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The departure of five senior starters sent University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball coach John Shulman in search of experience.

He found some in 6-foot-5 Kilgore College wing Troy Cage, who has signed scholarship papers to play for the Mocs beginning next season.

"He's a mature guy who's been coached for two years by Lon Kruger, and he can handle what he's stepping into," Shulman said. "He's got maturity, he's got size and he can score it. He's a basketball player."

Cage averaged 14.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game for the Texas junior college last season. His college career began with Kruger at UNLV including a redshirt year for surgery on a torn left patella tendon. He turned 21 years old earlier this month and will have two years of eligibility at UTC.

"Coach Kruger is a good guy. I got caught up in a numbers game there," Cage said. "With me having been around and at that level already, I see things a lot different than when I first came to school. I understand the game a lot better."

Cage chose UTC over Southern, Stephen F. Austin and Prairie View A&M and said his relationship with Shulman, assistant coach Brent Jolly and players Chris Early and Keegan Bell played a big role in his decision.

Kilgore coach Brian Hoberecht, who coached current UTC forward Ty Patterson at Dodge City (Kan.) Community College, said Cage can play both forward positions.

"He's long and athletic and he's got perimeter skills, but he can also score around the basket," Hoberecht said. "I think his natural position is more of a 3."

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