JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 14, 2013) – ETSU men’s basketball head coach Murry Bartow announced Tuesday that the Buccaneers have officially received a national letter of intent from junior college transfer Jaylen Riley (Racine, Wis.).
Riley, a 6-foot, 175-pound shooting guard, averaged 19.3 points a game last season for Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Ill. Riley was a third-team NJCAA Division I All-American a year ago, shooting 40 percent from 3-point range and 71 percent from the foul line.
“We were searching for a combo guard who can score, and Jalen meets that need,” Bartow said. “He can really make threes, but he can also create his own shot, which is something we were looking for. We obviously felt like we needed more scoring punch on the perimeter, and with Jaylen we are getting a guy that averaged 20 points a game last year.”
For Riley, he has a simple goal for his time at ETSU.
“I want to show the fans at ETSU how much passion I have for the game, and I hope all of us can have a lot of fun,” Riley said. “I’m a shooter and I like to score the basketball, but the biggest thing is I love the game and I’m ready to seize the opportunity I’m getting in Johnson City. I really like the coaching staff and the guys on the team, and I’m really thankful for this chance to play at ETSU.”
Despite his ability to shoot and score the basketball, Sauk Valley Community College head coach Russ Damhoff said Riley is not just a one-dimensional player.
“He did make 95 three pointers for us and shot over 40 percent last year, and at the end of the year I think most teams knew that he was the guy we were going to when we needed points – but he’s much more than that,” Damhoff said. “He’s not afraid to pass and no one on our team thought of him as selfish. All year he made a huge difference for us, especially when we moved him to the two-guard. He’s very coachable and the best thing about him is he’s got an extremely high basketball I.Q.”
“I think the fans at East Tennessee State will enjoy having him on the team.”
Riley joins a trio of players who have already signed to join the Bucs’ 2013-14 recruiting class, a group that includes Devin Harris (Tampa, Fla.), Maurice O’Field (Cleveland, Ohio) and A.J. Merriweather (Jackson). For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the offseason, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.