Transfer portal's 5 best available players during 2023 NCAA Tournament, featuring Kel'el Ware, Taran Armstrong, and more
The NCAA Tournament is winding down with fans anxiously awaiting the Final Four matchups. But NCAA teams have already started to eye some of the intriguing talent that has entered the transfer portal for the 2023-24 season.
The portal continues to be more popular than ever. Players are looking to change teams and generate more exposure for their play. With players no longer needing to sit out a year, it's become a valuable asset for individuals looking to find a better fit for their game.
Several big-name players have already made their intentions to transfer for the 2023-24 season public. Here's a look at the five best available players in the NCAA transfer portal.
NCAA transfer portal's 5 best available players
#5, Kadin Shedrick
One of the most underrated big men in college basketball this year was Virginia Cavaliers forward Kadin Shedrick (6-foot-11).
Shedrick, who has spent the last three years with Virginia, is a versatile big man. He has been massively serviceable and stands out on the court with his awareness and feel for the game. During the 2022-23 season, Shedrick averaged 6.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in just 17.5 minutes per game.
#4, Keshon Gilbert
UNLV Rebels guard Keshon Gilbert should be one of the top names to monitor in the NCAA's transfer portal. Gilbert is oozing with upside and could be a name that starts to make noise for the 2024 NBA draft if he lands with the right team.
After averaging just 2.6 ppg as a freshman, Gilbert became an offensive force for UNLV during his sophomore year. At 6-4, Gilbert offers intriguing upside as a talented floor general who can score at multiple levels.
He should be one of the top candidates for teams looking to add a serious weapon in their backcourt. Gilbert averaged 11.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game this year. He also shot 46.4%, including 38.4% from 3-point range in 27.5 minutes.
#3, Jameer Nelson Jr.
One of the most productive guards to hit the transfer portal is Delaware's Jameer Nelson Jr. The son of a former NBA player should have plenty of teams knocking on the door to get the talented bucket-getter.
After spending two years at George Washington, Nelson has been playing for Delaware for the last two years. He averaged 20.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.6 apg and 2.4 spg this season while shooting 44.5%, including 30.7% from 3-point range.
#2, Taran Armstrong
One of the most exciting names to hit the transfer portal is Cal Baptist floor general Taran Armstrong. Originally from Australia, Armstrong has the potential to be a breakout candidate in college basketball next year.
Since his freshman year at Cal Baptist, Armstrong has caught the attention of NBA scouts. He's one of the best playmaking guards in college basketball and will be one of the most desired players in the transfer portal.
Listed at 6-5, Armstrong has a sensational feel for the game and is gifted with vision and impressive playmaking ability. NBA scouts will be watching closely to see which team he suits up for next year. If Armstrong picks a school that allows him to blossom, he will be a popular name in 2024 NBA draft circles. He averaged 11.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 5.0 apg this year.
#1, Kel'el Ware
The biggest name to hit the NCAA transfer portal is Oregon Ducks freshman center Kel'el Ware. Coming into this season, Ware was projected to be a potential lottery selection in the 2023 NBA draft.
Ware was ranked eighth by ESPN in its list of top 100 high school basketball recruits. Listed at 7-0, 210 pounds, Ware has the two-way upside to be an intriguing talent for the next level.
He simply struggled to generate consistent playing time during his freshman year at Oregon. Many wondered if Ware could be a surprise candidate to still enter his name in the 2023 NBA draft until his announcement that he would transfer for the upcoming NCAA season.
If Ware can end up in the right system that allows him to showcase his upside, he will do wonders when it comes to improving his NBA draft stock. Ware averaged 6.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 1.3 bpg in just 15.8 minutes this year.