Transfers make an impact on ACC basketball teams

N.C. State's Terry Henderson (3) pulls in a rebound during the first half of the Wolfpack's game against William & Mary at PNC Arena in November.
N.C. State's Terry Henderson (3) pulls in a rebound during the first half of the Wolfpack's game against William & Mary at PNC Arena in November.

North Carolina didn’t have a transfer become eligible this season. N.C. State’s West Virginia transfer Terry Henderson hasn’t played since the first half of the season opener because of an ankle injury. And Duke’s dip into the transfer pool had yielded five minutes from former Rice forward Sean Obi entering Tuesday.

Yet while the Triangle’s teams have received a minimal impact from the transfer market, the rest of the ACC has plenty of new (but veteran) names to be aware of as league play fast approaches.

Among them:

Seth Allen, Virginia Tech: OK, Allen’s plenty familiar to ACC fans from his time at Maryland (he sealed the Terrapins’ last regular-season game against Duke with two late free throws in 2013). After sitting out last year, he’s averaging 14.0 points and 2.5 assists for the Hokies.

Eli Carter, Boston College: A quintessential volume shooter averaging 16.2 points a game, Carter is playing as a graduate transfer after stops at Rutgers and Florida. His 136 field goal attempts entering the week was second in the ACC, just behind N.C. State’s Cat Barber (137).

Avry Holmes, Clemson: The transfer from San Francisco has proved perfectly functional for the Tigers. Holmes takes care of the ball (31 assists, eight turnovers), shoots well from the perimeter (45.2 percent) and is averaging 10.3 points for Brad Brownell’s bunch.

Nick Jacobs, Georgia Tech: Jacobs sat out last year after beginning his career at Alabama and is serving as a more efficient version of Demarco Cox (another former SEC big man who wrapped up his career with the Yellow Jackets last year). Jacobs is averaging 10.8 points and 5.9 rebounds in less than 22 minutes per game.

Zach LeDay, Virginia Tech: The addition from South Florida is quite the revelation. He leads the Hokies (7-3) in both scoring (15.5) and rebounding (9.4) and is providing a presence Virginia Tech direly needed after navigating last year with little interior help.

Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, Louisville: Plenty good enough to be mentioned separately, but both guards are graduate transfers from mid-majors (Lee from Drexel, Lewis from Cleveland State) making an instant impact. Lee is averaging 18.8 points, while Lewis ranks second on the Cardinals with 13.8 points a night.

Kamari Murphy, Miami: The latest former Big 12 player to make his way to Coral Gables, the ex-Oklahoma State forward was suspended for the Hurricanes’ first three games but is providing 6.3 points and 4.8 rebounds since returning. He’s a versatile defensive option for Miami.

Adam Smith, Georgia Tech: The graduate student free market system allowed the Yellow Jackets to pick up Smith from Virginia Tech. He’s doing for Georgia Tech what he always did for the Hokies and, before that, UNC Wilmington: make 3-pointers. He has 23 of them in eight games entering Tuesday.

Sterling Smith, Pittsburgh: The Panthers picked Smith up from Coppin State to provide some perimeter punch, and he’s 14 of 28 from 3-point range. That’s his role; he’s attempted just eight 2-pointers and is averaging 6.6 points in 21.4 minutes.

Darius Thompson, Virginia: The former Tennessee guard has floated in and out of the Cavaliers’ starting lineup and leads the team in steals (11) and ranks second in scoring average (8.4).


Pittsburgh’s James Robinson, who ranks second in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 8.8, is trying to lead the league in that category for the third year in a row. Who are the only four players to accomplish that feat since the ACC started tracking the statistic in 1980?

Tight rotation (again) for Irish

With Pat Connaughton and Jerian Grant graduated, it seemed Notre Dame might have to go deeper this season to sort out new roles. Even coach Mike Brey acknowledged over the summer he might have to play more guys than usual.

It hasn’t worked out that way.

Notre Dame (7-2) is sticking largely with a rotation that barely gets to eight players, with Austin Torres averaging 4.6 minutes while playing in all but one game to date. The top seven guys in Notre Dame’s rotation account for 93.2 percent of the minutes. That’s up from the 91.7 percent for the Irish’s top seven a season ago, when it won the ACC tournament and reached its first regional final since 1978.

Brey’s top five in playing time (starters Zach Auguste, V.J. Beachem, Bonzie Colson, Demetrius Jackson and Steve Vasturia) account for 77.2 percent of the Irish’s minutes entering the week. That’s the second most in the league, behind Syracuse (84.7 percent) and just ahead of N.C. State (76.6 percent).


The only four ACC players since 1980 to lead the league in assist-to-turnover ratio in three consecutive seasons are N.C. State’s Sidney Lowe (1980-83) and Chris Corchiani (1988-90), Duke’s Steve Wojciechowski (1996-98) and North Carolina’s Ty Lawson (2007-09).