Appalachian State Heads to Portal To Continue Resurgence
Dustin Kerns became the head basketball coach at Appalachian State prior to the 2019-2020 season. The Mountaineers hadn’t recorded three consecutive winning campaigns or made the NCAA Tournament since the turn of century.
Since his arrival, the 2021 Sun Belt conference champions have done nothing but win. Kerns has guided the Mountaineers to three consecutive winning seasons, their highest win total since 2010, and their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2000.
As Appalachian State missed the Big Dance for the first time under Kerns this past season, the Mountaineers turned to the transfer portal to continue their winning ways.
APPALACHIAN STATE TRANSFER ADDITIONS:
CARVELL TEASETT, NORTHWESTERN STATE
12.9 PTS / 3.2 AST / 1.0 STL / 37.0% 3FG
TAMELL PEARSON, WESTERN ILLINOIS
10.1 PTS / 5.9 REB / 56.8% FG
TYREE BOYKIN, UNION
19.5 PTS / 3.0 REB / 44% FG / 38% 3FG
DIBAJI WALKER, UMASS
5.4 PTS / 3.3 REB / 57.7% FG / 43.8% 3FG
With the Mountaineers losing four of their five starters to graduation or the NBA, Kerns turned to the portal to reload and gain experience. Three of the four incoming transfers have played at least four seasons of college basketball, with Carvell Teasett spending just two seasons at Northwestern State.
Scoring should not be an issue for the Mountaineers, bringing in three double-digit scorers through the portal. As a sophomore, Teasett recorded 18 points against then No. 1 Baylor and a career-high 27 points versus Southland Conference champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The combo guard scored in double figures in 17 of his 23 appearances this past season, leading the Demons in three-point field goals with 61.
Tamell Pearson heads to Appalachian State after two seasons at both UAB and Western Illinois, averaging double digits in scoring the past two campaigns. Pearson shot a team-high 56.8 percent from the field, starting all 31 games for the Leathernecks as a senior. His experience and rim presence will alleviate the lost production, as Pearson has averaged more than two offensive and 3.5 defensive rebounds per game at Western Illinois.
Dibaji Walker and Division II transfer Tyree Boykin round out the transfer class for Dustin Kerns. Walker, who began his career at Cleveland State, comes to the Sun Belt Conference following a three-year stint in Amherst. The former Minuteman has the ability to score at all three levels. Walker’s versatility will provide positive mismatches for the Mountaineers.
From the Division II ranks, Boykin brings an elite scoring package to Boone. The 6-foot-1 guard was tabbed the Gulf South Conference Player of the Year and a D2 All-American selection. He recorded 1,689 points for the Bulldogs, including a 48-point outing as a sophomore.
With four spots seemingly up for grabs in the starting lineup, the quartet of incoming transfers will vie for a spot in the rotation. As Kern looks to reload and continue his success at the helm, here’s what The Portal Report predicts to be the Mountaineers’ starting five.
TPR’S PROJECTED LINEUP FOR APPALACHIAN STATE:
CARVELL TEASETT, G
TYREE BOYKIN, G
DONOVAN GREGORY, F
TAMELL PEARSON, F
CJ HUNTLEY, F