Remember to scroll to the bottom for Mike’s updated Top 300 Rankings and check out our Transfer Portal Hub for his analysis of all of the earlier action this transfer portal season!
New St. John’s Head Coach Rick Pitino knows a thing or two about building a successful roster. After retaining star big man Joel Soriano, Pitino has completely re-tooled the Red Storm through the transfer portal. His latest addition is a former Tennessee commitment and former Harvard star Chris Ledlum, who checks in at number 36 on our Top 300. Ledlum averaged 18.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last season and provides versatility on both ends of the floor. He most likely would have been Ivy League Player of the Year if not for Penn guard Jordan Dingle … whom he will be teammates with this season. Dingle checks in as our 20th-rated transfer and the highest-rated player coming in for the Red Storm. The trio of Soriano, Ledlum and Dingle will team with five other Top 300 transfers in Nahiem Alleyne (#101 – G, UConn), Daniss Jenkins (#132 – G, Iona), RJ Luis (#146 – G, UMass), Glenn Taylor Jr. (#173 – F, Oregon State) and Sean Conway (#264 – G, VMI). On paper, the Johnnies look very salty, and with Pitino at the helm, anything is possible.
During this time of year, we tend to focus on the big splash commitments and the teams that are the big “winners” of the portal. But for a lot of teams, the offseason is a grind to try and build a roster capable of making the NCAA Tournament. Take Vanderbilt, for instance. At the beginning of the offseason, Head Coach Jerry Stackhouse had his hands full trying to repair a decimated roster. Star big man Liam Robbins exhausted his eligibility, while star guard Tyrin Lawrence entered the portal, along with major contributors Jordan Wright and Myles Stute. All of a sudden, five of the Commodores’ top six scorers were not on the active roster, leaving returning starting point guard Ezra Manjon as the lone building block. Fast forward a few months later, and Stackhouse has pulled leading scorer Lawrence back from the portal and added three transfers inside our Top 300. Ven-Allen Lubin (#196 – F, Notre Dame), Evan Taylor (#197 – G, Lehigh) and Tasos Kamateros (#251 – F, South Dakota) bring plenty of talent and versatility to this new-look Vanderbilt roster. Just like that, Stackhouse and his Commodores look just as talented as they did last year when they challenged for a Tournament bid.