Bringing in a forward from the JUCO ranks has and will continue to be part of the Nate Oats recruiting formula. Tra’Von Fagan is the last immediately-eligible newcomer in our player previews and he’s a very intriguing get for UB.
Hometown: Waterloo, Iowa
Junior College/High School: Florida Southwestern State/Cedar Falls
After his high school career, Fagan received just one offer to play at Upper Iowa, a Division II school. That led the 6-8 forward to the JUCO ranks, where he eventually ended up at Florida Southwestern State after a brief stint at Tyler Junior College.
In his freshman season, he averaged 9.5 points and 7.7 rebounds a game while maintaining a shooting percentage of 57.5. He scored in double figures on 18 different occasions and recorded four double-doubles. His play helped Florida Southwestern reach a 30-3 mark, with the season ending on a NJCAA Quarterfinals loss to Vincennes. Despite falling that early, he was named to the All-Tournament team.
Fagan held offers in his second recruitment from several mid-major schools: Murray State, New Mexico State, Sam Houston State, North Dakota, Texas State, and Pacific.
I really like what I see from Tra’Von’s JUCO tape. There’s flashes of David Kadiri, but also an ability to shoot the three-ball when he’s open from beyond the arc. If his three-point shooting improves from 32 percent, then he’s going to be a very tough MAC big-man to deal with like his now-fellow-teammate Montell McRae.
UB isn’t as deep at forward as they are at guard, so I think Fagan definitely has a shot in his first season to get some minutes off of the bench, especially from the almost certain-to-come blowout situations the Bulls will see this season.