Transfers like Bigby-Williams helping top programs heading to postseason

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Kavell Bigby-Williams
(Photo: Terrill Weil)

March Madness is here, and many of the nation’s top teams have relied on significant transfers from other four-year schools as part of their success heading into the postseason.

Of area interest is Kavell Bigby-Williams of LSU. The native of London arrived in Baton Rouge last year as a transfer from Oregon and sat out the 2017-18 season.

The 6-foot-11, 230-pound Bigby-Williams has played a major role in the Tigers’ 26-5 record, playing 21 minutes per game, averaging 7.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and a team-best two blocked shots per game, while connecting on 65.3 percent of his shots from the floor.

He is not the most famous sports member of his family. That honor goes to his cousin, boxer Lennox Lewis, who was a three-time world heavyweight champion.

Here are seven other players who have played a prominent role as transfers this year – something that is not always a smooth transition in college sports. Their skill set must mesh with their new teammates and hopefully, their arrival has a positive impact.

Dedric Lawson (6-9, 235, Kansas): The product of Memphis began his college basketball journey at the University of Memphis where he averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds. Since transferring to Kansas, he has developed into a legit Wooden Award candidate. He leads the 13th ranked (23-8) Jayhawks with a 19.1 average, 10.6 rebounds, hitting on 36 percent from long range.

Reid Travis (6-8, 238, Kentucky) transferred from Stanford, where he averaged 19.5 points and 8.7 rebounds for the Cardinal. He now averages 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds for the 26-5 and sixth-ranked Wildcats. He is connecting on 51.6 percent of his shots.

Makai Mason (6-1, 185, Baylor) was a captain at Yale before transferring to Waco. He had declared for the 2016 NBA Draft before withdrawing his name. He leads the Bears (19-12) with 14.6 points and 3.2 assists. hitting on 35.7 percent of his shots from three-point range.

Marial Shayock (6-6, 201, Iowa State), a native of Canada, averaged 8.9 points while at Virginia before transferring to the Big 12. He leads the Cyclones with an 18.7 point average, adding five rebounds per game. He boasts an impressive 38-inch vertical. His dad played basketball at Dayton.

Tramaine Isabell Jr. (6-1, 185, Saint Louis) is on his third stop. He began his college journey at Missouri, then headed to Drexel, where he averaged 21 points and 7.5 rebounds, before returning to the Show-Me State. He had applied for the 2018 NBA draft, but did not hire an agent. He leads Saint Louis (19-12) with a 13.3 point average and adds 4.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.

Mustapha Heron (6-5, 210, St. John’s) transferred to the Big Apple from Auburn. He averaged 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals for the Tigers. He is the second leading scorer for the 20-11 Red Storm, averaging 15 points, 4.7 rebounds and hitting 45.4 percent of his attempts from the field. He gained notoriety in 2011 when in eighth grade, when he was captured on video guarding Chris Paul.

Matt Mooney (6-3, 200, Texas Tech) spent two seasons at South Dakota, averaging 18.7 points. He also played one season at Air Force. He arrived in Lubbock already having scored 1,480 points, recording 166 steals and dishing out 228 assists at his previous stops. He leads the eighth-ranked and 26-5 Red Raiders with 1.7 steals per game and is the team’s third-leading scorer averaging 10.9 points. He also averages 3.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

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Rene Nadeau

Rene Nadeau

CCS/Fox Sports/ESPN/WFAN

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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