The portal never sleeps

Final Four week's as good a time as any to revamp the roster. Ohio State, Kansas, Syracuse among those with notable moves. Plus, Washington State and Western Kentucky make hires, the NIT final is set and more.

Good morning! And especially to everyone traveling to Phoenix. It’s gonna be a great week.

Let's get to Tuesday’s news.

1. Another day, another batch of portal activity

We had five notable transfer portal moves on Tuesday, plus a bevy of others who entered (maybe one is headed to Michigan?) so let’s break it all down.

Meechie Johnson to Ohio State

New Ohio State coach Jake Diebler made his first recruiting splash, and it’s with a familiar face.

Johnson, an All-SEC selection at South Carolina, played with Ohio State from 2020-22. He never became a huge part of the Buckeyes rotation. But Johnson did help successfully rebuild the Gamecocks, averaging over 14 points for a 26-win squad.

Johnson will pair with returning junior guard Bruce Thornton in the backcourt. Johnson may not have the same amount of shots, but if he’s a little more efficient (39% shooting from the field, 32% from deep), it could work. Thornton (15.7 ppg, 4.8 apg) will run the offense. It’s a solid core with those two, Felix Okpara and Devin Royal.

Jordan Ivy-Curry to Virginia Tech

Hokies coach Mike Young must replace nearly the entire roster. The first newcomer is UTSA transfer Jordan Ivy-Curry, who averaged 17.6 points on 40% shooting and 38% from 3.

Shooters can play a pivotal role in Mike Young’s offense, which features a barrage of perimeter scoring. Ivy-Curry should make a seamless transition into a go-to role in Virginia Tech’s offense.

Nate Heise to Iowa State

TJ Otzelberger usually has a plan with the portal. And this move makes a lot of sense.

An All-MVC second-team selection, Nate Heise (13 ppg, 48% shooting, 35% from 3) could thrive without having to do a ton of playmaking. When Tamin Lipsey and Keshon Gilbert drive to the hoop, Heise will have shooting chances.

Eddie Lampkin to Syracuse

Red Autry lands an interior presence in Colorado transfer Eddie Lampkin, who averaged 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds for the Buffs. Lampkin shined in Colorado’s three tournament games, scoring 13 points in two games and 21 points in the first round win over Florida. Syracuse didn’t have an interior scoring option this year, so Lampkin should make life easier for the guards — especially if Judah Mintz and JJ Starling return.

Other notable commitments:

  • Sophomore guard Derek Simpson to Saint Joseph’s (8.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.9 apg at Rutgers)

  • Freshman guard Kolton Mitchell to Idaho (7.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.1 apg at Idaho State)

  • Freshman forward Jonas Sirtautas to Radford (Redshirted at Wyoming)

  • Myles Wilmoth to Siena (Redshirted at Hofstra, played previous three seasons at Butler)

Notable portal entrants:

  • Junior guard Johnell Davis, Florida Atlantic (18.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.2 apg)

  • Junior guard Javian McCollum, Oklahoma (13.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.4 apg)

  • Junior guard Kerr Kriisa, West Virginia (11 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 4.7 apg)

  • Senior forward Myles Foster, Illinois State (12.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg)

  • Junior forward Viktor Lahkin, Cincinnati (9.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg)

2. Kansas adds another impact transfer (and gets a starter back)

After their NCAA Tournament exit, Kansas coach Bill Self said he’d been thinking about how he’d address next season. He sure didn’t wait long.

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