Five most impactful men’s college basketball transfers so far in wild offseason

This year's NCAA transfer policy change has opened the floodgates for men's college basketball players to change schools and make an immediate impact on a new team in 2021-22. 

The NCAA Division I council voted this month to give athletes one free pass to transfer during their careers and play right away without having to sit out a season. 

While in years' past there have been plenty of high-impact grad transfers who had immediate eligibility, never before has the landscape of college hoops been so poised to alter in one offseason — even at the height of the one-and-done era when a high-impact crop of freshmen could change everything. 

With more than 1,000 players on the move in the transfer portal, here's a look at the five most impactful transfer moves of the 2021 offseason and what they mean to their new teams' 2021-22 aspirations:

Kellan Grady, Kentucky

The former Davidson guard and graduate transfer will provide a major boost for coach John Calipari in the shooting department. Grady has averaged over 17 points in four seasons at Davidson and can fill it up from beyond the arc. He'll bring both scoring and a veteran presence to a Wildcats team looking to bounce back from last season's 9-16 campaign with another strong freshman class. Calipari also snagged West Virginia big man Oscar Tshiebwe in the transfer portal.

Timmy Allen, Texas

Coach Chris Beard didn't have a ton of time to bulk up a 2021 freshman class in his first year in Austin, but the former Texas Tech coach's pedigree played a part in him making a big splash in the transfer portal. Allen was an all Pac-12 performer at Utah. The 6-6 guard averaged 17.2 points a game last season for the Utes and will be a key part of Beard's efforts to elevate the Longhorns into the national equation. 

Utah Utes forward Timmy Allen (1) handles the ball during the second half against the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion. (Photo: Darren Yamashita, USA TODAY Sports)

Qudus Wahab, Maryland

Coach Mark Turgeon was busy bringing in top-tier talent via the transfer portal to mesh with an already seasoned roster. His biggest pick-up is Wahab, a 6-11 big man who will give the Terrapins the size they're needing to compete for a Big Ten title. Wahab averaged 12.7 points and 8.2 rebounds a game last season and was a key part of Georgetown's Big East tournament title and NCAA Tournament team last year. Turgeon also hauled in Rhode Island guard Fatts Russell, another veteran who can make an immediate impact in College Park. 

Walker Kessler, Auburn 

Kessler's 2020-21 stat line makes this move's impact deceiving, so it's important to remember he was a five-star talent former North Carolina coach Roy Williams dialed in on before a sluggish start to last season that set him back in the rotation. The flashes of how good the 7-foot Kessler can be for coach Bruce Pearl are exemplified in a 20-point performance on 9-for-10 shooting from the floor vs. Florida State in February. Auburn's an ideal fit for the big man. 

Myles Johnson, UCLA

The 6-11 big man adds size and depth to a Bruins squad expected to be in contention as the preseason No. 1 in 2021-22 following a surprise Final Four run earlier this month. Coach Mick Cronin isn't getting much of an offensive weapon in Johnson, but the former Rutgers star protected the rim as well as anybody in the Big Ten last season (averaging 2.4 blocks per game) and he'll blend in nicely with the nucleus coming back in Westwood. 

Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.

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