Michigan) in the 2021 ESPN 100 -- but has a clearer path to an immediate impact from day one on a college basketball court.
1. Paolo Banchero, Duke (freshman): The fact that Banchero was named preseason ACC Player of the Year says it all. He will have the opportunity to put up huge numbers right off the bat, and he's the most college-ready freshman entering the sport.