clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Examining the top offseason MAC men’s basketball transfers for ‘23-’24 campaign

The transfer portal plucked some of the MAC’s top talent this offseason, but it also yielded accomplished athletes in their place.

Central Michigan v Michigan Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

It is nearly impossible to avoid the transfer portal as a topic in a conversation on modern college basketball. The portal is now as inherent to the fabric of the sport as the buzzer which sounds after the two twenty-minute halves.

This year’s iteration of the transfer portal plucked away some of the MAC’s preeminent talents, including Payton Sparks (Indiana), Curtis Jones (Iowa State), RayJ Dennis (uncommitted as of publication) and other successful athletes.

However, this offseason has also seen the arrival of prospects from around the country that could elevate the league next season. There is potential for more commitments to be announced in the coming weeks and months, but here are some of the most intriguing transfers that have already committed to MAC schools:

Reggie Bass | Kent State

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 29 Central Michigan at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Class: Sophomore
  • Position: Guard
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 185
  • Prev school: Central Michigan

One of the biggest transfer signings of this offseason came from within the MAC as Kent State snatched Reggie Bass. Bass will lace it up in northeast Ohio after spending a stellar freshman season at Central Michigan, where he earned the MAC Freshman of the Year award. The Muncie, Indiana native will provide a severely-needed offensive burst in the Kent State backcourt after losing Sincere Carry and Malique Jacobs to graduation.

It is worth noting that Rob Senderoff is no stranger to developing inter-conference transfers as ex-Ball State Cardinal Miryne Thomas shined for the Golden Flashes during the 2022-23 season.

Jalin Anderson | Ball State

Jack Jones Hoopfest - Utah State v Loyola Marymont Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images
  • Class: Senior
  • Position: Guard
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 185
  • Prev school: Loyola Marymount

Ball State’s roster was perhaps ransacked the most by the transfer portal of any MAC squad as Payton Sparks, Jaylin Sellers, Luke Bumbalough, Jalen Windham, and Kaiyem Cleary all decided to leave Muncie this offseason.

However, Michael Lewis and company have reloaded the Cardinal and White’s roster with a strong transfer class, headlined by Jalin Anderson. The Jackson, Tennessee product displayed his all-around skillset in his three years at Loyola Marymount, averaging 8.6 points, 2.4 assists, and 1.4 rebounds per game in his career. He fared well against the stiff WCC competition, which was exemplified in his 15-point outing in his team’s triumph over Gonzaga this season.

Cardinal fans should not be surprised to see Anderson alongside Jarron Coleman in the starting backcourt next season.

Ali Ali | Akron

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
  • Class: Senior
  • Position: Forward
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 205
  • Prev school: Butler

A familiar face will be returning to the J.A.R. next season, as Ali Ali recently announced his (re)commitment to Akron, where he played from 2019 to 2022.

Ali battled injuries in his lone season at Butler, appearing in just 18 games, but he showed promise in his limited time. The six-foot-eight forward logged 6.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game, breaking out for a 15-point night against DePaul. The return of Ali pairs nicely with Enrique Freeman’s decision to use his remaining eligibility at Akron next season, giving the tandem the potential to be an imposing frontcourt duo in 2023.

Jason Spurgin | Bowling Green

Jack Jones Hoopfest - Southern Utah v Cal State Fullerton Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images
  • Class: Senior
  • Position: Center
  • Height: 6-11
  • Weight: 250
  • Prev school: Southern Utah

The hiring of Todd Simon in March as Bowling Green’s next head coach initiated a roster overhaul.

Thus far, the Falcons’ newly-minted leader has been brilliant in recruiting, especially in the portal. Jason Spurgin, who played under Simon at Southern Utah, will be one of the most important pieces of Bowling Green’s 2023-24 roster.

The six-foot-11 Australian posted the finest campaign of his career this past season, averaging 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. His long frame will make him an immediate contributor for the new-look Bowling Green squad.

Trey Thomas | Bowling Green

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 11 SEC Tournament - Texas A&M vs Vanderbilt Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Class: Senior
  • Position: Guard
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 160
  • Prev school: Vanderbilt

Bowling Green’s transfer class is full of experienced players, but none match the high-level experience that Trey Thomas brings to the program.

Thomas spent three seasons under Jerry Stackhouse at Vanderbilt, where he played impressively well for an undersized guard in the SEC. This season, the Durham, Ontario product started 17 games for the Commodores, and put up 5.8 points and 0.9 assists per game. Though Thomas has shown scoring issues throughout his career, his experience and poise will make him a valuable asset, regardless of his offensive production.

