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Basketball Recruiting

The Portal: ECU's Jayden Gardner is a top-available transfer

April 1, 2021

It’s been two days since East Carolina forward Jayden Gardner announced his intentions to enter the transfer portal and leave Joe Dooley’s program.

Since? His phone has been going off non-stop.

The 6-foot-7 forward started in 79 of 81 career games which are very impressive numbers for the 20-year-old. In addition, he’s coming off a season where he averaged over 18.3 points and over eight rebounds per contest. 

Gardner is an old-school post-man that shoots the ball over 50% from the field over his three seasons for the Pirates. Schools have a major interest in his efficiency and his ability to grab rebounds, as he has averaged an impressive 8.5 rebounds over his three years.

Why is he being so heavily recruited?

He’s got two years left and has obviously proven his worth and consistency over the last three seasons. So who all has reached out? Gardner answered those hard-hitting questions for

Which programs have reached out?

“Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Miami, Virginia, NC State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Florida, Alabama, Boston College, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, and Xavier.”

How did your virtual meeting with NC State’s staff go, what is the pitch?

“They’ve got a great coach who is also a  great man. Local hometown team, great environment and situation to be in playing in ACC in front of my family.”

How about the one you had with Oklahoma State? Thoughts?

“Another Great coach who has fire and compassion and loves his players and works hard and I’d be in a situation where the Big 12 is gonna be a war every night.”

You also just talked with Virginia’s Tony Bennett, how was that?

“They have a prestigious coach who will go down in the hall of fame and that I can learn from and help me get to where I want to get to because of the success he’s had of getting guys to the pros, and opportunity to test my skills in the ACC.”

What will you bring to one of these schools?

“I will bring heart hustle spirit leader and winning mentality I’m a team-first guy and will do anything to help my team win.”

When are you trying to commit?

“Within the next three weeks, I hope to have a decision.”

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