Three transfers granted immediate eligibility for JMU men’s basketball

Three incoming transfers have been granted immediate eligibility for the James Madison men’s...
Three incoming transfers have been granted immediate eligibility for the James Madison men’s basketball team.(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 5:19 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Three incoming transfers have been granted immediate eligibility for the James Madison men’s basketball team.

Sources close to the program have confirmed to WHSV that Joel Mensah, Vado Morse, and Jalen Hodge are all immediately eligible for the upcoming 2020-2021 season. National college basketball reporter Jon Rothstein was first to report the news:

Mensah is a 6′10″ forward who has joined the Dukes from San Diego State. Morse and Hodge are both guards coming to JMU from Mount St. Mary’s and Louisiana Monroe, respectively.

JMU sent out the following press release Monday evening about the three Dukes earning immediate eligibility:

Press Release from James Madison University Men’s Basketball - Monday, July 27

James Madison men’s basketball has received notice from the NCAA that three incoming transfers - Jalen Hodge, Joel Mensah and Vado Morse - have all been granted a legislative relief waiver and will be immediately eligible to play at JMU for the 2020-21 season, as announced by Head Coach Mark Byington on Monday.

“We’re obviously very excited to have confirmation from the NCAA that these three will be immediately eligible,” Byington said. “Not only are they talented players, but they are experienced players. With COVID-19, we have had limited access to our student-athletes, which puts a premium on having guys who know how to navigate a unique season.”

Hodge, who comes to Harrisonburg after two seasons at Louisiana Monroe, was Byington’s first commit as JMU’s head coach back in April. After seeing action in nine games as a freshman in 2018-19, he played in 18 this season as a sophomore, starting nine contests while averaging 7.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and just under two assists. The O’Fallon, Ill. native was named all-state by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and earned First Team All-Southwestern Conference as a senior after averaging 20.4 points, 4.7 boards and 3.2 assists.

Mensah, who stands 6-foot-10 and originally hails from Accra, Ghana, joins the Dukes from San Diego State, who closed the 2019-20 season ranked No. 6 in the final AP Top 25 Poll of the year. Prior to appearing in 36 games across two seasons with the Aztecs, Mensah was a four-star player coming out of JSerra Catholic High in California and was named the No. 29 center in the nation by ESPN.

Morse spent two seasons at Mount St. Mary’s prior to his arrival in Harrisonburg, averaging 12.8 points per game and earning 2018-19 NEC Rookie of the Year honors along the way while posting 14.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists as a freshman for the Mountaineers. Before heading to The Mount, Morse averaged 23 points per game as a senior at the Bullis School, earning Second Team All-Met honors.

The Dukes, who rolled out their 20-21 non-conference schedule earlier this summer, will welcome eight newcomers to the roster in their first season under Byington, who was named to the helm in March.

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