VU Men's Basketball Coach Todd Franklin has signed a transfer from the University of Connecticut and expects the newcomer to be a perfect complement to the Trailblazers’ current crop of interior players.
Michael Bradley, a 6-10, 250-pound center from Chattanooga, TN, had signed with and planned to transfer to Western Kentucky after red-shirting his freshman season in 2010-11, then getting injured and having to red-shirt again last season for the Huskies. The season-ending injury was a fractured right ankle that required surgery and rehabilitation.
UConn is facing a postseason ban for the 2012-13 season because of the team's past cumulative Academic Performance Rate (APR) scores.
Bradley had petitioned the NCAA for immediate eligibility with the Hilltoppers, but the NCAA denied his request, which would have required a third consecutive season of no game action. He has been going to summer school at Western Kentucky and Franklin traveled to that school last week to watch Bradley work out. Bradley then visited VU on Friday and signed while on campus.
“He’s a big, talented guy, and he has a vast amount of potential,” Franklin said of the big man, who was pursued by programs such as Georgia and Memphis before choosing UConn. “We hope he can get us over the hump (to be a serious contender for a NJCAA Div. I National Championship at Hutchinson, KS).”
Bradley is a product of Chattanooga’s Tyner Academy. He helped that team reach the district championship, sub-state championship and regional title in 2010. He was also nominated for the 2010 McDonald’s All-American Team.
Bradley’s two-season layoff from game action will require a good amount of work to “get the rust off,” Franklin added, but the benefits are obvious.
“We think he could possibly be really effective in working with (sophomores) Lamine (Dieng), Darius (Carter) and Tyran (de Lattibeaudiere), who have all three had great off-seasons,” Franklin said. “We were looking at getting another big guy in here and we knew we should try to get a true center, because we’re deep at other positions. When you can add a 6-10 Big East (Conference) transfer who doesn’t bring a lot of baggage and was a high test score player, you have to feel fortunate.”