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October 23, 2007

Transfers look to flourish in new homes

Check out the complete Rivals.com transfer Tracker

Players transfer for a variety of reasons.

Many do it for playing time. Some do it because they're homesick. Others do it because of personality conflicts with coaches. Some leave high majors for the lower ranks, while a few surprise at mid-majors and pass them on the way up.

Whatever the reason, a number of big-time transfers figure to have major impacts across the country. UAB coach Mike Davis welcomes transfers coming eligible this season from the SEC and the Big Ten.

South Carolina coach Dave Odom lost several key players from the Gamecocks roster but hopes to bolster the lineup with transfers from the ACC and Big East.

Tennessee already was loaded, but coach Bruce Pearl will have more options with additions from the Big Ten and Pac-10.

Here is a look at Rivals.com's Top 10 Impact Transfers for the 2007-08 season:

Rivals.com Top 10 Impact Transfers
1. Devan Downey, So., G, South Carolina, 5-9, 175 (from Cincinnati)
Downey made the Big East All-Rookie team two years ago with the Bearcats. The former South Carolina Mr. Basketball averaged 12.3 ppg and led UC in assists (4.1) and steals (2.0). The Gamecocks lose Tre Kelley, their point guard and leading scorer last season, and will hand the ball to Downey. He has excellent handle and superior quickness which allow him to penetrate into the lane and create opportunities for himself and his teammates. He and Zam Fredrick II (Georgia Tech) will form an all-transfer backcourt.
2. Tyler Smith, So., F, Tennessee, 6-7, 215 (from Iowa)
Smith has had a circuitous route to his home state. He originally signed to play for the Vols but asked out of his letter of intent when Buzz Peterson was fired. Bruce Pearl wouldn't let him out of the letter, and Smith went to prep school and then signed with Iowa. He averaged 14.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the Hawkeyes last season then transferred when Steve Alford resigned. He's eligible immediately because he obtained a hardship waiver from the NCAA to transfer to Tennessee to be near his then-ailing father. His father since has passed away.
3. DeMarre Carroll, Jr., F, Missouri, 6-8, 225 (from Vanderbilt)
Carroll averaged 10.6 ppg and 6.4 rpg for the Commodores two years ago. His numbers were better in SEC competition: 12.1 ppg and 7.4 rpg. He said he transferred to be utilized more on the wing, and the Tigers seemed like a good fit. Carroll will be playing for his uncle, Mike Anderson. Carroll is a maximum-effort player who rebounds with authority. He's not a great outside shooter; he gets his points with offensive rebounds or in transition when attacking the basket.
4. Robert Vaden, Jr., G/F, UAB, 6-5,207 (from Indiana)
Vaden followed coach Mike Davis from the Hoosiers to the Blazers. The versatile wing player had emerged as one of the best players in the Big Ten in just two years. He started all 60 games of his IU career. As a sophomore he averaged 13.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He's an athletic player who can drive the ball to the basket or shoot it from the perimeter. Vaden is an outstanding long-range shooter. He converted 81 of 195 3-pointers (41.5 percent) two years ago, including a streak of 12 in a row over three games.
5. C.J. Anderson, Jr., G/F, Xavier, 6-6, 220 (from Manhattan)
Anderson was the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 2004-05 after averaging 16.1 ppg and 8.6 rpg for the Jaspers. He came back his sophomore year and posted 18.8 ppg and 9.4 rpg in 16 games. Anderson sat out last season and is ready to go. The former Cincinnati-area high school star is a physical player who much prefers to play near the basket than out on the perimeter (he attempted only eight 3-pointers during his time in Manhattan).
6. C.J. Giles, Jr., C, Oregon State, 6-11, 240 (from Kansas)
The Beavers are counting on the 6-11 Kansas transfer to give them an inside presence. Giles averaged 6.2 ppg and 4.8 rpg two years ago as a sophomore for the Jayhawks. He played in all 33 games and even made 13 starts. The Seattle native was dismissed from the team at KU last November after being ticketed by campus police for misdemeanor battery. If he can stay out of trouble his length and athleticism make him an intriguing prospect, one with a huge upside.
7. Farnold Degand, So., G, N.C. State, 6-3, 170 (from Iowa State)
The Wolfpack is in dire need of someone to step forward at the point guard position, and the former Iowa State player looks like the favorite to land Engin Atsur's spot. The Boston native redshirted his first season for the Cyclones, so he has yet to take the floor in a college game. But the coaches in Raleigh seem to believe he handles the ball well enough to be the guy who gets it inside to potentially one of the nation's best frontcourts with Brandon Costner, Ben McCauley and J.J. Hickson.
8. J.P. Prince, So., G, Tennessee, 6-7, 205 (from Arizona)
The former five-star prospect out of Memphis was little used at Arizona in his freshman season in 2005-06, playing just 12.2 mpg and averaging 2.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg and 1.8 apg. It would seem there won't be a lot of minutes to go around in a loaded back court for the Vols either, but word out of Knoxville is that Prince is in great shape and has looked very sharp in practice thus far. He's very long and athletic, and his size allows him to pass over smaller point guards and lock them up defensively, too.
9. Tim Morris, Sr., G, Washington, 6-4, 210 (from Stanford)
The former four-star shooting guard out of Atlanta has only one year of eligibility remaining so he'd better make it count. An explosive athlete with a scorer's mentality, Morris played in 30 games for the Cardinal two years ago and averaged 5.0 ppg and 3.1 rpg in 20.5 mpg. He should see more time and be more of a factor for the Huskies: He was the second-leading scorer (12.8 ppg) during the team's recent five-game exhibition tour of Greece.
10. Walter Sharpe, So., F, UAB, 6-9, 245 (from Mississippi State)
The former four-star prospect has had a star-crossed career since leaving the Birmingham prep ranks. Will a return to his hometown help him get back on track? He lettered as a freshman at Mississippi State in 2004-05, playing in 22 games and averaging 2.4 points and 1.9 rebounds in 8.9 minutes per game. He was academically ineligible for the first semester of his sophomore season, played in six games after the first semester then was kicked off the team for violating team rules. He did average 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. No one questions his talent, but can he stay on the court?

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