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JMU Men’s Basketball 2024 Transfer Portal Tracker

Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications

By Bennett Conlin and Jack Fitzpatrick

It’s not a college sports offseason without a transfer portal tracker! The 2024 Men’s Basketball Transfer Portal Tracker is sponsored by Three Notch’d Brewing. Three Notch’d has locations in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, Roanoke & more! Check out the Valley Collab House for some amazing beers in a great atmosphere.

Given JMU men’s basketball’s graduations, the Dukes were going to need to hit the portal hard in the offseason. Adding in Mark Byington’s departure only adds to the potential need for portal additions for the Dukes.

We’ll track transfer movement here.

Transfer Returners

Xavier Brown, G – The rising junior guard announced he will be returning to JMU. Brown was a key piece for the Dukes during his sophomore campaign. He scored a season-high 21 in the Sun Belt Championship, hitting 3s from well beyond the arc. He’s a solid scorer and energetic defender. Brown’s return is huge for the Dukes as he has the potential to be a Sun Belt Player of the Year type of player.

Additions

Eddie Ricks III, F, Morehead State – The 6’7 rising sophomore was part of Preston Spradlin’s 2023-24 Morehead State squad. He led the team in blocks (39) and was fifth in the OVC. He averaged 7.5 ppg and 5.3 rpg last season on 43.1% shooting. He’s a great fit in Spradlin’s system, given his defensive prowess and offensive upside.

Justin Taylor, G, Syracuse – A rising junior, Taylor’s mom played basketball for JMU and he went to high school in Charlottesville. Returning to Virginia likely holds sentimental meaning for the 6’6 guard.

He’s an excellent defensive wing, and he was a former four-star recruit with offensive upside. He averaged five points and four rebounds per game for Syracuse in 2023-24, starting all 32 games. UVA and Virginia Tech recruited Taylor out of high school.

AJ Smith, G/F, Southern Indiana – Smith, a 6’6 wing, comes to JMU with two seasons of eligibility left. He was solid in the OVC in 2023-24, averaging 13.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. He was also top three on his team in steals (35) and blocks (18).

Ebenezer Dowuona, C, NC State/Georgia Tech – Dowuona has played 88 games for the two ACC schools, including 43 starts. While his career stats don’t jump off the page (he’s never averaged more than 4.1 points or 4.1 rebounds per game in a season), his size (6’11 and 235 lbs) should be a huge asset in the Sun Belt. He’s a capable rim protector, something the Dukes need in Preston Spradlin’s defensive scheme.

Elijah Hutchins-Everett, C, Austin Peay/Seton Hall – It’s officially a Preston Spradlin transfer portal masterclass. Listed at 6’11 and 255 lbs, Hutchins-Everett is a beast in the post. He averaged 10+ points per game in two seasons at Austin Peay before seeing somewhat limited playing time (13 minutes per game) with Seton Hall. He’s a gifted scorer with elite size, especially for the mid-major level.

With Dowuona and Hutchins-Everett, the Dukes could be extremely dangerous in the low post in Sun Belt play.

Luke Anderson, F, Iowa State/USF/Florida Southern – After playing for a pair of D1 teams, Anderson jumped to the D2 ranks and shined over three seasons. He averaged 19.8 points per game and eight rebounds per contest in 2023-24, shooting 40% from 3-point range. At 6’7 and 225 lbs, Anderson has legit size and a nice shooting stroke. He’ll likely be one of JMU’s most intriguing scoring options in his final collegiate season.

Bryce Lindsay, G, Texas A&M – While Lindsay only played in eight games for the Aggies during his freshman season, he has loads of potential. Villanova and West Virginia were among the schools recruiting Lindsay after a season at the IMG Academy. He also thrived during his high school days in Baltimore. Lindsay doesn’t lack talent, although the 6’4 point guard still has to prove himself at the collegiate level.

Mark Freeman, G, Morehead State – The 2023 OVC Player of the Year announced on X (formerly Twitter) that he is using his final year of eligibility with JMU. During his year with Preston Spradlin, Freeman averaged 15 points per game on 41 percent shooting, 36 percent from three and had 3.7 assists per game. Freeman was arguably the biggest target for Spradlin & Co. this portal season and they landed him.

Will Lovings-Watts, G, NIU – The Northern Illinois transfer earned a spot on the All-MAC Freshman Team in 2023-24, averaging 7.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in conference action. With three years of eligibility left, Lovings-Watts has tons of potential. He projects as a shooting guard/small forward given his 6’5 size, and he should compete for playing time immediately.

Noah Williams, G, Washington State/Washington – Williams is a lethal scoring option, averaging 14.1 points per game during the 2020-21 season for Washington State. He shot 37.9% from 3-point range that season and 80.4% from the free-throw line. He’s racked up 75 career starts in a Power Conference, so he figures to work his way into the Dukes’ absurdly deep rotation.

He sat out last season, so shaking off some rust could be his biggest obstacle.

Departures

Terrence Edwards, G/F, Louisville – The 2023-24 Sun Belt Player of the Year, Edwards averaged 17.2 points per game for the Dukes. The versatile wing can defend, shoot, and rebound. He tested the NBA waters this offseason, but ultimately decided to transfer to Louisville to use his final year of eligibility. Edwards teams up with Pat Kelsey, the former College of Charleston coach who was just hired to resurrect the Cardinals.

Jaylen Carey, F, Vanderbilt – The big man shined as a freshman, becoming a reliable backup to T.J. Bickerstaff. Given his size (6’8″ and 245 lbs) and shooting touch, Carey should be a contributor for Byington and Vanderbilt in the SEC.

Raekwon Horton, F, UTSA – The junior transfer was a difference maker in Harrisonburg this last season. He joined JMU after two years at College of Charleston and averaged 6.9 points this season to go with 4.3 RPG and 1.0 APG. The junior forward was a 54 percent shooter from the field and a 34 percent shooter from deep.

Justin Amadi, F, Tulsa – Amadi missed the 2023-24 season due to injury, but the athletic forward averaged 7.6 points per game over three seasons. He’s a highly efficient scorer (64.9% career shooting percentage) and solid defender.

Hollman Smith, G – The senior guard has played in 32 career games and has scored 24 career points. He played in a career high 12 games in 2023-24.

Brycen Blaine, G – After playing in nine games in 2022-23, Blaine did not play in 2023-24 and has decided to enter the transfer portal. He was part of the recruiting class that featured Xavier Brown and Jerrell Roberson.

Quincy Allen, G/F, Chicago State – A talented transfer from Colorado, Allen played sparingly (eight games) for the Dukes in 2023-24 due to injury.

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