10. Winner – East Tennessee State Buccaneers
After winning a program-record 30 games and being both the SoCon regular-season and tournament champions, ETSU is in the position of having to replace four of five starters. But head coach Steve Forbes and the Bucs have become one of those mid-major powers that transfers have become interested in.
They added three solid contributors so far this offseason, including Silas Adheke (3.6 ppg and 4.7 rpg at Northern Kentucky), Jalen Johnson (3.5 ppg at Tennessee) and Ty Brewer (14.9 ppg at Southeastern Louisiana). Ty is the brother of Ledarrius Brewer, who averaged 13.5 ppg in two seasons at Southeast Missouri State before sitting out this past year at ETSU. Ty Brewer may have to sit out next season per current rules but with the transfers brought in, combined with returning All-SoCon star Bo Hodges, the Bucs are in prime position to defend their titles next season.
10. Loser – Ivy League
This is more of a commentary on how this particular conference’s rules have had a major effect on the players overall. The Ivy League only provides scholarships for four years, since they are only academic and not athletic. So even if a player misses an entire season and gets a medical redshirt/extra year of eligibility, they can’t use it in the Ivy League.
That meant that a number of quality players had no choice but to move on. This includes former Conference Player of the Year Seth Towns (Harvard), 20+ ppg scorers Bryce Aiken (Harvard) and Mike Smith (Columbia), big man Jordan Bruner (Yale) and Ryan Betley (Penn), who all have either joined big-name programs or are the top remaining transfers in the market. There’s so much talent in the Ivy League but due to their own rules, players have to leave eventually if they ever get hurt. Had all these players been able to return to their respective teams this season, this could’ve been a multi-bid league in 2020-21.