Tyler Nickel. Courtesy of UNC.
Tyler Nickel. Courtesy of UNC.

Justin McKoy, a Cara, N.C., product, who began his college basketball career at Virginia before a two-season stop at North Carolina, has entered the transfer portal for the second time in his career.

Justin McKoy. Courtesy of UNC.
Justin McKoy. Courtesy of UNC.

McKoy played in a total of 33 games in two seasons at Virginia, averaging 1.0 points as a freshman and 3.7 as a sophomore. He played in only 11 games this season as a Tar Heel for a total of 59 minutes.

A second North Carolina player, Tyler Nickel, has entered the transfer portal and has been linked with Virginia Tech. Nickel, listed at 6-7 and 230 pounds, played in high school at East Rockingham High School outside Elkton. 

He played in 25 games this year, with an average of 6.1 minutes and scored 52 points in 27 games, going six of 27 on 3-pointers.

He is the leading all-time scorer in the Virginia High School League and was recruited out of high school by both Tech and James Madison.

Keeping up with the coaching carousel and transfer portal

A name that has received increased publicity as Notre Dame and Georgetown have pursued men’s basketball openings is second-year Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry.

Shrewsberry had the football-centric Nittany Lions on the verge of a Big Ten men’s basketball championship this past weekend before Purdue held on for a 67-65 victory.

After a playing career at Hanover (Ind.) College, Shrewsberry served time as an assistant with Butler and Purdue, as well as the Boston Celtics. He also spent time at Indiana-South Bend, where he was the head coach.

 Another name that has been mentioned is John Becker, who is in his 12th year as the head coach at Vermont, where he is 265-110 overall and has a 150-28 record in the America East.

In addition to that, Becker has a Washington, D.C., background from time spent at Catholic University and Gallaudet University. 

Providence coach Ed Cooley also has been mentioned with the Georgetown opening, as has Mike Brey, out after 23 seasons as the head coach at Notre Dame. 

At 70, retired former Kentucky and Louisville coach Rick Pitino also has been mentioned.

Georgetown guard Primo Spears, who began his career at Duquesne, could be headed to the NBA but is considering a third college program.

More moves

Syracuse guard Symir Torrence, who played in 31 games this past season, has entered the transfer portal. He began his college career at Marquette before transferring to Syracuse, where he averaged 2.4 points this past season.

J.J. Starling, who averaged 11.2 points this past season at Notre Dame, has transferred to Syracuse, where he will play for new coach Adrian Autry, previously an aide to retiring head coach Jim Boeheim. 

Skyy Clark, a highly regarded recruit who was a starter at Illinois for the first half of the season 2022-23 season, is planning a recruiting visit to Louisville.

Late decision

With the decision by Georgia Tech not to retain head coach Josh Pastner, one of the Yellow Jackets’ top recruits, 6-4 shooting guard Blue Cain from Knoxville, Tenn., has sparked the interest of Virginia and Virginia Tech. It has been said that he has a physical resemblance to former UVa star Kyle Guy.

Dukes surge

In its first season as a member of the Sun Belt, the James Madison men’s basketball team finished 22-11 under third-year head coach, Mark Byington, whose Dukes were 11-3 at their Atlantic Union Bank Center.

It was JMU’s third straight winning season for the Dukes, who had the benefit of Sun Belt sixth man of the year in Terrence Edwards, who had four games of 20 points or more while averaging a team-leading 12.8 points per game.


Clyde Christensen, the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the past four seasons, has returned to his alma mater, North Carolina, as an “offensive analyst.”

Doug Doughty has been writing for more than 50 years starting as a high school student in Washington,...