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A Look At Some Of The ACC’s Most Promising Transfers

Some of these guys could really be good

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 25: USC Trojans guard Tre White (22) during a college basketball game between the USC Trojans and the Utah Utes on February 25, 2023 at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the portal, transfers are now just a fact of life in college basketball. It’s not a big factor for Duke this year, but last year, Jon Scheyer brought in four, including Ryan Young and Jacob Grandison, both of whom were very helpful to the Blue Devils.

Over at, George Michalowski ranks the Top Ten ACC transfers.

Here’s the list, 1-10:

  1. Matthew Cleveland, Florida State to Miami
  2. JJ Starling, Notre Dame to Syracuse
  3. Harrison Ingram, Stanford to UNC
  4. Cormac Ryan, Notre Dame to UNC
  5. DJ Horne, Arizona State to NC State
  6. Jayden Taylor, Butler to NC State
  7. Ishmael Legget, Rhode Island to Pitt
  8. Claudell Harris, Charleston Southern to Boston College
  9. Tre White, USC to Louisville
  10. Zack Austin, High Point to Pitt

You’ll notice first that three transfers are intra-conference - Cleveland, Starling and Ryan. Those are the guys we’re all most familiar with. Cleveland has been a very good player for Florida State at a time when the ‘Noles have really struggled. He’ll probably be a good fit with Miami. We’re not saying he has a lot of weaknesses, but Miami will probably be able to emphasize his strengths more than FSU could.

Starling was only a freshman with Mike Brey but he’s from the Syracuse area (Baldwinsville) and he has a lot of potential. He’ll be a good fit and someone new coach Adrian Autry can work with as he seeks to revitalize the Orange.

Finally, there’s Cormac Ryan, who like Starling started at Notre Dame. Unlike Starling, he’s got a ton of experience. He’s not as athletic as former Tar Heel Caleb Love, but he’s much better at fitting in with a team structure. He’s not likely to fire off random three pointers like misfiring synapses in a schizophrenic mind, which is a major plus. Love is a wildly talented player who has yet to learn discretion. Ryan will have no problem there.

The others we don’t know as well yet.

Ingram was solid at Stanford and at times really good. He’s obviously bright too - Stanford admissions are tough - and he should be more helpful than Pete Nance was last season.

Trivia: his parents own 17 McDonald’s in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Horne is listed as a native of Raleigh, but depending on where you read, possibly being from Fayetteville or Cary. It’s kind of weird. He’s a 6-0 guard who started at Illinois State before moving to Arizona State to play for Duke legend Bobby Hurley. He can shoot too.

He’ll join Butler transfer Jayden Taylor, a 6-4 junior from Indianapolis. He was very effective in the Big East so he should be fine in Raleigh.

Jeff Capel brings Leggett and Austin to Pitt. Leggett is said to be a a versatile offensive guard so he should help replace Jamarius Burton. He racked up 16.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals last season. The A-10 is a solid league so he should be able to compete in the ACC too.

Austin comes from High Point, hardly a major power, but he was Capel’s first priority in the portal. He was the Big South Freshman of the Year in his first season and last year put up 14.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, and 1.1 steals last season. He’ll be an asset for Pitt, assuming he can step up to the level the ACC demands.

Harris put up 17.4 for Charleston Southern last season. He’s not a great three point shooter (so far) but he can put points up. Like Austin, we’ll have to see how he does at a higher level, but he sounds like a good pick up for the Eagles.

White could be a great addition for Louisville. Some people thought that he could be a one-and-done at USC and his transfer was a bit of a surprise. At 6-7, he’s very versatile offensively and could play guard or forward. He’s also a willing defender.

Remember how last season Cards coach Kenny Payne questioned his team’s desire and character?

White will help put a stop to that.

All of these guys could be really interesting at their new schools and all of them are intriguing in different ways. It’s not the same thing as bringing in freshmen and watching them develop, but the coaches who can master the new environment are going to make transfers a major part of it. It’s going to be fun to see how these guys, and the other ACC transfers, pan out.