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Penny Hardaway’s son Ashton transfers from Memphis to Saint Mary’s

Ashton Hardaway is transferring to Saint Mary’s after spending last season playing for his famous father at Memphis.

The Gaels announced on Tuesday that Hardaway will join the program for next season.

Vanderbilt added guard MJ Collins from Virginia Tech, and Middle Tennessee lured Christian Fussell back for his final season after going to UT Martin.

Hardaway played 30 games as a freshman at Memphis for his father Penny Hardaway, averaging 8.2 minutes per game. The younger Hardaway started three games and averaged 2.3 points per game on 34.3% shooting.

The Gaels are trying to reload their roster after losing star guard Aidan Mahaney and forward Joshua Jefferson as transfers and key contributors Alex Ducas and Mason Forbes to graduation. Saint Mary’s previously added Arizona transfer forward Paulius Murauskas.

The Gaels went 26-8 last season, winning the West Coast Conference regular-season title and the conference tournament before losing to Grand Canyon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

New coach Mark Byington adds Collins who started 28 of 34 games for the Hokies and averaged 7.4 points and 2.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists. The 6-foot-4 guard had a career-high 20 points against Louisville in December. He was a four-star recruit out of Clover, South Carolina, and has two years of eligibility left.

Byington called Collins perfect for the style he plans to run at Vanderbilt after leaving James Madison.

“He is an experienced player who contributed major minutes in the ACC,” Byington said. “He’s known as an elite defender, but I know he is capable of more on the offensive end.”

Fussell is a 6-10 forward from Decatur, Georgia, who spent his first three seasons at Middle Tennessee. He left for UT Martin where he played 16 games.

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By The Associated Press

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