NCAA college basketball transfer protocol puts 5 players on USI roster

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — As the University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team prepares for its inaugural season in Division I, its seemingly roster has a completely different look.

Nine of the 14 players are new to the team. Each has found his way to Evansville through different avenues. Some have experience while others will be playing their first collegiate game.

Five join the Screaming Eagles as Division I transfers: Two from the Big Ten, two from the Missouri Valley Conference and another from the Mid-American Conference.

More:USI men’s basketball opens summer practices with new faces, Division I excitement

Here’s how they landed on the West Side.

Jeremiah Hernandez

Sophomore guard from Kent State

When he decided to enter the transfer portal, one of the first people who reached out was USI assistant coach John Spruance.

But it wasn’t just the initial contact that stood out. It was the continued determination they showed during recruitment. From his first visit alongside future teammate Gary Solomon, he could sense they truly wanted him to join the program.

Kent State sophomore guard Jeremiah Hernandez drives to the basket during Tuesday night's game against Point Park University at the MAC Center.

That was all he needed.

“I wanted to go to a coaching staff who believed in me and believed in my game,” Hernandez said. “They let me know that they wanted me to come here and show the world what I can do. They’ve done a good job of making me and my family feel at home.”

Hernandez has spent the past two seasons playing at Kent State in the Mid-American Conference. He averaged 3.2 points and 1.1 rebounds across 52 games.

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