Portal-ization is pounding the Sun Belt

There is an amusing school of thought circulated amongst the college basketball community that the transfer portal is equally destructive to high-resource programs as it is to mid-majors. The fact of the matter: the Portal drains the Mid-Majors of its star talent, while the Power Five unloads its malcontents. Is this true of all cases? Of course not. But bear in mind that at least three conference players of the year are exploring greener fields (Norchad Omier of the Sun Belt, KJ Williams of the Ohio Valley and Fardaws Aimaq of the WAC come to mind) while the Power Five makes some scholarship space.

The Sun Belt is currently having its ass kicked by rampant Portalization, headlined by Arkansas State losing three starters to the Transfer Portal. Overall, the Sun Belt is experiencing an extreme power drain, seeing its Player of the Year (Omier), Defensive Player of the Year (again, Omier), Freshman of the Year (Duke Deen) and 6th Man of the Year (Elijah McCadden) all submit their names into the “Second Recruitment” lottery. (Data courtesy of Verbal Commits)

PlayerProgramCredentialsLanding Place
Aleksandr GlushkovAppalachian State
R.J. DuhartAppalachian State11th in SBC, BlocksCharleston Southern
Lazar GrbovićArkansas State
Norchad OmierArkansas StateSBC POY, SBC DPOYMiami
Desi SillsArkansas State2nd in SBC, StealsKansas State
Keyon WesleyArkansas StateAlabama St.
Mario FantinaArkansas StateUA-Monticello
Mason GriggCoastal Carolina
Ahmard HarveyCoastal CarolinaHigh Point
Jalen MilnerCoastal Carolina
Jourdon SmithCoastal CarolinaGrambling
Kevin WilliamsonCoastal Carolina
DeShawn ThomasCoastal Carolina
DeAnthony TiplerCoastal CarolinaETSU
Isaac HippolyteCoastal CarolinaChowan
Rudi WilliamsCoastal Carolina9th in SBC, ScoringBYU
Ebrima DibbaCoastal Carolina1st in SBC, AssistsSouth Carolina
Taj ThweattCoastal CarolinaTemple
Duke DeenTroySBC FOYBradley
Jakevan LeftridgeTroy
TK SmithTroy
Desmond WilliamsTroyUT Martin
Efe OdigieTroySBC Top NewcomerSMU
Rifen MiguelTroyUT Martin
Nelson PhillipsGeorgia StateTroy
Jordan RawlsGeorgia StateWestern Kentucky
Jalen ThomasGeorgia State4th in SBC, BlocksButler
Chien-Hao MaGeorgia State
Gedi JuozapaitisGeorgia Southern
Elijah McCaddenGeorgia SouthernSBC 6th Man OYMemphis
Gedi JuozapaitisGeorgia SouthernMaine
Caleb AsberryTexas StateSBC 1st TeamOklahoma St.
Deuce GuidryTexas StateLamar State–Port Arthur
Nate LacewellTexas StateMorehouse
Jamal WestSouth AlabamaClarendon College
Alex AndersonSouth AlabamaAlabama St.
Javon FranklinSouth AlabamaSBC 3rd TeamGeorgia Tech
Alex AndersonSouth Alabama
Trey BostonULM
De’Marcus HallULMBossier Parish Community College
Russel HarrisonULM12th in SBC, ScoringOklahoma St.
Ty HarperLouisianaEastern Washington
Trajan WesleyLouisiana
Theo AkwubaLouisiana 4th in SBC, ReboundsOle Miss

Many of these guys endured the slings and arrows of limited minutes. But also, many of these players are starters. Many won’t be eligible to play for their new teams until 2023. But after watching the majesty of the March Madness mega-production, you have to wonder how many are rolling the dice for just One Shining Moment.

PHOTO CREDIT: Arkansas State University