The share of minutes played by transfers at major-conference men’s basketball programs jumped in 2021-22 over the previous season, as both the extra season of eligibility granted due to the pandemic and the NCAA’s adoption of a one-time transfer rule for revenue sports altered the landscape of the game.
Transfers accounted for fully 40% of the minutes played at major-conference programs last season, up from 25% the year before. Even the 25% figure from 2020-21 represented a significant increase over the level of minutes earned by transfers prior to the pandemic. The change has been both profound and rapid.
No team better epitomized this trend in 2021-22 than Florida. The Gators gave a whopping 89% of the available minutes to transfers. Colin Castleton (who arrived at UF by way of Michigan), Phlandrous Fleming (Charleston Southern), Tyree Appleby (Cleveland State), Anthony Duruji (Louisiana Tech), Myreon Jones (Penn State), Brandon McKissic (Kansas City) and CJ Felder (Boston College) ranked as seven of Florida’s top nine scorers.
It’s likely the Gators will again show a transfer-heavy look in 2022-23 under first-year head coach Todd Golden. Castleton, Jones and Felder are expected to return, and UF will add incoming transfers Trey Bonham (from VMI), Kyle Lofton (St. Bonaventure), Will Richard (Belmont) and Alex Fudge (LSU).
While Florida was an outlier in 2021-22, the trend across college basketball was unmistakable. Last season, no fewer than 24 major-conference teams, nearly a third of the total number of schools, gave more minutes to transfers than to players who had originally signed with the program out of high school.
A look at the highest percentages of minutes played by transfers at major-conference programs during the 2021-22 season: