Recruiting Beat: Taine Murray signs with UVA, VCU adds DeLoach, Kern

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Four-star guard Taine Murray signed a National Letter of Intent with defending champion Virginia on Wednesday.

The 6’5” Auckland, New Zealand, native played in the National Basketball League in 2019-2020, averaging 18.0 points per game and shooting 43.5 percent from three-point range.

You might remember that UVA coach Tony Bennett played and coached in New Zealand between his stints in the NBA and U.S. college hoops.

Bennett also plucked Jack Salt from the Land of the Kiwis, and that one worked out well for all involved.

“We are excited to add Taine into the Virginia men’s basketball family,” Bennett said. “Taine is a skilled and versatile guard, and he and his parents value a degree from the University of Virginia. We look forward to him joining our program next fall.”

Down the road in Richmond, Jalen DeLoach and Nick Kern have signed National Letters of Intent with VCU.

DeLoach, a 6’9” forward, is averaging 17 points, 10.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.5 blocks per game, while shooting 64 percent from the floor, for The Skill Academy, a prep school in Atlanta.

DeLoach, the 19th-best prospect in Georgia per 247Sports, chose VCU over interest from South Carolina, Georgia, Ole Miss and Texas Southern.

“We are excited to have Jalen and his family join our program,” VCU coach Mike Rhoades said. “He is exactly what we want in a player for our style of play.  Jalen is super versatile with great length, mobility and instincts. He has a great feel with lots of potential. Jalen was a top target for our staff due to the combination of playing in winning programs, a great foundation set by his parents, Rob and Ivy, and a great fit in our VCU family. He is having a great year of growth playing at The Skill Factory under Rob Johnson. We are looking forward to having Jalen on campus as a Ram.”

Kern, a 6’6” guard, is rated the No. 7 recruit in Missouri by 247Sports. He was named first team All-State in 2019-2020 after averaging 12.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 blocks for Vashon High School.

Kern committed to VCU after receiving interest from DePaul, Saint Louis, TCU and others.

“We are fired up to have Nick Kern and his family as a part of our program,” Rhoades said. “His commitment gives us a versatile and aggressive guard that we all like around here. Nick fits our style tremendously with his skill, length and aggressive approach. Nick comes from a very successful high school program playing for Head Coach Tony Irons and knows what it will take to succeed at VCU. He will impact our program in so many ways. We are looking forward to getting Nick on campus and watching him grow as a Ram.”

Story by Chris Graham


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