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Rock men’s basketball brings in nine total transfers

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Slippery Rock senior forward Richard Bivens scores on a layup versus Pittsburgh. Bivens came to SRU from Florida International this year, one of the Rock's nine transfers.

Slippery Rock senior forward Richard Bivens scores on a layup versus Pittsburgh. Bivens came to SRU from Florida International this year, one of the Rock's nine transfers.

Slippery Rock senior forward Richard Bivens scores on a layup versus Pittsburgh. Bivens came to SRU from Florida International this year, one of the Rock's nine transfers.

Keegan Beard, Rocket Contributor

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Head Coach Kevin Reynolds of the Slippery Rock men’s basketball team is no stranger to having a transfer-laden team. At the beginning of last season, the team only had two returners with almost a full team of transfer players. This season the team will welcome nine transfers to play alongside the four returning players from last season.
The first of the new transfers is a 6’3″ guard from Garret College in Maryland. Redshirt-junior De’Shea Lee comes in with impressive stats averaging 16.3 points per game (ppg) on 54 percent shooting from the field and 41.2 percent on three-point field shots. Lee said that Slippery Rock stuck out to him when he was searching for somewhere to continue his career because of how well The Rock stayed in contact with him.
“I was finishing up at my last school and I was in contact with them the most out of any other school,” Lee said.
Lee is also making somewhat of a homecoming coming to The Rock as he was a graduate of Altoona Area High School. The Rock’s resume and history of sending players to play professionally overseas is what drew in Lee.
Lee was confident that the team has prepared well for the season and is doing well to learn to play together. Lee says that since so many players on the team are in the same situation, it makes it easier for them to play together as a team.
The next transfer is a 5’10” guard coming in from Allegheny College in Cumberland, Maryland. Gabe Mack is the shortest player on The Rock team, but he’s no stranger to playing with guys almost a foot taller than him.
“I’ve always been the smallest guy on the court so it hasn’t really been too much of an adjustment,” Mack said. “I know I just have to be that much more detail-oriented and better at making decisions on the court”.
Mack also thinks that the team’s chemistry is coming along well so far this season.
“It’s actually been good, it’s better than I thought it was going to be because we’ve got a lot of guys that just transferred in here,” Mack said. “We used the preseason to just learn how guys are playing in order to get better as the season continues”.
Brandon Simmons is the next Rock transfer coming from Marshalltown Community College as a 6’9″ forward with 11.7 ppg, 8.1 rebounds per game(rpg), and two blocks per game. Marshalltown has a history of sending players to The Rock to play basketball; both senior center Christal Malalu and senior guard Merdic Green came to The Rock via Marshalltown. Those are only two of the more than half-dozen players Marshalltown has sent to The Rock since 2012.
“They kept going with [recruiting] consistently, and it’s close to home,” Simmons said.
Marshalltown is located in Iowa so the move to The Rock brought Simmons closer to his home in Harlem, New York.
Also coming in as transfers to play for The Rock is Bruce Spurrel, a 6’4″ guard from American International College in Massachusetts. He averaged 12.8 ppg and 4.7 rpg.
Richard Bevins is a 6’9″ forward coming in from Florida International with 2.7 ppg and 2.2 rpg with 56 percent from the field overall. Both Bivens and Spruell started the team’s exhibition game at Pittsburgh. Both played 20 minutes, and Bivens brought in eight rebounds, while Spruell recorded four points.
The Rock has two additional transfers that cannot play immediately. Junior center Troidell Carter can play once the fall semester grades are final, and junior forward Ryan Skovranko will redshirt this year after coming from West Chester.
These transfers will join two other transfers from Harford College, Aaron Mcdonald and Micah Till, and the four returners to make up The Rock men’s basketball team. The team will compete next at the Jakobi’s Journey Classic November 11 and 12 to start the season.

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Rock men’s basketball brings in nine total transfers