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Buffalo transfer Lamonte Bearden chooses Western Kentucky

Buffalo Bulls Guard Lamonte Bearden (1) at the foul line during the second half of the NCAA Men's Basketball game between the Buffalo Bulls and Kent State Golden Flashes at the M.A.C. Center in Kent, OH. Buffalo defeated Kent State 76-67. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
(Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Western Kentucky continued its strong summer of recruiting by landing Buffalo transfer guard Lamonte Bearden.

Bearden led Buffalo in scoring with 13.7 points and 4.2 assists per game this past season and helped the Bulls win the Mid-American Conference tournament in 2015 and 2016. The tournament victory gave Buffalo an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament each of the last two seasons, first as a 12-seed in 2015 and then a 14-seed this past season. Buffalo lost their first tournament game each year.

His decision to leave Buffalo will hurt the Bulls, especially since another point guard, Jarryn Skeete, graduated this past spring.

Bearden’s choice to transfer to Western Kentucky comes as a bit of a surprise. Multiple reports suggested he had big-time programs such as Miami, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Texas A&M, Arizona, TCU and Nevada on his list of potential destinations. Instead, he chose another school outside the big five conferences and in a small market (Bowling Green, KY).

But from the Hilltoppers perspective, it’s another huge victory in recruiting this season. In late June, Western Kentucky landed five-star commit Mitchell Robinson, who ESPN ranked the 15th best overall prospect in the 2017 class.

Robinson remains the team’s only commit for the 2017 recruiting class as of Aug. 2, but 247 Sports ranks Western Kentucky No. 17 on their ’17 class rankings. Although Bearden does have to sit out one season, he should only add to the strong future roster for the Hilltoppers.

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