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May 28, 2008

Transfers figure to make impact next season

The 2008-09 transfer class doesn't appear to have anyone who will make the kind of impact players such as Devan Downey, Tyler Smith and Robert Vaden made this past season.

Then again, you never know. The reason some of these faces are in new places is because they believed they didn't get enough of an opportunity. With more minutes, perhaps they'll have the kind of impact of Downey and Smith, both first-team All-SEC players.

Some mid-major schools are welcoming multiple high-major transfers. Georgia State coach Rod Barnes will have five players eligible this season from the likes of the ACC, Big East and SEC. And a few "Big Six" schools are bringing in former mid-major guys who want better competition.

We'll reserve the right to name a top 10 list of impact transfers closer to the beginning of the season, once practices have begun and coaches have a better idea of who is ready to deliver. For now, though, here are some players (listed alphabetically) to keep in mind who have changed addresses for next season:

Denis Clemente, Kansas State (from Miami)
Clemente was a starter for the Hurricanes. He put together a solid sophomore season, averaging 9.8 points and 3.3 assists.
Kareem Cooper, UTEP (from Memphis)
Cooper, a 6-11, 290-pound behemoth, averaged 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in just 10.8 minutes per game as a freshman with the Tigers.
Reginald Delk, Louisville (from Mississippi State)
Delk averaged 9.5 points two seasons ago for the Bulldogs, then transferred out along with his twin brother, Richard, who landed at Troy. Reginald is a 6-4 shooting guard with deep range.
Anthony Gurley, Massachusetts (from Wake Forest)
Gurley, a former Rivals.com four-star shooting guard prospect, averaged 6.4 points in just 14.5 minutes per game as a freshman in the ACC.
Xavier Hansbro, Georgia State (from Ole Miss)
Hansbro committed to play for Rod Barnes and the Rebels before Barnes was fired. The two are reunited at Georgia State, and the coach believes Hansbro, a 6-10 junior, could be a major force offensively.
Chris Lutz, Marshall (from Purdue)
Lutz, a 6-2 guard, was one of the top 3-point shooters in the country during his freshman season with the Boilermakers, knocking down 47.2 percent from long range.
Jamel McLean, Xavier (from Tulsa)
McLean, a 6-8 forward, averaged 6.0 points and was second on the Golden Hurricane at 4.8 rebounds per game in the 2006-07 season. He could start for the Musketeers.
Mike Mercer, South Florida (from Georgia)
Mercer, a 6-4 former Rivals.com five-star prospect, averaged 13.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a sophomore for the Bulldogs before being dismissed from the team before his junior season for failure to adhere to team standards and policies.
Magnum Rolle, Louisiana Tech (from LSU)
Another former Rivals.com five-star prospect, the 6-10 Rolle averaged 4.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks as a sophomore with the Tigers in 2006-07.
Sylvester Seay, Fresno State (from Arizona State)
The 6-9 forward will be counted on heavily by the Bulldogs. He played in only 38 games in two seasons with the Sun Devils, averaging 4.2 points.
Zaire Taylor, Missouri (from Delaware)
Taylor played in 14 games for the Blue Hens as a sophomore, averaging 10.3 points and 4.9 boards. He's a 6-4 guard with great athleticism who can really defend. He also is a capable scorer, as evidenced by a 30-point outburst as a sophomore against Loyola (Md.).
Joe Trapani, Boston College (from Vermont)
The 6-8 forward averaged 11.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game his freshman season for the Catamounts, and he decided he wanted to play against higher-level competition. The Eagles beat out Providence and Michigan during the re-recruitment of Trapani.
Jamel White, Louisiana Tech (from Nebraska)
White, a 6-3 guard, averaged 9.3 points as a freshman for the Huskers and should start immediately.
Tre'Von Willis, UNLV (from Memphis)
Willis couldn't find room in a crowded Tigers backcourt, averaging 2.6 points before leaving after his freshman season. The Rebels will make room for him.
Ryan Wright, Oklahoma (from UCLA)
Wright's numbers (1.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg) in Westwood weren't great, but the 6-9 forward did play on two Final Four teams. The Sooners believe he can contribute immediately.

Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at bmcclellan@rivals.com.

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