‘I’m back’: Bradley basketball starting big man to return for fifth-year senior season

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Bradley’s Darius Hannah reacts to his slam dunk over Missouri State in the first half of their Missouri Valley Conference basketball game Saturday, Jan. 6, 2023 at Carver Arena in Peoria. The Braves defeated the Bears 86-60.

PEORIA — The Bradley Braves have ended up with a really big piece for their roster re-tooling.

A 6-foot-9 piece, in fact.

Bradley center Darius Hannah opted to forgo the NCAA transfer portal and returned to the Braves for his fifth-year senior season, he announced Wednesday on X.com. It’s a big step in helping the Braves toward contending for the Missouri Valley Conference title next season.

“Darius’ growth every year he’s been at Bradley has been an upward climb,” Bradley coach Brian Wardle said. “I’m excited to see where he’ll grow again.

“It’ll be terrific for us to have him. It will be Duke’s (Deen) and Darius’ team next year.”

Dollars and sense: How Bradley basketball and its NIL group navigate the NCAA transfer portal

The Braves have lost two starters — Malevy Leons (out of eligibility) and Connor Hickman (transfer portal), but retained starters Hannah and point guard Duke Deen, both of whom opted to stay. Rotation players Christian Davis and Demarion Burch also have announced they will return for 2024-25.

Those are big moves in a 2024 transfer portal season that has been brutal to the Missouri Valley Conference, which has seen 10 of its 16 all-conference team players leave for the portal, including two-time Valley Player of the Year Tucker DeVries.

“We’ve lost a lot with Malevy and Hickman being gone,” Wardle said. “It just depends on if you can recruit the portal well. We’re doing our research, and I feel good right now about who we are pursuing. But it’s ever-changing every day.

“The portal is a war.”

More: Bradley basketball roster 2024-25: Who has eligibility remaining and why one star chose to stay

The 6-foot-9 Hannah held down the 5 spot for the Braves and was among the nation’s best shooters with a field goal percentage of 61.2%. He blocked 42…

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/im-back-bradley-basketball-starting-221042523.html

Author : Journal Star

Publish date : 2024-04-03 22:10:42

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