Former Binghamton men’s basketball star Jordan Reed has transferred to Tennessee State, according to a tweet from ESPN Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman.
In his tweet, posted on Jan. 20, Goodman stated that Reed told ESPN he has committed to Tennessee State.
However, according to an email sent to Pipe Dream on Jan. 23 by Tennessee State’s Assistant Director for Athletic Media Relations, José Garcia, TSU’s athletic department has no confirmation of Jordan Reed’s transfer.
Garcia added that “at last check,” Reed was not enrolled in any courses at TSU. Tennessee State’s spring semester began on Jan. 20.
Reed could not be reached for comment.
But, presuming the bureaucratic processes are just working slowly as they sometimes tend to and Reed really is transferring to TSU and will have 1.5 years of eligibility beginning next spring, the 6-foot-4 athletic guard may be an asset to another struggling basketball program under a new head coach.
Dana Ford, who took the helm of TSU’s men’s basketball team last April, inherited a program similarly situated to the one Binghamton head coach Tommy Dempsey assumed three years ago: The Tigers are 3-17 in 2014-15, and sit in last place in the Ohio Valley East Conference.
Ford will lose his leading scorer in Jay Harris — who has averaged 11.2 points in 27.7 minutes per contest so far this season — to graduation in May.
Presumably, Reed will help to fill that vacated role. After all, the facts seem to justify the speculation that Reed only left Binghamton because of his curtailed minutes and hampered stardom. A sputtering program like TSU’s may be the perfect fit for Reed, who averaged just 10.6 minutes over the five games he played for Binghamton his junior season. Following his truncated time on the court, Reed missed a morning shootaround for an away game at Army on Nov. 25 and subsequently asked for his release from the program on Dec. 5.
The Bearcats (2-19, 1-5 America East), on the other hand, are slowly pulling themselves up by the bootstraps without their former star. They’ve certainly struggled, especially with injuries to their front court and leading scorers in freshman center Dusan Perovic — who underwent ACL surgery on Thursday — and sophomore forward Nick Madray — who is still out with a sprained ankle. But they’ve found production from other areas.
Sophomore guard Marlon Beck II, for one, has been explosive for Binghamton in the last five games. The 5-foot-11 point guard is averaging 11.4 points and 2.2 assists per game over that span. After a bit of a rocky start, Beck looks back in his midseason form. He’s been prolific at setting up big shots for his teammates, and has found space for himself, as well.
Freshman guard Romello Walker also came up big when his team needed it most, averaging 12.8 points per game over the past six contests. The 6-foot-6 forward is especially effective in clutch moments, and has repeatedly supplied an electrifying dunk, layup, steal or block to get his team energized after a lull. Walker surpassed Madray as the third-leading scorer, and is now averaging 8.4 points per game on the season.
Freshman forward Willie Rodriguez has also been productive for BU as the team’s go-to for points in the paint and leading rebounder. Rodriguez is averaging 10.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 29 minutes per contest this season, and has scored a team-high 219 points.
Defensively, Binghamton has been consistently staunch all season. Even without Reed and generally without sophomore forward Magnus Richards — who was supposed fill the role of “mad dog” in Dempsey’s press, but who has struggled with injuries through his time in the green and white — the Bearcats have pressed and looked decent doing it. In their 65-46 win over Maine on Jan. 10, the Bearcats forced 17 turnovers and converted that into 19 points. In their close battle with New Hampshire one week later, the Bearcats forced 22 miscues before a very one-sided overtime period saddled them with a 73-66 loss.
That defensive prowess has been the key, it seems. So while Binghamton and Jordan Reed may not have parted amicably, it seems each will do fine without the other.