A closer look at the transfer portal players linked to Indiana

  • 04/10/2024 9:04 am in

The dead period for college basketball recruiting runs through Thursday, but visits and commitments are expected to pick up quickly across the country soon after it concludes.

Indiana has six open scholarships for the 2024-25 roster and is looking to add impact players from the transfer portal.

Here’s a look at many of the transfer portal players – listed alphabetically under each category – who have been linked to Indiana as the end of the dead period approaches:


Cade Tyson, Belmont, 6-foot-7, forward

One of the better available shooters in the transfer portal, Tyson is a wing originally from Monroe, North Carolina. As a sophomore at Belmont, he averaged 16.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 31.7 minutes per game.

While those numbers are very good, they look even better when you dig into his shooting splits. He shot 46.5 percent on 3s and 85.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Because he looks like a surefire starter at his next stop, the fit with Indiana is unclear because Mackenzie Mgbako is returning to Bloomington and the Hoosiers also landed a commitment from Bryson Tucker. To this point, Tyson hasn’t released a formal list of schools and the only Indiana mention has been in some preliminary contact lists shortly after he entered the portal.

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Connor Essegian, Wisconsin, 6-foot-4, guard

Essegian was one of the top freshmen in the Big Ten back in the 2022-23 season, but his role was limited last season with the Badgers.

The Fort Wayne native played just 7.3 minutes per game and shot only 30.3 percent on 3s. If those numbers were all there was to consider, Essegian wouldn’t seem to be much of a target.

But Essegian’s freshman season showed why he has promise as a floor spacer at the high major level. He shot 35.9 percent from distance in his first season and averaged 11.7 points. He’s also a career 88.7 percent free throw shooter.

A recent update from Jamie Shaw at On3 ($) listed Indiana, Michigan and South Carolina as schools to watch for Essegian.

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Connor Hickman, Bradley, 6-foot-3, guard

A Bloomington native, Hickman was expected to visit Indiana prior to the dead period, but the visit will now take place this coming weekend on April 14.

The Hoosiers recently conducted an in-home visit with Hickman, a former teammate of Anthony Leal at Bloomington South.

As a junior at Bradley, Hickman averaged 14.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.2 steals in 32.3 minutes per game and was named third-team All-MVC. He can also light it up from the perimeter and connected at a 40.2 percent clip from distance last season.

With Indiana’s need for 3-point shooting and the recent success of MVC players like Marcus Domask and Lance Jones moving up to the Big Ten, Hickman looks like a player who could help the Hoosiers next winter.

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Kanaan Carlyle, Stanford, 6-foot-3, guard

The Atlanta, Georgia native had an up-and-down freshman season with the Cardinal, but there’s no denying his talent.

Carlyle averaged 11.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 25.6 minutes per game and was named to the honorable mention All-Pac 12 freshman team.

He scored in double figures 15 times in his freshman season and poured in a career-best 31 points against Washington State, an NCAA tournament team, in January.

While his shooting numbers from the perimeter weren’t great — he shot 32 percent on 3s — he’s a very good free-throw shooter (77.6 percent) and has the talent to take a major leap forward next season.

Georgia and Georgia Tech are two schools that are also prioritizing Carlyle, according to On3. He’s scheduled to visit Bloomington the weekend of April 19-21.

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Myles Rice, Washington State, 6-foot-3, guard

It’s easy to see why Rice is considered a priority target for Indiana. As a freshman last season for the Cougars, he earned first team All-Pac 12 honors and was named the conference’s freshman of the year.

Rice averaged 14.8 points, 3.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals and scored in double figures 27 times.

While he has three seasons of eligibility remaining, next season will be Rice’s fourth in college. He redshirted his first season (2021-22) and then sat out the 2022-23 campaign while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for a form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Although his perimeter shooting numbers fell off a bit late in the season, Rice connected on 81.1 percent of his free throws and played 33.2 minutes per game. The program that lands him will be getting one of the best guards from the portal and a surefire backcourt starter.

