Johnell Davis enters transfer portal: 3 best destinations for former FAU star

These three schools should waste no time making their recruiting pitch to former FAU star Johnell Davis, who entered the transfer portal while declaring for the 2024 NBA Draft.
Desert Classic - Arizona v Florida Atlantic
Desert Classic - Arizona v Florida Atlantic / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Florida Atlantic Owls star guard Johnell Davis has declared for the 2024 NBA Draft while also entering the transfer portal, per an official statement the 2023-24 AAC Player of the Year posted on Instagram. 

Johnell Davis enters transfer portal, declares for NBA Draft

As Davis continues weighing out his options, he preserved his NCAA eligibility, officially leaving the door open for him to return for his fifth season of collegiate basketball.

However, Davis projects to go undrafted in the most recent two-round NBA mock draft by Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. So, returning to school makes sense for him as he looks to improve his stock as a pro-level prospect, especially considering the recent emergence of NIL deals.

Davis has been a critical contributor to FAU, playing a vital role in the Owls reaching the Final Four for the first time in program history. He is listed as the top-ranked men’s basketball transfer player, according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzell, after averaging 18.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 41.4 percent from behind the 3-point line — all of which were career-high marks. 

These three schools should waste no time pursuing the former Owls star guard if he ultimately foregoes the draft for his final year of eligibility.

3. Indiana

A native of Gary, Indiana, joining the Hoosiers would be a homecoming of sorts for Davis and an intriguing one at that.

Indiana has already lost their leading scorer, Kel’el Ware, paving the way for Davis to insert himself as the primary offensive option for head coach Mike Woodson, arguably giving them a boost on that side of the floor.

Point guard Trey Galloway, who is reportedly returning for his fifth season, would form one of the most dynamic backcourt duos in the nation alongside the former FAU standout in this scenario, and we have seen time and time again how far good guard play can get teams in March Madness.

Moreover, Indiana is one of the more renowned programs in college basketball, potentially creating NIL endeavors for Davis.

Transferring to Indiana would allow Davis to return home, where he would instantly slot into a high-usage role and have ample marketing opportunities while working toward improving his draft stock, making the Hoosiers an appealing option.

2. UConn

Adding the top-ranked transfer player to a UConn team that is on the verge of becoming the eighth program in college basketball history to win consecutive NCAA Tournaments sounds eerily similar to when Kevin Durant joined a 73-win Golden State Warriors team, and we all know how that ended.

The Huskies are losing fifth-year guards Tristen Newton and Cam Spencer, who have been essential pieces of their team, after their March Madness run this year, meaning there is a need for Davis to improve the backcourt.

Offering Davis a prominent role on a team that can contend for a national championship is a pitch that sells itself while giving him a prime opportunity to boost his draft stock on a program that receives plenty of national recognition.

UConn has done well in recruiting guards through the transfer portal, as evidenced by the additions of Newton and Spencer in recent seasons. Davis would give UConn head coach Dan Hurley a shiny new toy to work with after maximizing the talents of the previous players who previously found themselves in similar positions.

1. Michigan

Michigan recently hired Dusty May, who coached Davis at FAU during his four-year stint with the Owls, to take over as head coach of their Division I men’s college basketball team after the Wolverines experienced their worst season since 1981-82.

May will have his hands full as he tries to restore an esteemed Wolverines program that expects to contend for championships yearly. So why not pursue the star player of his former team, whom he reached the Final Four with? Michigan became a blatantly obvious landing spot for Davis to transfer to when he accepted the coaching gig.

Former Michigan standout Dug McDaniel committed to Kansas State after entering the transfer portal, creating an opening in the starting lineup for a high-caliber guard who can shoulder the scoring load, and Davis fits that bill.

However, the Wolverines are entering what may be a lengthy rebuilding process to kick off the May era, and that may deter Davis from burning his last year of eligibility on reuniting with May as he looks to take center stage under a national spotlight and improve his draft stock.