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MTSU Men's Basketball Finalized Transfer Portal Class

Noah Maddox
Posted 6/10/24

In this week’s transfer portal class review, we move on to take a look at the MTSU Men’s Basketball program.

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MTSU Men's Basketball Finalized Transfer Portal Class


In this week’s transfer portal class review, we move on to take a look at the MTSU Men’s Basketball team. There was a lot of movement both in and out of the program after an injury-riddled campaign last year that saw the Blue Raiders finish 14-19 (7-9) after going 19-14 last season. 

There were high expectations under now seventh-year head coach, Nick McDevitt, going into last season, but in large part due to all the injuries, those expectations never had a chance to be met. Moving forward to this upcoming season, McDevitt has brought in a very intriguing five-man transfer class that, if healthy, could be fighting for an NCAA Tournament berth by the time March comes back around. 

Kamari Lands, Essam Mostafa, Jlynn Counter, Jarred Hall, and Christian Fussell are the five members of the most recent incoming transfer class while Jared Coleman-Jones, Josh Ogundele, and Jestin Porter all entered their names into the transfer portal. 

Outgoing Transfers

Porter and Coleman-Jones were key contributors to last season’s team averaging 14 points per game and 11 PPG with 7.6 RPG respectively. The 6-foot 10-inch Coleman-Jones was a solid interior presence for the Blue Raiders, playing 28.8 minutes per game. He recently committed to San Diego State for his final year of eligibility. The 6-foot 1-inch Porter is still listed as uncommitted at the time of this print. He shot 33.7% 3PT last season and 39.9% FG overall in 31.8 minutes per game, stepping up to fill voids left by injuries early in the season. 

Kamari Lands

Lands is a 6-foot 8-inch junior forward who came off the bench at Arizona State for the majority of last season, averaging 4.5 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 18.8 MPG. He shot just 28.4% FG on 5.1 FGA per game and 27.9% 3PT on 2.7 attempts per game. On film, Lands actually has a pretty smooth looking jump shot, so the Blue Raiders are hoping that with potentially more attempts and reps he will find a rhythm from range. 

On the offensive end, Lands is a complementary piece who is being brought in to provide some spacing for MTSU’s guards. He did not shoot well off the dribble last season, shooting 22% eFG on those attempts, but he was more productive in catch and shoot opportunities as well as in transition.

The lanky forward also possesses the capabilities and tools to be a good defender as well. In a league dominated by physical defense to cover up for some offensive deficiencies a team might have, Lands has the potential to fit nicely into McDevitt’s aggressive style of defense.

Essam Mostafa

The 6-foot 10-inch Mostafa is an uber-talented center transferring in from TCU that saw a dip in both his playing time and statistics last season, and he is coming to Murfreesboro looking for one last chance as a senior. The Egyptian played his first four seasons – one being a redshirt year – at Coastal Carolina, averaging 12.5 points and 9.4 rebounds on 27.6 minutes per game. He averaged a double-double in his final year with the Chanticleers with 12.4 PPG and 10 RPG – leading the Sun Belt in rebounding and double-doubles – before transferring to TCU.

Last season at TCU he seemed to get lost among the fold, averaging less than 3 PPG and just over 3 RPG in less than 10 minutes per game. He shot 59% around the rim for the Horned Frogs last season which accounted for about three-quarters of all of his field goal attempts (74%)

However, in his limited action last season, Mostafa showed off his ability to block and contest shots with a 4.9% block rate. Going back to Coastal Carolina, he even averaged over one block per game in his redshirt-sophomore season. He also showed off an ability to crash the offensive glass, posting an offensive rebounding rate of nearly 20% for the Horned Frogs. He showcased an ability to post-up at times, but the majority of his scoring last season came off of rim-running in transition, on putbacks, or from cuts to the basket.  

Jlynn Counter

Counter is  a 6-foot 3-inch junior guard from IUPUI who committed to MTSU at the end of April. In his two years with the Jaguars, he started all but five games total, averaging 14.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.2 steals while playing 30 minutes per game over 60 games. 

He is a hard slasher to the basket with a good-looking pull-up elbow jumper, but is a work in progress on the perimeter. He shot 46.5% FG, but he shot less than 30% from three on less than three attempts per game. However, he shot 59% around the basket, showcasing a strong finishing package at the rim. Counter also shoots 41% from three on the left wing, accounting for 10% of his scoring last season.

The hard-nosed guard also has a great eye for his teammates with a 23% assist rate with IUPUI last year, and he is a very competent ball handler in the pick-and-roll. He also likes to score off ball screens, averaging 0.72 PPP when he is the primary ball handler, but he is extremely efficient playing off the ball as well. Counter averaged 1.08 PPP on spot ups, putting him in the 78th percentile last year, and he also loves to get out and run in transition, averaging 1.03 PPP on the fastbreak. 

One of the things that Counter will have to work on is cutting down his turnovers. He averaged almost four turnovers per game in his sophomore season before averaging 3.4 last season. 

Jarred Hall

Hall is a sophomore 6-foot 8-inch forward from Tulsa, but he originally played his high school basketball in Lebanon. 

The former Golden Hurricane comes back to Murfreesboro after averaging just 10 minutes per game in 24 appearances at Tulsa last season. In those 10 minutes, he averaged 2.8 points. 2.3 rebounds, and shot 30% FG on two attempts per game. 

Hall will provide some extra depth on the frontlines, and will look to improve and have a chance to compete for more playing time than what he saw in Tulsa last season.

Christian Fussell 

Fussell, a 6-foot 10-inch forward, will return to the Blue Raiders for his final year of college basketball after transferring to UT-Martin. 

"We are excited to welcome Christian back into our Middle Tennessee Basketball family," Head Coach Nick McDevitt said after Fussell signed, per MT Athletics. "He possesses the size, skill and experience that we were seeking to help complete our 2024-25 roster. He spent three seasons playing in Murfreesboro playing in almost sixty games as a Blue Raider. His transition back into our systems should be quick and seamless." 

Fussell averaged 2.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game over his first three years at MTSU. Last year with the Skyhawks his stats took a tiny dip, so this year he returns to Murfreesboro to try and help the Blue Raiders compete for the C-USA title like he did in 2021-22 when MTSU won the East Division.

Middle Tennessee State University, Transfer Portal, Kamari Lands, Essam Mostafa, Jlynn Counter, Jarred Hall, Christian Fussell