By Marty Gordon
The Radford University men’s basketball team has picked up two more players thanks to the transfer portal. Forward TJ Nesmith and grad transfer Chandler Turner recently announced plans to attend the Big South school, adding to four student-athletes courtesy of the portal.
Turner will join the Highlanders for the 2023-24 season following four years at Bowling Green.
Radford head coach Darris Nichols said Turner is an excellent person on and off the court, making him a great fit for the program. “He plays extremely hard on both ends of the floor and brings a different offensive game to our team. We’re excited to welcome him to the Highlander family and are looking forward to getting him here with the rest of our players this summer.”
A 6-7, 210 wing who can defend multiple positions, Turner adds invaluable experience and versatility to the squad.
In his first four collegiate seasons, the Detroit, Mich. native averaged 5.6 points on 46.0% (203-441) shooting while adding 3.4 rebounds per game and career totals of 65 assists, 47 steals and 22 blocks.
His improvement on the floor was apparent as he matured, culminating in a career year during the 2022-23 season in which he averaged a career-high 8.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest while starting 25 of 29 games for the Falcons.
Turner scored in double-figures 13 times last season, highlighted by 21 points against Northern Illinois – just two points off his career-high of 23 points, which he recorded against Oakland in 2021. He also posted a team-high three double-doubles with 10 boards each time.
Along with his on-the-court accomplishments, Turner was a fantastic student in the classroom. He was honored for his academic success in 2020-21 by being named to the MAC All-Academic Team.
Prior to BGSU, Turner played at Renaissance High School where he earned four varsity letters for coaches Vito Jordan and John White. He averaged 24.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists as a senior, making him a finalist for the state of Michigan’s 2018-19 Mr. Basketball Award.
Nesmith joins the Highlanders from Lenoir-Rhyne.
“We are thrilled to add TJ (Nesmith) to the Highlander family,” said Nichols. “He is an individual who has only improved over the course of his college basketball career, and we know he will continue to grow on and off the court at Radford. TJ is a player that brings a bunch of versatility to the court, and we are looking forward to having him a part of our program!”
Standing at 6’9″, 220-lbs, Nesmith provides an excellent combination of skill and size that will immediately jump out to fans on both ends of the floor. As a native of Burlington, N.C., he continues a pipeline of talent from his hometown that also produced fellow Highlanders Justin Cousin (2013-18) and Josiah Jeffers (2018-23).
In two years at Lenoir-Rhyne, he averaged 15.4 points on 60.7% (303-for-499) shooting from the floor and 77.7% (160-for-206) at the free throw line. Nesmith added 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game as well.
His strong play earned Third Team All-South Atlantic Conference honors for the 2021-22 season, and he followed it up with a Second-Team All-South Atlantic Conference selection after the 2022-23 season.
Prior to Lenoir-Rhyne, Nesmith played at Cape Fear Community College where he averaged 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game while shooting 55.6% from the field. He played his prep basketball at Graham High School.
When they arrive on campus, the duo will be joined by fellow transfers Truth Harris and Josiah Harris, as well as incoming freshmen Trevor Roe and Trenton Walters.
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