Posted On: 11/24/18 5:00 AM

Transfers — everyone’s least favorite offseason talking point that people will never shut up about. But, we’re all talking about transfers because in a sport with just five guys on the court for each team, one player can make all the difference.

Of those in the discussion room over the last several months was the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). They made significant adjustments to the transfer bylaw, namely moving eligibility into the first half of the season instead of the second half and playoffs. There are several exceptions, all of which you can check out on the OHSAA official website. And, to be honest, we don’t know which of (if any) these players meets those exceptions. So, in putting together the list of Southwest Ohio’s Impact Transfers, we’re working on the assumption that these kids are allowed to play.

Nekhi Smith (2020), 6’6” F [Shroder – Taft]

Smith entering the fold at Taft during Demarco Bradley Jr.’s and Chris’seon Stringer’s senior season gives Taft realistic hope for a State Championship. The Senators now have the top senior tandem and most talented junior in the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference. Further, their collective size and talent poses a legitimate regional challenger to Trotwood, our preseason no. 1 team in Division II.

On Smith specifically, he’s an ever-improving prospect that appears to truly love the game. He should be able to get to any spot on the floor he wants as an upperclassman with his growing frame and graceful feet. Now surrounded by scoring threats as teammates, Smith should become much more efficient, as he won’t need to force shots like he did with Shroder.

Cleevas Craig (2020), 6’7” C [Fort Wayne Concordia → Winton Woods] &

Aaron Ward (2020), 6’6” W/F [Princeton → Winton Woods]

Winton Woods should be one of the best teams in the state this season and one that could give Moeller a handful in the Regional Tournament. The rebounding and shot-blocking of Craig and Ward is a major component to their potential success, as we believe defense will be Winton Woods’s hallmark trait.

Craig, an athletic and long defensive anchor who shows flashes of brilliance, will lurk on the back-line of their defense all season. Meanwhile, guys like Ward, Leroy Walker, Greg Tribble Jr., and Demari Martin can pressure the other four guys. Plus, Ward is going to really benefit from Craig’s presence. The former Princeton player will fly in for effortless weak-side rebounds and kill mismatches as a scorer around the basket this year. If Winton Woods finds chemistry, given all their moving parts, they could reach the top of the mountain.

Micah Thomas (2020), 6’4” W [Clark Montessori → Princeton]

Princeton should experience a year of flux in 2018-19 with the loss of their loaded 2018 graduation class and the news that Tahj Harding wasn’t cleared to play this year. The following season, however, their loaded 2020 class will take the court as seniors in win-now mode. In that group, Thomas is one of the only true wings and one of the only defensive-oriented players. He should earn playing time by defending multiple spots, making second efforts, and rebounding.

Kaden Warner (2021), 5’10” G [North College Hill → Gamble]

Warner’s move gives Gamble a chance to make noise at the Division IV level in a loaded SW Ohio region. Warner has already shown flashes of transitioning from a volume scorer to a true point guard. His outside shooting ability and edge will hopefully never leave him, though. Warner, however, is honing those abilities into a more controlled version of himself, one that creates shots for himself and his teammates, too.