BIRMINGHAM – As UAB’s men’s basketball team enters its second season under head coach and Blazer alumnus Andy Kennedy, the Green and Gold wanted to spotlight their 15 student-athletes.
The second and final position group profiled will be the team’s 10 guards – Tyreke Locure, Michael Ertel, Tavin Lovan, Justin Brown, Jordan Walker, Jamal Johnson, Tony Toney, Quan Jackson, Jon Coleman and Elijah Tate.
The group of 10 guards is split in half between five returners and five newcomers. UAB’s five newcomers come from a variety of programs, including Auburn, South Florida, Tulane, South Alabama and Odessa Junior College.
UAB, who was predicted as the favorite to win the Conference USA regular season championship, will open its 2021-22 season on Monday when the Blazers host Auburn Montgomery for a home exhibition. Admission is free for the home exhibition contest. Tipoff in Bartow Arena is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Tyreke Locure | Sophomore (3rd Year) | Guard | New Orleans, La. | South Alabama
Locure, a third-year player who spent his first two seasons at South Alabama, has started 34 of his 49 collegiate games. Locure averaged 13.5 points per game and logged 81 assists this past season for the Jaguars, reaching double figures in scoring 22 times. The New Orleans, Louisiana native torched Coastal Carolina in back-to-back contests in 2020-21, tying his career high with 20 points before setting a new career high with 22 points and seven made field goals the next day. The sophomore made nine starts as freshman in 2019-20, averaging 5.2 points per game in his first year as a college player.
Michael Ertel | Graduate (5th Year) | Guard | Indianapolis, Ind. | ULM
Ertel, a three-time Sun Belt Conference honoree and UAB’s leading scoring in 2020-21, returns for his fifth season of college basketball in 2021-22. Ertel played in all 29 games this past season, making 25 starts while finishing 11th in the C-USA with 383 total points. The former ULM standout guard surpassed 1,500 career points against Chattanooga in December. Ertel tallied 38 points over two games in the C-USA Tournament to help him earn a spot on the Conference USA All-Championship Team.
Tavin Lovan | Junior (4th Year) | Guard | Franklin, Ky. | Hargrave Military Academy
Lovan, a Preseason All-Conference USA honoree, started in 27 of his 29 games for the Blazers this past season. Lovan ranked second on the UAB roster with 12.2 points per game, leading the Green and Gold with 66 assists. Lovan reached double figures in 19 of 29 games, including 13 such games against Conference USA opponents. His stellar third season with the Blazers also helped him earn NABC District 11 Second Team accolades.
Justin Brown | Graduate (5th Year) | Guard | Atlanta, Ga. | South Florida
Brown, a fifth-year player who spent the past four seasons at South Florida, averaged 8.1 points per game in his final season with the Bulls. The former Spain Park High School star led USF with 37 3-pointers in 2020-21, registering season highs of 16 points against Tulane and Temple in American Athletic Conference play. Brown started all 53 games dating back to the start of his junior season. The former Bulls’ guard also recorded a team-high 55 3-pointers in 2019-20.
Jordan Walker | Junior (4th Year) | Guard | Port Washington, N.Y. | Tulane
Walker, who started 45 of his 53 games over the past two seasons at Tulane, ranked second in the American Athletic Conference this past season with 4.3 assists per game. Walker, known as “Jelly” by his teammates, reached double figures 16 times this past season. The Port Washington, New York native poured in 16 points to go along with four assists against No. 6 Houston this past season. Walker also logged his first-career double-double with 18 points and a career-best 10 assists at UCF.
Jamal Johnson | Junior (4th Year) | Guard | Birmingham, Ala. | Auburn
Johnson, a fourth-year player who spent his past two seasons at Auburn, played in 23 games this past season while making nine starts for the Tigers in 2020-21. Johnson posted a new career high with 21 points against Arkansas in December. The junior also recorded back-to-back 20-point games off the bench this past season, making him the first Auburn player in 15 years to accomplish the feat. The former Spain Park High School standout played his first season at Memphis, where he averaged 6.9 points per game over 34 contests as a freshman.
Tony Toney | Freshman (2nd Year) | Guard | Huntsville, Ala. | Mae Jemison HS
Toney, a second-year player who starred at Mae Jemison High School in Huntsville, Alabama, played in 15 games this past season for the Blazers. Toney recorded a career-high 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting against Rust College in February. The Huntsville native finished his first season averaging 2.3 points and 1.0 rebounds while logging seven assists.
Quan Jackson | Graduate (5th Year) | Guard | Tallahassee, Fla. | Georgia Southern
Jackson, a fifth-year player who earned a spot on the Conference USA All-Defensive Team this past season, led C-USA and ranked 24th nationally with 53 steals. Jackson’s 2.2 steals per game ranked third in the conference, posting a season-high five steals against Southeastern Louisiana in November. The Tallahassee, Florida native poured in a season-high 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting against Old Dominion in February. Jackson finished the season by averaging 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.
Jon Coleman | Sophomore (3rd Year) | Guard | Little Rock, Ark. | Hall HS
Coleman, a third-year player from Little Rock, Arkansas, has played in seven games over his UAB career. Coleman made five appearances this past season, logging a career-high four points and two rebounds against Rust College in February. Coleman was a three-year starter for Little Rock Hall High School, where he was ranked as the No. 3 point guard in the state.
Elijah Tate | Freshman (2nd Year) | Guard | Baton Rouge, La. | Odessa JC
Tate, a second-year player who played his first season at Odessa Junior College, played in 21 games while making nine starts in 2020-21. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana native averaged 9.3 points per game this past season, pouring in a career-high 19 points against Ranger College and Western Texas. Tate helped lead Madison Prep in Baton Rouge to three state titles, averaging 15.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists as a senior.
MEN’S BASKETBALL TICKET INFORMATION
UAB men’s basketball single-game tickets start as low as $12 and can be purchased by clicking here or calling the UAB Athletics Ticket Office at (205) 975-UAB1. Season tickets are also still on sale and provide the most cost-effective way to attend games during the 2021-22 men’s basketball season with individual season tickets starting as low as $100 within Blaze’s Corner. Season ticket holders also have access to the best seating locations in Bartow Arena. You can request more information or purchase by clicking here.
Discounted group tickets and fan experiences are available for a minimum purchase of 15 tickets to any home basketball game during the 2021-22 season. Groups are encouraged to complete the UAB Basketball Group Ticket Request Form or call the UAB Athletics Ticket Office for more information.