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Daily Portal Report: Former Five Stars; Two Conference Players of the Year Enter Portal

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With multiple Power-5 commitments and two Conference Players of the Year entering their name into the portal, Wednesday featured a jam-packed day of college basketball news. The Portal Report has all the latest news and highlights from Wednesday’s portal pledges and entrants.

Portal Entries

After beginning his career at Wright State and transforming into a mid-major star at Chattanooga, Southern Conference Player of the Year Malachi Smith has entered the portal. The Belleville, IL native stuffed the stat sheet this past season, averaging 19.9 PPG, 6.7 RBG, and 3.0 APG. Smith immediately becomes one of the best available scorers in the portal.

Winthrop big-man D.J. Burns Jr. has entered the transfer portal for the second time, previously attending the University of Tennessee. The Rock Hill, S.C. native averaged 15 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 63 percent from the field. He is the reigning Big South Player of the Year and was the highest ranked recruit to ever don a Winthrop Eagle uniform.

Following a four-year stint in Lubbock, Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist Kevin McCullar Jr. has claimed a spot in the portal and declared for the NBA Draft. McCullar tallied 10.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest, while leading the Red Raiders with 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Should the San Antonio, Texas native return to the collegiate ranks, he will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Grad transfer and NBA Draft entrant Dominick Welch made his debut in the portal after a four-year career at St. Bonaventure. The sharpshooter connected on 37.4 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, averaging 12.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last season. The 6-foot-5 guard finishes his career as a Bonnie third all-time in 3PM (257) and started in 105 of his 110 career games.

The fifth Illini to test the portal waters, Illinois’ Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk will seek a new home for the 2022-2023 season. Bosmans-Verdonk averaged 1.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 24 appearances this past season. The junior will have two years of eligibility as he enters the next chapter of his career.

Commitments

Kentucky continued their portal success on Wednesday, earning a commitment from Illinois State transfer and MVC All-Conference Second Team selection Antonio Reeves. One of the best scorers in the portal, Reeves scored 20.1 points per game, while shooting 39 percent from three-point range. The Chicago, IL native chose the Wildcats over Xavier, Oregon, Nebraska, and DePaul.

Former five-star recruit and Indiana sophomore Khristian Lander is taking his talents to Rick Stansbury and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The Evansville, Ind. native averaged 2.4 points and 1.1 assists in 39 games as a Hoosier.

After tallying 14.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, Southeastern Louisiana transfer Gus Okafor will head to The Sunflower State to play for Wichita State. The All-Southland Conference First Team Selection connected on 42 percent of his shots, while leading the Lions to a berth in the Southland Championship game.

As Maryland coach Kevin Willard utilized the transfer route as a player, he looks to bolster his roster the same way as a coach. While remaining in the NBA Draft process, Charlotte transfer Jahmir Young is headed to College Park as a Terrapin. The Upper Marlboro, MD native tallied 19.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists this past season.

Former Memphis Tiger and two-time transfer Landers Nolley will stay in the American Conference and play for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Nolley began his career at Virginia Tech and has averaged 12.9 points and 4.6 rebounds over his three year career. As a two-time transfer, Nolley will need a waiver to be eligible this season.

Franck Kepnang replicated Nolley’s path of staying in the same conference, as the Oregon transfer plans to continue his career at Washington. Kepnang appeared in all 35 games this season, recording 4.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest.

Former Eastern Kentucky guard and North Carolina native Jomaru Brown will continue his collegiate career under Cliff Ellis at Coastal Carolina. The future Chanticleer averaged 15 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 2.2 APG at Eastern Kentucky.

As the portal giveth, the portal taketh. Coastal Carolina transfer Ebrima Dibba is headed from Conway to Columbia, where he’ll join the transfer-laden roster at South Carolina. The redshirt junior recorded 8.1 points and 5.1 assists per game this past season.

Temple earned a commitment from its first incoming player for the 2022-2023 season in Northern Colorado transfer Kur Jongkuch. Jongkuch amassed 8.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-9 big man will provide an impactful inside scoring presence, while protecting the paint on the defensive end.

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