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CBSSports.com Top 25 impact transfers

by | College Basketball Insider
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Top transfer Mark Lyons is ready to flex his muscles at Arizona. (US Presswire)  
Top transfer Mark Lyons is ready to flex his muscles at Arizona. (US Presswire)  


Moving around has become even more commonplace these days within the college basketball ranks. Transfers are at an all-time high, and it's only going to get worse with the success that Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg had last season with a bunch of second-chance guys -- including Royce White. Hoiberg has a couple more that should be critical this season -- and he's not alone.

Here are 25 transfers that will make a significant impact this season in college hoops.

2012 Preseason Top 25 impact transfers
1. * Mark Lyons, 6-1, PG, Sr., Arizona (from Xavier)
He wasn't exactly asked back to Xavier since he's not the easiest player to coach, but it's impossible to discount Lyons' ability. The questions are whether he can be a good leader, teammate and point guard. If he can, Sean Miller and the Wildcats can go far. Really far.
2. Rotnei Clarke, 6-0, G, Sr., Butler (from Arkansas)
Brad Stevens didn't have shooters last season. Now he's got the best one in the country. Clarke averages 15.2 points two years ago as a junior at Arkansas and made 44 percent of his 3-pointers and in his lone season with Butler, he'll get a chance to show he can run a team.
3. Luke Hancock, 6-6, SG, Jr., Louisville (from George Mason)
Decided to leave Mason after the coaching change and earned rave reviews in practice last season from Rick Pitino. However, he's coming off a shoulder surgery and we'll see how effective he is this year in the Big East. Should be a quality piece for the Cardinals due to his versatility.
4. Will Clyburn, 6-7, F, Sr., Iowa State (from Utah)
Spent a couple years in the junior college ranks before leading Utah in scoring (17.1) and rebounding (7.8) two years ago. Sat out last season and now will see if he can be latest in line of successful transfer projects for Cyclones.
5. Aaric Murray, 6-10, C, Jr., West Virginia (from La Salle)
He's had his share of off-court issues, but Bob Huggins may be perfect for the talented forward from Philly. He's got two years left in Morgantown, but it wouldn't be shocking to see him leave for the NBA after just one. He's that talented. Averaged 15.2 points, 7.7 boards and 2.3 blocks at La Salle as a sophomore.
6. Trent Lockett, 6-5 SG, Sr., Marquette (from Arizona State)
Left Herb Sendek's program and decided to come closer to his Minnesota home. Was able to get a waiver, which is huge for Buzz Williams -- who needs someone to replace the scoring production lost with Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom.
7. Ryan Harrow, 6-2, PG, Soph., Kentucky (from N.C. State)
Had a decent freshman season at N.C. State, but opted to leave after Sidney Lowe was fired and sat out last season in Lexington. He's fast and has a year of learning John Calipari's system -- and it'll be interesting to see how effective he is running the team.
8. * Alex Oriakhi, 6-9, C, Sr., Missouri (from UConn)
Was able to transfer for his final season and was granted immediately eligibility after UConn was deemed ineligible to play in postseason this year. Oriakhi could thrive in Columbia, especially with his buddy Phil Pressey running the team. Oriakhi's confidence was a huge issue in Storrs; can he get his swagger back?
9. Earnest Ross, 6-5, SG, Jr., Missouri (from Auburn)
He's a big, physical wing who can defend and also has shown the ability to score. He put up 13.1 points as a sophomore in the SEC and can also be a quality rebounder, especially at his size.
10. # Jabari Brown, 6-5, SG, Soph., Missouri (from Oregon)
Bolted Eugene after just two games, so has the reputation of being a malcontent. However, coach Frank Haith and his teammates rave about him -- especially his ability to put the ball in the basket. When he becomes eligible in mid-December, will be an immediate factor.
11. Wally Judge, 6-9, PF, Jr., Rutgers (from Kansas State)
