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Gonzaga Bulldogs

Gonzaga Bulldogs Lead the Way in College Basketball Transfers



In recent years, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have distinguished themselves as the top college basketball program for maximizing the potential of their incoming transfers. This achievement is underscored by a detailed study conducted by basketball analyst Evan Miya, which highlights how effectively Gonzaga has utilized the transfer portal.

Miya’s study evaluated which college basketball programs have garnered the most from their transfers over the past five seasons. The results show that Gonzaga stands head and shoulders above the rest, with their transfers contributing significantly on the court. Over this period, head coach Mark Few has successfully integrated nine transfers into the team, with Andrew Nembhard’s performance in the 2020-21 season being particularly noteworthy. Miya’s algorithm indicates that these transfers averaged 23.4 minutes per game, showcasing their substantial role in the team’s success.

The study employed Miya’s Bayesian Performance Rating (BPR), a metric that blends individual efficiency stats with a player’s impact during game play. This rating is adjusted to reflect the strength of the players on the court for each possession. Gonzaga’s average transfer production rating was an impressive 5.0, leading the nation, followed closely by Houston (4.87), UConn (4.61), and Auburn (4.59). This metric illustrates Gonzaga’s ability to draw out high performance from its transfers consistently.

Additionally, the study analyzed how well players exceeded their preseason projections, with Gonzaga ranking 14th in this category. This part of the analysis showed which teams could elevate their transfers’ performances beyond expectations. Arizona topped this list, followed by UConn, Drake, Houston, and Washington State. This indicates that while Gonzaga leads in raw transfer performance, other programs also excel in maximizing their players’ potential.

Since 2019, the list of Gonzaga’s transfers eligible for the study includes Admon Gilder, Ryan Woolridge, Aaron Cook, Andrew Nembhard, Rasir Bolton, Efton Reid III, Malachi Smith, Graham Ike, and Ryan Nembhard. Andrew Nembhard achieved the highest BPR among them at 6.68, followed by Ryan Nembhard (6.39), Gilder (5.93), and Bolton (5.62). These statistics underscore the significant impact these players have had on the team’s success.

Gonzaga’s proven track record of developing transferred talent bodes well for their future. In the 2024 transfer cycle, Mark Few has brought in standout players such as 6-foot-7 wing Michael Ajayi from Pepperdine, 6-foot-5 grad transfer Khalif Battle from Arkansas, and 6-foot-5 wing Emmanuel Innocenti from Tarleton State. Additionally, Braeden Smith from Colgate, the reigning Patriot League Player of the Year, is scheduled for an official visit, highlighting Gonzaga’s continued strength in attracting top transfer talent. According to Miya, Gonzaga currently boasts the best transfer portal class in the West Coast Conference, reinforcing their position as a leading program in college basketball.

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