NCAA Basketball: Analysis of top 5 JUCO transfers for 2020-21 season

A look at the top NCAA Basketball Junior College transfers part of the 2020 recruiting class.

Junior College transfers definitely have an important role in NCAA Basketball. Whether helping a struggling program see a glimpse of success, or making an instant impact on a title contender, the value of a good JUCO player cannot be underestimated. Below, I will break down the top-5 JUCO recruits in the 2020 class as ranked by jucorecruiting.com

1. Tyon Grant-Foster (Kansas)  

A 6-7, 185-pound guard from Indian Hills Community College, Foster will have an immediate impact for the Jayhawks. He committed to Kansas over other schools such as Arkansas, Georgia, and Iowa State.

He is extremely athletic and can score from anywhere on the court, being a marksman from behind the arc. His versatility will also be very important for the Jayhawks, as he can play and guard multiple positions. Kansas is coming off a very good campaign where they were poised to compete for a national championship before COVID-19 cut the season short.

They are losing two stars in Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike, as well as forward Silvo De-Sousa, opting out and leaving the program for the 2020-2021 season. Foster will have an opportunity to crack the starting lineup and should fit in well in the Big 12. His scoring ability and Veteran presence will be crucial to the success of Kansas this season.

Foster also has an incredible passing vision and his size will allow him to compete on the glass. Many NBA scouts think Foster can play at a high level professionally as well.

Stats Prediction: 12.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.9 APG

2. Jay Scrubb ( NBA Draft)

At 6-5, 200-pounds, Scrubb is very enticing to NBA Scouts at the guard position. Last year at John A. Logan College, he averaged 21.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 2.7 APG. A gifted scorer with the ability to knock down the 3, Scrubb has been praised by scouts.

However, the one area of his game that has been criticized is defense. His effort level and awareness on defense, but he has shown flashes of defensive talent and combined with his size, should be able to develop into a solid defender under good coaching.

Initially, Scrubb committed to Louisville but decided to enter the draft after hearing from many scouts and amid the uncertainty of the 2020-2021 NCAA Basketball season. Most teams are approaching Scrubb as a work in progress, but expect to hear his name called somewhere in the second round. On a related note, the last player to be drafted directly out of JUCO was Donta Smith in 2004.

3. Kedrian Johnson (West Virginia)

Coming in at 6-4, 190-pounds is Kedrian Johnson. Last season at Temple College, Johnson averaged 25.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 5.4 APG. He is extremely talented offensively and has the capability to score in bunches. Johnson can shoot from range and is amazing in transition, but his passing should not be overlooked either.

With the offensive weapons West Virginia has returning and coming in, Johnson should be able to rack up assists. He is also a very good defender, which will be key in earning minutes for coach Bob Huggins.

It is difficult to predict if Johnson will be in the starting lineup for the Mountaineers because they are returning guards such as Taz Sherman and Miles McBride, but he will definitely get minutes. Johnson will bring more veteran experience to a West Virginia team that is looking to return to prominence this season, and Johnson will be a key factor in their success.

Stats Projection: 9.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 2.9 APG

4. Sardaar Calhoun (Florida State)

Calhoun is a 6-6, 200-pound shooting guard from Missouri State-West Plains. He averaged 17.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 1.2 APG. Coming out of high school, he was ranked as a 2-star recruit and had a few offers at the D-1 level at smaller schools.

He opted to take the Junior College route in order to raise his stock and it paid off. Calhoun is an incredible shooter, hitting around 40% of his 3 point attempts at the JUCO level. He will have big shoes to fill at Florida State with the departure of Trent Forrest, but he should be able to fill in and help the Seminoles defend their ACC regular-season championship.

He exudes confidence and has said his only goal for the upcoming season is to win an NCAA championship. It will be interesting to see how Calhoun fits in with Florida State, as they have not had a knockdown shooter recently.

Stats Predictions: 9.1 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 0.7 APG

5. Keon Ellis (Alabama) 

Coming in at No. 5 is Ellis, a 6-5, 170-pound guard from Florida Southwestern State. He averaged 18.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 2.2 APG this past season for the Buccaneers. Like Calhoun, he is also a sharpshooter, knocking down 3 pointers at a 40% clip.

He is also a very good defensive player, being quick and athletic, as well as having a size advantage over other guards. He joins a stacked Alabama recruiting class, including Josh Primo, Darius Miles, and Jordan Bruner.

At this point, it seems as Ellis will be one of the first off the bench this upcoming season for the crimson tide. He should be able to provide a spark and score in bunches with his shooting ability. If everything goes right for Ellis and Alabama, they could be a force come March.

Stats Predictions: 8.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 1.3 APG

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