Ranking top 15 transfers for 2012-13

Updated: October 31, 2012, 3:07 PM ET
By Seth Greenberg

There is an epidemic in college basketball that has the ability to decimate a team's roster or be a lifeline that propels a team to the next level: transferring players.

Last season, more than 450 players transferred in order to get a fresh start, find a new role and, in most cases, get more playing time. Prior to the NCAA granting waivers -- to players from institutions ineligible for postseason play, to players who needed to be closer to their homes due to a family emergency or to players who earned their undergraduate degrees but had a year of playing eligibility remaining -- the only transfers eligible to play immediately were junior college players who had earned their degrees.

Coaches across all levels of college basketball now hold scholarships for the late-signing period, with the expectation that players who could be immediately eligible will become available.

Here's a look at my list of the 15 most influential transfers heading into this season, including players eligible to play immediately and those who had to sit out last season:

1. Alex Oriakhi, F, Missouri Tigers

Former team: Connecticut Huskies

No coach in the country has been more active in the transfer market than Missouri's Frank Haith. With a roster decimated by graduating seniors, Haith has acquired three transfer players who are eligible at the start of this season -- all of whom will be counted on for the Tigers in their first season in the SEC.