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Johnathan Burroughs-Cook
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Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of weekly features profiling newcomers on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball team, leading up to the Nov. 6 season opener against Covenant.

Johnathan Burroughs-Cook made his first college decision because of the appeal of the city.

He made his last one because of the family appeal.

The 6-foot-2 guard from Memphis averaged 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists a game last basketball season while playing for Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis. He previously was at the College of Charleston for a year, but he is now a junior for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

And he feels at home.

"I'm five hours away from home, but it feels like home," he said. "I feel that at UTC, I've got a good relationship with the coaches and the players."

One of those players, junior guard Greg Pryor, was a teammate of Burroughs-Cook at Ridgeway High School in Memphis.

He also had a prior relationship with junior Tre McLean from his time at College of Charleston, where McLean is from.

"We could be dangerous," Burroughs-Cook said of a backcourt with him and Pryor. "Knowing that in high school, we were a good 1-2 punch. We could change point guard and shooting guard because nobody could stop us off the dribble.

"I feel we were hard to stay in front of because of our speed."

Burroughs-Cook will bring speed to the Mocs, and he'll also bring explosiveness. A Google search for his name will bring up one primary highlight from his time at Charleston: a dunk over 6-7 forward Vincent Hicklin in the Cougars' 102-87 exhibition win over Newberry College.

"I'll never forget that," he said. "I knew when I got past the free-throw line that I was going to dunk on him. I've always played with a chip on my shoulder and I knew that if I had the opportunity to take off, I was going to."

That chip on his shoulder came from playing in one of the best basketball cities in America, one that mass produces Division I signees. He still found his way to the coast of South Carolina and developed a fondness for beaches, but now he has a much different focus.

"That stuff was interesting to me then, but now I look at things from a basketball standpoint," he said. "I had to decide which program was better for me. Everything was nice in Charleston, but now that I'm growing up, I see the bigger picture."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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