Extremely highly regarded coming out of high school, it didn't work out for the D.C. native in Manhattan, Kansas. He left after two disappointing seasons and we'll see if he fulfills his potential with Mike Rice. The opportunity is certainly there for the taking.
12. # Khem Birch, 6-9, PF, Soph., UNLV (from Pittsburgh)
Wasn't happy at Pittsburgh and left after just one semester, but is a big-time athlete and could be a force on the defensive end due to his shot-blocking abilities. Averaged 4.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 10 games with the Panthers.
13. Juwan Staten, 6-1, PG, Soph., West Virginia (from Dayton)
The Mountaineers guards struggled last season, but Staten will make a huge difference. He led the A-10 in assists as a freshman and also averaged 8.5 points per game while at Dayton
14. Bryce Dejean-Jones, 6-5, SG, Soph., UNLV (from USC)
Should immediately be a prolific scorer for Dave Rice and the Runnin' Rebels -- at least once he gets healthy from his broken hand. Played his freshman season at USC, started 10 games and averaged 7.6 points per game.
15. Keion Bell, 6-4, SG, Sr., Missouri (from Pepperdine)
Came from the west coast, where he put up numbers at Pepperdine. He scored 1,365 points in three years, but he'll need to adjust to being a role player with the Tigers. He's another guy who has the ability to lock people down on the defensive end -- and is also a big-time athlete.
16. Trey Zeigler, 6-5, SG, Jr., Pittsburgh (Central Michigan)
His father, Ernie, was fired at Central Michigan so the scoring wing decided to go elsewhere. He landed at Pittsburgh, where his father once worked with Jamie Dixon, and received a waiver to be able to play immediately. This will be a big boost to the Panthers, who will need some scoring on the perimeter to replace Ashton Gibbs.
17. Korie Lucious, 5-11, PG, Sr., Iowa State (from Michigan State)
Was booted from Michigan State and sat out last season. Averaged 6.5 points and 4.1 assists as a junior under Tom Izzo and could be the next successful Fred Hoiberg reclamation project.
18. Colton Iverson, 6-10, C, Sr., Colorado State (from Minnesota)
Left Minnesota after three seasons mediocre numbers, but should be a major force down low for new Rams coach Larry Eustachy.
19. Deshawn Painter, 6-9, C, Sr., Old Dominion (from N.C. State)
Was a quality role player off the bench in the ACC and was granted a waiver to play his final season this year at ODU. Should make a huge impact for Blaine Taylor and the Monarchs this season.
20. Larry Drew II, 6-2, PG, Sr., UCLA (from North Carolina)
He's not what we thought he was coming out of high school, but he'll still make an impact for Ben Howland and the Bruins. The California native left Chapel Hill in February of 2010 and started 53 games during his sophomore and junior seasons.
21. Julius Mays, 6-2, G, Sr., Kentucky (from Wright State)
Averaged 14.1 points and shot 42 percent from deep in the Horizon League last season. John Calipari could use a veteran guard off the bench to provide some scoring.
22. @ Nurideen Lindsey, 6-3, G, Soph., Rider (from St. John's)
Left the Big East after just nine games and with a 12.4 point per game scoring average. Could be a 20-point scorer each and every night for new coach Kevin Baggett.
23. Amath M'Baye, 6-9, F, Jr., Oklahoma (from Wyoming)
Sat out last season after coming in from Wyoming, where he averaged 12 points and a team-high 5.7 boards as a sophomore. The native of France will be a huge part of Lon Kruger's plans for the next two years.
24. Evan Gordon, 6-1, G, Jr., Arizona State (from Liberty)
Eric Gordon's younger brother averaged 14.1 points two years ago at Liberty and now he'll step right into a prominent role for Herb Sendek in the Pac-12. He can score -- and the Sun Devils will need him to do plenty of that.
25. J.J. O'Brien, 6-7, F, Soph., San Diego State (from Utah)
Is a versatile forward who averaged 6.4 points and 5.5 boards as a freshman with the Utes two years ago. He can guard multiple positions, knows how to play and is able to put it on the floor. He'll be huge for an Aztecs team with lofty expectations.

* One-year players eligible immediately after graduating in four years

# Won't be eligible until after the first semester

@ Received a waiver and is able to play immediately

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