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The Transfer Shuffle

When we get a chance, we get up and dance and do the transfer shuffle (apologies to the Jump ‘N the Saddle Band )

The Citadel v Duke
DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 22: Theo John #12 of the Duke Blue Devils concentrates at the free throw line against the Citadel Bulldogs at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 22, 2021 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 107-81.  
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

They come, they go, itinerants in a landscape suddenly opened to possibility.

Some, like Matt Cross, climbed down the ACC’s alphabetical ladder, moving from Miami to Louisville in a single season. Raleigh’s Justin McKoy followed a similar route from UVa to UNC, an intraleague freedom enabled by ACC edict in March 2021.

Cross’ old team lost peripatetic, 5-7 point guard Chris Lykes, who tried the pros but ultimately landed at Arkansas. So Miami went big and brought in 5-11 Charlie Moore.

It’s unclear whether the new Miami guard is a relation to Duke’s Wendell Moore Jr. or Georgia Tech’s Khalid Moore or Jalon Moore. (Please do not say the Moore, the merrier.)

What is known is that the Hurricanes’ Moore is a creature of the new era.

The red-shirt senior from Chicago has the distinction of now playing at his fourth major college in four years. He previously was at DePaul (and happily escaped the tutelage of coach Dave Leitao, since fired) before moving on to Kansas and then Cal-Berkeley.

Such wandering was frowned-upon in the past, taken as a sign of instability and inconstant loyalty. Now an old warrior like Miami’s Jim Larranaga takes such peregrinations in stride and hopes for the best.

In tracking transfers from major colleges on 2021-22 ACC rosters, we count Moore as a single player arriving from a single school, his most recent. That’s less confusing than saying he accounts for three previous transfers, or that Pitt’s Jamarius Burton, late of Wichita State and Texas Tech, or Wake’s Khadim Sy (Virginia Tech, Mississippi), count for two each.

Coaches who aren’t realists don’t survive. So they dance to the new roster shuffle too, hanging out at the transfer portal like habitués of a singles bar, strategically adjusting to changed circumstances as disaffected players seek fresh opportunity.

Amazingly (or perhaps not), we found all 15 ACC programs added transfers to their rosters this year, a figure we conceded might still be evolving as the season commenced. We count a whopping 52 transfers with major-college experience. That’s nearly one-quarter of the 230 players on ACC rosters in 2021-22.

With so many refugees from major-college rosters, there appears to be little room for junior college transfers.

Six programs took on at least four D-I transfers. Earl Grant, rebuilding at BC, led the way with a half-dozen players plucked off the waiver wire.

Seven programs added a pair of players previously enrolled at another school, which could serve to ease loneliness, if nothing else: Mississippi State (BC, Georgia Tech); Providence (BC, NC State); Southern Cal (two at Georgia Tech); Oklahoma (Miami, UNC); Virginia (UNC, NC State); and Wofford (Virginia Tech, where they rejoined Mike Young, previously coach of the Terriers).

Marquette yielded three transfers — to Duke, UNC and Syracuse – after former Blue Devils Steve Wojciechowski was fired in March after seven years at his first head coaching assignment.

Several schools go to the extent of including on their rosters not only standard information such as a player’s jersey number, class, height and weight, hometown and high school, but listings for following individual players on Instagram and Twitter.

Sadly, some ACC sports information staffs spurn mention of whether a 2021-22 team member is a grad student or came as an undergrad from another Division I program, as if embarrassed to include recycled players.

Major College Transfers on 2021-22 ACC Rosters
(Based On Internet And School Sources, Returning Players Included)
School Transfers
On Roster
Schools That Supplied Players To ACC
BC 6 Coll of Chas, Drexel, Lehigh, Miss. St., Providence, Rider
C 3 Fordham, South Florida, Youngstown State
D 2 Davidson, Marquette
FS 3 Houston, Kentucky, Rice
GT 5 Georgia, Miss. St., Southern Cal, Southern Cal, VMI
UL 4 Florida, Marshall, Miami, Western Carolina
UM 3 California, George Mason, Oklahoma
NC 3 Marquette, Oklahoma, Virginia
NS 3 Nebraska, Providence, Virginia
ND 2 Yale, Santa Clara
UP 5 Delaware, Miami (Ohio), Oakland, Stonybrook,Texas Tech
SU 3 Cornell, Marquette, Villanova
V 2 East Carolina, Indiana
VT 4 Clemson, Delaware, Wofford, Wofford
WF 5 Indiana St., Mississippi, Colorado, East Tennessee, East Tennessee,