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College basketball notebook: Radford signs two transfers

College basketball notebook: Radford signs two transfers

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The Radford men’s basketball team has picked up two more transfers, including a 6-foot-11 center with the nickname of “Stretch.”

Jamal “Stretch” Burke of Georgia Highlands (Junior) College, has signed with Radford. The 227-pound Burke said he also had offers from Old Dominion, Eastern Michigan, IUPUI and Southern University.

“I expect to be a factor this coming season,” Burke said in a phone interview.

Radford has also signed Shaquan Jules, a 6-7, 225-pound power forward/small forward from NCAA Division II member University of South Carolina Aiken.

“I wanted to find a program that would utilize my versatility,” Jules said. “I’m a walking mismatch in terms of a bigger guy being on me or a smaller guy being on me.

“You’re going to see a lot of athleticism.”

Burke averaged 8.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 17.2 minutes as a sophomore at Georgia Highlands last season. He blocked 44 shots in 32 games.

He is two inches taller than anyone Radford had on its roster last season.

“I score a lot of my points from offensive rebounding,” he said.

The Highlanders, who tied for the Big South regular-season title last season, were looking for reinforcements inside. Devonnte Holland was a senior last season, while Devine Eke was a graduate transfer. Leroy Butts entered the transfer portal.

Burke, a South Carolina native, began his college career at Gulf Coast State (Junior) College in Florida.

After Gulf Coast State changed coaches, Burke transferred to Georgia Highlands for his sophomore year.

“It’s going to be a step up [at Radford], playing with guys just as good as me,” he said. “Down here, I was a clear-cut starter. … Up there, it’s going to be a competition.”

Unlike Burke, Jules will have to sit out next season unless he gets a waiver from the NCAA.

Jules averaged 11.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 22.6 minutes as a USC Aiken sophomore last season. He shot 63.5% from the field.

He said he entered the transfer portal in late April because he did not like playing center at USC Aiken.

“I kind of was like the inside man,” he said. “I couldn’t take the ball up a lot. I couldn’t drive to the basket all the time. They wanted me to post up.

“I only was doing one thing I was good at.”

In addition to Radford, Jules said he was also contacted by Western Carolina, Robert Morris, Illinois State, Nichols State and Mount St. Mary’s. Radford was the first school to offer him a scholarship.

“I never thought that I would get several [Division I] people calling me and someone would actually offer me a full ride,” he said.

Jules averaged 12.8 points as a high school senior in Florida.

Radford had signed another transfer, guard Dante Moses of Daytona State (Junior) College, earlier this spring.

Big-name foes for Radford

The Radford men’s basketball team will visit North Carolina State, Vanderbilt and East Carolina as part of its nonconference schedule in the 2020-21 season, according to coach Mike Jones.

The Highlanders will visit South Carolina and TCU in the on-campus portion of the Hall of Fame Classic.

Also as part of that event, Radford will host Elon and visit Norfolk State. Radford will not be among the four teams playing in Kansas City in the championship portion of that event; that foursome will be comprised of South Carolina, TCU, California and Northwestern.

VMI is back on Radford’s schedule after a two-year absence. The Keydets will host the Highlanders to kick off a home-and-home series.

Radford will take on James Madison for the fourth straight year. This time, the game will be at JMU.

Radford’s full nonconference schedule has not yet been announced.

Hokies to host VMI

The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team will host VMI as part of its nonconference schedule in the 2020-21 season.

VMI will be paid $95,000 for the Dec. 9 visit, according to the contract. It will be the third straight year the teams have met.

Central Connecticut State will visit Virginia Tech on Dec. 13, according to another Tech contract. Northeast Conference member Central Connecticut State, which won just four games last season, will be paid $90,000. It will be the teams’ second meeting in three years.

Maine, which won just nine games last season, will visit Tech on Dec. 22. The America East Conference school will receive $85,000.

Another contract provided details about a game that Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweeted about earlier this spring. He had tweeted that Tech will face Davidson as part of a tripleheader in Charlotte.

The tripleheader, which is called the Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout, will be held on Nov. 13. As part of the deal, the Hokies will host Davidson the following season.

As previously reported, the Hokies will play Oklahoma State in Oklahoma City to start a home-and-home series. That game will be Dec. 19.

Tech’s full nonconference schedule has not yet been announced. Rothstein has tweeted that Tech will host George Washington and Marshall.

Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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