Ike Cornish | Ohio

UMBC Retrievers v Maryland Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
  • Class: Redshirt Sophomore
  • Position: Forward
  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 190
  • Prev school: Maryland

One of the more mysterious transfers entering the conference next season is Ike Cornish. The Baltimore native was a highly-touted recruit out of high school, ranked 93rd by 247Sports in the class of 2021, and ultimately committed to Maryland. Despite his high rating, Cornish took on a minimal role for the Terps, redshirting his first year and playing just 4.9 minutes per game in the 2022-23 season.

Jeff Boals is still anticipating a breakout season for the six-foot-six forward, stating in a press release that “Ike is going to have a great career in a Bobcat uniform.”

Cyril Martynov | Eastern Michigan

Georgia Tech v Syracuse Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images
  • Class: Sophomore
  • Position: Center
  • Height: 7-0
  • Weight: 229
  • Prev school: Georgia Tech

The Emoni Bates era has come to a close in Ypsilanti, leaving Stan Heath and his staff searching for a new direction in the transfer portal.

In doing so, the Eagles landed a prospect with one of the highest ceilings in the country in Cyril Martynov. The Canadian was used sparingly in his first season at Georgia Tech, but his sheer size and raw ability was enough for power conference teams to heavily recruit him out of high school. Though the seven-footer does not have much of a track record in college hoops, Heath expressed in a press release that he has “no doubt [Martynov] is going to be an impact player” due to his size and “nice feel for the game.”

Darweshi Hunter | Miami

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 09 MAC Tournament - Northern Illinois vs Kent State Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Class: Senior
  • Position: Guard
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 200
  • Prev school: Northern Illinois

When looking for a destination in the portal, some prospects heavily consider institutions closer to their hometowns — Darweshi Hunter did just that. Hunter, a Cincinnati native, will be returning home to play his final year of eligibility at Miami.

The sizable six-foot-five guard is coming off a breakout campaign at Northern Illinois in which he averaged 9.0 points and 3.0 rebounds primarily off the bench. The Redhawks graduated star guard Mekhi Lairy, so Hunter could have an even more pronounced role with his new squad next season.

Anthony Crump | Western Michigan

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 08 Northern Illinois at Toledo Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Class: Senior
  • Position: Guard
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 215
  • Prev school: Northern Illinois

Another intra-conference transfer, Crump changes allegiances from NIU to Western Michigan this upcoming season. Crump carved out a meaningful role for himself this season, tenaciously using his long frame on both ends of the floor. The six-foot-eight two-way guard averaged 7.7 points — on 61% shooting from the floor — 5.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.0 steals per game during the 2022-2023 campaign.

In his sixth year of college basketball, Crump will bring experience, versatility, and physicality to a Broncos squad that has been short of stellar as of late.

Philmon Gebrewhit | Northern Illinois

DePaul v Marquette Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
  • Class: Senior
  • Position: Guard
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 185
  • Prev school: DePaul

The pandemic and transfer portal have produced college basketball journeymen never before seen in the sport: Philmon Gebrewhit is one of these players.

The Boston native started his career at Robert Morris in 2018, played at South Plains College from 2019 to 2021, made a stop at DePaul from 2021 to 2023, and is now en route to DeKalb, Ill. for his sixth year of eligibility. Gebrewhit will bring unparalleled experience, much-needed length, and a versatile skillset to Rashon Burno’s ascending program.

Anthony Pritchard | Central Michigan

Tulsa v Cincinnati Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
  • Class: Junior
  • Position: Guard
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 184
  • Prev school: Tulsa

Central Michigan’s backcourt was in ruins after the 2022-23 season concluded, with Jesse Zarzuela, Kevin Miller, and Reggie Bass all leaving the program.

Though more pieces will be needed, the signing of Tulsa transfer Anthony Pritchard is a positive step toward solving this issue. Pritchard started in all 21 games he appeared in this season, and exhibited a play style characteristic of a true point guard. The Tulsa native averaged 8.9 points, 4.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per game across his injury-plagued season last year. Given his success at Tulsa, a starting spot could be awaiting Pritchard upon his arrival in Mt. Pleasant.

Ben Wight | Toledo

William & Mary v Hofstra Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
  • Class: Senior
  • Position: Forward
  • Height: 6-9
  • Weight: 220
  • Prev school: William & Mary

Toledo earned its third-consecutive MAC regular season crown this season, and it did so with a core of seniors. That will be hard to replace, but Toledo will do their best with its latest recruiting class, highlighted by William & Mary transfer Ben Wight.

The six-foot-nine big man earned a reputation as a tough, physical player while suiting up for the Tribe, and his numbers reflect his play style. Last season, Wight averaged 10.9 points per game — off an efficient 51.1% shooting clip — and corralled 5.0 rebounds per outing. The native of Columbus, Ohio will bring the physicality and experience that the Rockets will need in order to repeat as MAC champions.