NEW ORLEANS — The Tulane men’s basketball team may have found its replacement for departing point guard Ricky Tarrant, signing junior college prospect Malcolm Canada.
Canada, a 6-foot-3 point guard from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa, committed to the Green Wave two weeks ago, took his official visit last weekend and faxed his signature Saturday.
He had to wait as Tulane pursued other point guards, but when former Hofstra commitment Marquise Moore chose George Mason last week, the path was cleared.
Canada averaged 20.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.6 steals in 2012-13 for Ellsworth, all team highs. He led the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference in assists, points scored, field goals and free throws made.
He chose Tulane over Saint Louis, a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament last season.
“He literally can dribble circles around people at times with his ball-handling skills –he’s that good,” Ellsworth coach Troy Muilenburg said. “I guarantee people are going to enjoy watching him for the next two years because he does things with that ball that you don’t see very often.”
Canada, from Austin, Texas, will have two years of eligibility left, just like Tarrant, who is transferring to Alabama. Tarrant was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year while earning first-team all-league honors in 2011-12, then made the second team as a sophomore.
The concern with Canada is the competition he faced at Ellsworth, a lower level (Division II) junior college. Muilenburg said that knock is unjustified.
“He’s an old-school point guard,” Muilenburg said. “He’s going to find a way to help the team out.”
Canada is the third player who has signed with Tulane this spring after a mass exodus at the end of the season, when six players were granted releases to transfer.