Eastern signs two junior college transfers to play basketball

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

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Just days after the Panthers lost three sophomores to transferring, Eastern men’s basketball brought in two junior college transfers. This is following a trend of bringing in three JUCO transfers last year.

Once the Panthers unexpectedly lost Casey Teson, Marshawn Blackmon and Patrick Muldoon, it left them with a few holes to fill other than Demetrius McReynolds.

Eastern coach Jay Spoonhour announced the signings of Michael Chavers and JaJuan Starks Wednesday. It was the first day of the national signing period.

Chavers is a 6’5” wing from Los Angeles and comes from El Camino College in Los Angeles. His junior college team was ranked the top team in California for most of the season finishing 27-5.

Chavers averaged nine points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game and shot 48 percent.

He earned second team all conference and scored in double figures 14 times. He set a season high of 21 points.

“Michael is a tremendous athlete and as good of a perimeter defender as you’ll find,” Spoonhour said in a press release. “Their El Camino team had an outstanding year and Michael was a big part of that.”

Starks spent the last two seasons at Wabash Valley College and is originally from Ft. Wayne, Ind. He averaged 14.3 points per game and six rebounds per game. He is a 6’4” 215 wing.

He scored in double figures in his last 14 games of his sophomore year.

“JuJuan’s second half of the season was really impressive. It gives you a good indication of just how strong this guy is and how much he wants to win,” Spoonhour said in the press release. “He played his best basketball in the most important games.”

Spoonhour said in the press release that the team was looking to get faster and tougher and that they are headed in the right direction with the signing of the two players.

Chavers and Starks will join a heavy upperclassman roster with a majority of players being juniors and seniors.

Senior Terrell Lewis leads that charge after spending the previous three seasons here. Last year’s JUCO signings of Montell Goodwin, Muusa Dama and Ray Crossland will also be seniors. DeVantae’ Price will be a redshirt senior.

Aboubacar Diallo and Lucas Jones will be juniors next year.

Eastern missed the tournament this past season, but have plenty of experience returning.

Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]