The Division One College Basketball transfer portal officially opened March 13, and so far Braeden Moore is the lone BYU scholarship player that has hit the portal (walk-on Hao Dong also entered). Things could change, but I expect one or two more players to enter the portal before the window to enter closes May 13.
As of now, BYU has two scholarships to fill with the graduations of Gideon George and Rudi Williams and Braeden Moore transferring. 2021 signee Jake Wahlin is expected to return home from his LDS mission to Lithuania May 16. Sources tell me he has grown to 6-foot-9 on his mission.
Below are some transfers I think BYU will/has contacted based on conversations I’ve had, various reports, and using my brain. BYU will never be Texas A&M or Miami levels of NIL, but I expect BYU to be competitive in the NIL space for hoops this year. Based on conservations I’ve had with people in and around the program, I am optimistic in BYU’s NIL output this offseason.
Kerr Kriisa — Guard, Arizona
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10 points for the Wildcats on 37% shooting from the field. He also led the Pac-12 with 5.1 assists per game. BYU recruited Kriisa heavily when he was an international prospect playing in Europe. BYU was squarely in the mix for Kriisa before he elected to go to Arizona. BYU has been in contact with Kriisa’s side, but I would bet he goes elsewhere. Xavier is the rumored target — his old Arizona coach Sean Miller is there — and Kriisa will surely get large NIL offers from multiple programs. Kriisa would be instantly be a top player on BYU’s roster, but I’m not holding my breath. He has two years of eligibility remaining.
Josiah Allick — Forward, New Mexico
The 6-foot-8 power forward entered the portal as a grad transfer with one year of eligibility left. After three years at Kansas City, Allick started all 34 games for the Lobos this season, averaging 8.4 points and 7.3 boards on 56% shooting. Allick averaged double figures in the two seasons prior and showed the ability to hit outside shots, although he didn’t do that much this year.
BYU was one of the finalists for Allick when he hit the portal last year, and Allick took an official visit to BYU last May. This is what Allick told me after his BYU visit: “I had a really good time,” Josiah told me. “The campus was really beautiful and being from Nebraska the mountains were amazing every time I went outside. I don’t have a set date for my decision yet and the schools I’m still considering are Oklahoma, BYU, Clemson, and New Mexico.”
BYU may be go for bigger fish than Allick, but he’s a name to monitor due to his familiarly with the school and staff.
Khalif Battle — Guard, Temple
BYU was one of several schools to speak with the 6-foot-5 guard. Battle is one of the top players in the portal, coming off a season where he averaged 18 points a game. Unless Battle gets competitive NIL offer from a BYU booster/collective/business (think $150k+) I expect him to end up elsewhere.
Dalton Knecht — Guard/Forward, Northern Colorado
Knecht is one the top players in the portal. The 6-foot-6 wing averaged 20 points and 7 boards on 48% shooting from the field and 38% shooting from three. There are some loose connections to BYU’s staff, but Knecht will be highly sought after from top programs in the country and will command big NIL dollars.
Joseph Girard — Guard, Syracuse
The Glens Falls, New York native put his name in the NBA Draft and entered the transfer portal Friday morning, A 4-year starter, Girard averaged 16.4 ppg on 38% shooting from three. BYU’s prior staff recruited him due to his close relationship with Jimmer Fredette. He’ll get a ton of attention, but I’m sure Jimmer will put in a good word for BYU.
Justice Hill — Guard, LSU
The 6-foot point guard had a fairly quiet senior season at LSU, averaging 5.6 points and 2.7 assists on 30% shooting. He was a productive player at Murray State the year before when he averaged 13.4 points and 5 assists on 43% shooting. Hill played JUCO ball at SLCC and was teammates with Spencer Johnson. BYU reached out to him last year when he hit the portal.
Jae’Lyn Withers — Forward, Louisville
I am not sure if BYU will pursue Withers, but listing him here due to Kahil Fennell’s time on Louisville’s staff. The 6-foot-9 forward spent 3 seasons with Cardinals, averaging 9 points and 5 boards on 42% shooting from three this last season.
Players Who Are Not in the Portal
I wouldn’t be surprised if the players BYU added aren’t even in the portal yet. For example, there are some good LDS players out there that are at other schools — I wrote about the top ones last month. Now all those players won’t enter the portal, but if any of those top ones do then BYU will absolutely be in the mix. I expect a player from the list to hit the portal here soon, and BYU will likely pursue right away.
Any of those top guys — Tolu Smith, Steven Ashworth, Dawson Baker, Jaxon Kohler, Caleb Lohner (2.0!) — would all be targets for BYU if they entered the portal. I am not saying they are entering the portal, just stating BYU would absolutely be in the mix if they do. Another LDS player not on the list is one I would keep an eye on too. 6-foot-9 Marquette forward Keeyan Iterjere is an uber-athletic player that has got sparse playing time for the Golden Eagles this year after redshirting as a freshman.