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Ryan Conwell, Indiana State, 6-foot-4, guard

A product of Pike, Conwell was always going to be a name on the IU radar if he chose to enter the transfer portal. That happened on Tuesday and he’s now one of the best guards available in the portal.

There’s always the chance Conwell could follow Josh Schertz to Saint Louis, but college basketball insider Trilly Donovan hinted Tuesday that he’ll test the market.

Conwell played his first season at South Florida before breaking out as a sophomore last season for the Sycamores. He averaged 16.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals in 33.9 minutes per game. He also filled it up from the perimeter, connecting at a 40.7 clip on 3s. He also shot 85.5 percent from the free-throw line.

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Tony Perkins, Iowa, 6-foot-4, guard

Perkins, an Indianapolis native, released a list of schools a week ago that included Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Oregon. Since that time, Arkansas coach Eric Musselman left for USC and the Razorbacks are welcoming John Calipari as their new coach.

A second-team All-Big Ten selection for the Hawkeyes last season, Perkins has one year of eligibility remaining due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While 3-point shooting isn’t his strength (29.9 percent), Perkins is a highly productive player who contributes in various ways. He shot 78.8 percent from the free-throw line last season and averaged 14 points, 4.6 assists, four rebounds and 1.6 steals in 30.9 minutes per game.

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Frontcourt players

Aaron Bradshaw, Kentucky, 7-foot-1, center

Bradshaw, a 2023 McDonald’s All-American, had an up-and-down freshman season at Kentucky. He was sidelined early with a foot injury and saw his playing time fluctuate over 26 games.

The Roselle, New Jersey native averaged 4.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and .7 blocks in 13.8 minutes per game while shooting 57.6 percent from the field.

Anonymous college basketball insider Trilly Donovan cited North Carolina as a school to watch with Bradshaw, who will be looking to break out as a sophomore and get on track to be in the mix for the 2025 NBA draft.

Indiana just had success with a similar situation in Kel’el Ware, who struggled at Oregon as a freshman but is now on track to be a first-round pick in this June’s NBA draft. With the success Mike Woodson had with Trayce Jackson-Davis and Ware and IU’s emphasis on post-play, it’ll be hard for any frontcourt player not to give the Hoosiers a look.

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Amari Williams, Drexel, 6-foot-10, center

A three-time CAA defensive player of the year, Williams would be an excellent sidekick for Malik Reneau in IU’s frontcourt.

The Drexel transfer has a visit set to Bloomington for April 19-20 and is also planning to visit St. John’s, Creighton and Florida. The wrinkle here is that Duke reached out to Williams, according to Joe Tipton, and may be looking to get involved.

Williams is a native of Nottingham, England and averaged 12.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.8 blocked shots in 22.9 minutes last season at Drexel.

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Ben Humrichous, Evansville, 6-foot-9, forward

A Tipton native, Humrichous is a fascinating story.

He attended Huntington University out of high school, where he played two seasons and showed his elite shooting prowess.

From there, he transferred to Evansville before last season and showed he belongs at the Division I level. Humrichous averaged 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and .9 blocks for the Purple Aces in 29.6 minutes per game.

His shooting split were excellent for a frontcourt player as he connected on 41.1 percent of his 3s and made 75.7 percent of his free throws. Adding Humrichous would give Indiana’s frontcourt a player who can legitimately step out on the perimeter and help unclog the lane.

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Pharrel Payne, Minnesota, 6-foot-9, forward

News broke earlier this week that Payne will be in Bloomington this weekend for a visit.

According to reports, he’s also considering Louisville, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, and Texas A&M.

The Cottage Grove, Minnesota is a legitimate post presence and shot blocker with two years of Big Ten experience. Last season, he averaged 10 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.4 blocked shots and 1.2 assists for Ben Johnson. He made close to 60 percent of his 2s but is a poor free throw shooter (47.2 percent).

With a clear hole on the roster at five, Payne would help fill a void from a rebounding and shot-blocking perspective.

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