Welcome to the 2023 NCAA college basketball off-season. Year three of the NCAA transfer portal has arrived in full force.
Starting on the Monday after Selection Sunday, the NCAA basketball transfer window provides student-athletes with a 60-day period to seek new offers and transfer from one particular school to another without having to sit out a year.
Over the course of the next two months, expect a flurry of movement as players look to find better opportunities and coaches are forced to rebuild their rosters through the transfer portal.
The past two (2021, 2022) seasons, roughly 30-33% percent, or 102 of the total (160, 156) Canadians playing NCAA men’s basketball have entered the transfer portal. On average, about 72.5% percent of the transfer players returned to NCAA DI schools.
Roughly 10.4% percent failed to attract division I interest and were forced to downgrade to NCAA DII schools. About 9.6% percent returned to Canada and played U Sports basketball. Lastly, nearly 2.7% percent transferred down to National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and 4.9% percent completely walked away from college basketball or were forced to look for professional opportunities.
As for which particular class is transferring at a higher rate? The numbers are evenly spread out, with a slight edge towards the upperclassmen, However, without the transfer consequences of having to sit out a year, there is also plenty of transfer movement in the sophomore and freshman classes.
Deciding to transfer after playing just nine minutes in the St. Bonaventure Bonnies opening game and a mere five days into the college basketball season. Canadian, Justin Ndjock-Tadjore (Gatineau, Que.), became the very first player to announce his intentions to enter his name in the 2023 NCAA transfer portal.
Jahmyl Telfort high major target
After three seasons and over 1000-plus points scored at Northeastern, Jahmyl Telfort (Montreal, Que.) is set to become one of the biggest Canadian transfer portal targets.
Telfort, averaged a career-best 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steal in 30 games for the Huskies. The six-foot-seven combo guard finished as the third leading Canadian NCAA scorer, behind only Zach Edey (22.3) and Ben Kirkke (19.4).
A 2022-23 All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) third-team selection, Telford was previously recruited by Georgetown, West Virginia and Bradley before committing to Northeastern in 2019.
Ben Krikke – Top 20 all-time Canadian NCAA scorer
A testament to his work ethic and selecting the right program for his development. It’s astonishing just how far Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alta.) has come since his freshman season at Valparaiso. Under the watchful eyes of passionate head coach Matt Lottich, the six-foot-nine forward has improved and raised his numbers in each of his four seasons in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC).
Selected to the 2022-23 All-MVC First Team and MVC Most-Improved Team, Krikke scored a total of 622 points in 32 games, the sixth most in Valparaiso men’s basketball history and the most by a Valpo player since 1971-72.
Krikke’s 1,596 points career points in 122 games place him seventh on the program’s all-time scoring list and rank him in the top 20 all-time by a Canadian in NCAA basketball history.
Fardaws Aimaq, fourth NCAA school in six years
Fardaws Aimaq (Richmond, BC) will transfer for the third time in his NCAA career and will have the rare distinction of being the first Canadian to play for four different NCAA division I teams.
Injured in an off-season workout session, Aimaq denied a mid-season transfer rumour, citing the fact that he was being rushed back into action by now former Red Raiders head coach Mark Adams.
At the conclusion of an extremely disappointing season, Aimaq confirmed that he wasn’t fully recovered and that he played at roughly 60% percent.
“The injury I had holds out most guys 6-8 months to fully recover. Played for my brothers.”
Aimaq’s NCAA stops have included his freshman season at Mercer University, sophomore and junior seasons at Utah Valley, an eleven-game cup of coffee at Texas Tech and the soon-to-be announced next destination.
Elijah Fisher on the move following coaching fiasco?
Did Elijah fisher enter the transfer portal, or didn’t he not? Various conflicting reports are making it difficult to get a concrete answer. However, given the current situation surrounding the Texas Tech basketball program, the uncertainty of who will be the next head coach, all make it hard to believe that Fisher will be in a Red Raiders uniform for his sophomore season.
As per NCAA rules, a player can enter their name in the transfer portal with the intention of returning. However, once a student-athlete decides to transfer, the school is no longer obligated to honour the previous scholarship commitment.
Despite having a mediocre freshman year, the former a five-star high school recruit with over 20-plus scholarship offers from the likes of Kansas, Kentucky shouldn’t have any issues finding a spot on another power six conference team.
Top shooter Marko Maletic looking for new home
Marko Maletic (London, Ont.), one of the top Canadian shooters in the NCAA, enjoyed a breakout sophomore season by leading Long Island University Sharks with a team-high 15.9 points on 69-of-178 (38.8%) three-pointers in 24 games.
Maletic hit double figures scoring 20 times and scored a season-high 32 points against James Madison. The former Ontario College Athletic Association (OCAA) rookie of the year with the Fanshawe Falcons knocked down eight three-pointers against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights.
Bryant Selebangue keeps climbing the ladder
One of the biggest surprises during the 2022-23 NCAA season was the rise of Bryant Selebangue. A junior college transfer, Selebangue moved-up to division I competition and didn’t skip a beat.
The six-foot-eight, 228-pound forward finished the season as second leading scorer (12.2) and top rebounder (9.2) for a struggling Tulsa team that finished with only five wins and 25 losses.
A strong rim runner and a physical interior presence, Selebangue finished behind only Zach Edey (12.9) as the second leading Canadian rebounder.
Experienced Canadian guards ready to contribute
Other notable names in the transfer portal include, Luka Sakota (Etobicoke, Ont.) who spent three seasons at Harvard with the Crimson Tide. Sakota averaged 7.1 points and 3.4 rebounds during his junior season.
Six-foot-two guard Joel Brown (Toronto, Ont.) concluded his fourth season with the California Bears. Brown had a solid senior season, contributing 6.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 32 games.
U SPORTS teams beefing up through NCAA Transfer Portal
For decades, Canadian university basketball teams have leveraged the experience gained from players playing down south to beef-up their rosters in an effort to compete and win a national title and the Carleton Ravens.
Several 2022 NCAA to U Sports transfers made an immediate impact and played key roles in their respective teams.
The St. Francis Xavier X-Men and head coach Tyrell Vernon rode the additions of three former NCAA players in David Muenkat (St. Francis (NY)), Deon Ejim (llinois-Chicago) and Steven Levnaic (St. Francis (NY)) to help the X-men nearly win a U Sports championship title.
The addition of Brock Newton (Bucknell) and Josh Inkumsah (Purdue Fort Wayne) to the Ottawa Gee-gees proved fruitful as the team captured the Ontario University Conference (OUA) championship and a bronze medal at the 2023 U Sports Final 8 national championship.
The Gee-Gees wasted no time, announcing the addition of Ndjock-Tadjore to their upcoming 2023-24 roster.
The UAQM Cidatins won their first RSEQ banner under head coach Mario Joseph by adding Bahaïde Haïdara (St. Francis (NY)) to an already talented squad. Elsewhere, David Walker (Cal State Bakersfield) had an outstanding season for the Toronto Metropolitan Bold and McGill benefitted immensely from the acquisition of Samuel Chaput (Monmouth), who played 114 NCAA games prior to joining the Redbirds.