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UB nets big junior college signing

The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team signed junior college power forward David Kadiri Tuesday, and Canisius College got a key oral commitment from a veteran point guard.

Kadiri is a 6-foot-8 Maryland native who played last season at South Plains College, which lost in the National Junior College Athletic Association championship game last month. South Plains is in Levelland, Texas.

UB loses power forward Xavier Ford, who had a big senior season for the Bulls this year. Kadiri has some of Ford’s traits.

“David is a high-energy, high-character forward with a nonstop motor that fits our style perfectly,” said UB coach Nate Oats. “With two of the best point guards in our league in Lamonte and Jarryn, we needed to get an athletic big guy that can run in transition, and that is exactly what we have in David. He is super athletic, and fans will be excited to watch the way he can finish above the rim.”

Lamonte Bearden and Jarryn Skeete are UB’s top returning guards with the expected departure of Shannon Evans.

Kadiri played in the same conference as Midland College, where new UB assistant coach Bryan Hodgson served as an aide.

“This was big for coach Hodgson to get one of the best available post players in his first week on the job,” said Oats.

“David’s a hard-playing guy,” said South Plains coach Steve Green. “He’s got a great motor. He scores around the basket. He’s got a little jump hook shot. I think the best thing about him is he brings the energy every day. He’s consistent. His effort and energy is there every day.”

Bringing the effort and energy was the trademark of Ford’s game. Kadiri has two years of eligibility remaining.

Kadiri did not put up huge numbers, averaging 12 minutes and 6.2 points a game. South Plains played a lot of players. He played strong down the stretch of the season. In the national title game loss to Northwest Florida State, Kadiri had 13 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks in 28 minutes. South Plains lost in overtime, 83-80.

Meanwhile, Canisius got a commitment from Malcolm McMillan, a 6-foot, 180-pounder from Central Connecticut State, The News learned.

McMillan is due to graduate from Central Connecticut and will be eligible to play in 2015 as a fifth-year senior. McMillan played just two games in 2014-2015 because of a back injury. However, he was productive for the Blue Devils, with 85 starts the previous three seasons. He figures to help Canisius overcome the graduation of senior point guard Jeremiah Williams and could mitigate the loss by transfer of sophomore shooting guard Zach Lewis.

McMillan averaged 30 minutes and 10.8 points a game in 2013-14. He shot a healthy 45.9 percent from the field overall and averaged 3.2 assists and 2.1 turnovers a game. He also grabbed 3.5 rebounds a game. He’s a Baltimore native.

email: mgaughan@buffnews.com