NATCHITOCHES — The Northwestern State basketball career of standout Jalan West has officially ended, after the Demons’ seventh-year senior did not enroll before Friday’s noon deadline to register for spring semester classes.
West left the team during the Christmas break due to personal reasons and has not played in NSU’s last eight games. He competed in eight non-conference games this season, averaging 12.3 points and 4.8 assists, after successfully overcoming two knee surgeries following his outstanding junior season in 2014-15.
The Bossier High School product was in the top 10 of all active NCAA basketball players in five career statistical categories when he departed. His 652 assists, an NSU school record, was the nation’s best total.
His 231 career steals, third all-time at NSU, was second among active players nationally. His 6.27 assists per game and his 2.23 steals average both ranked third, while his plus 2.63 assist-to-turnover ratio was fourth. West scored 1,690 career points, 10th nationally when he left the team.
Along with holding NSU’s career assists record, the 5-foot-11 point guard also holds the Demons’ single-season mark (246), along with school records for season (86) and career (230) 3-point baskets. His career .865 free throw percentage is the best all-time by any Southland Conference competitor.
Before his injury in the first game of his initial senior season in 2015-16, West had won two All-Southland Conference honors along with the 2013 Southland Freshman of the Year award. NSU won 59 games, reaching the 2013 NCAA Tournament and 2015 College Insider Tournament, in his injury-free first three seasons.
“Jalan was a tremendous player for us who helped our program to a lot of success on the court, and was a special ambassador for Demon basketball and NSU off the court,” said head coach Mike McConathy. “We want all the best for him and his family going forward. He will always be a beloved member of our basketball family at Northwestern State University.”
Another accomplished senior, Bossier native Devonte Hall, left the team earlier in December for personal reasons and will not play again, said McConathy. Hall averaged 10.3 points and 5.4 assists in the last two seasons, and 5.8 points and 2.3 assists in eight games this season. He finished eighth all-time on NSU’s career assists rankings with 379.
Hall is completing work on his undergraduate degree this spring. West earned his undergraduate degree in 2016.
“Devonte was a leader in our community service endeavors and in the classroom, and he gave us great effort and production stepping into the point guard position beginning in his sophomore season, when Jalan got hurt,” said McConathy. “Basketball just wasn’t fun for him any longer and that’s fine. He’s focused on his academics, he’s going to graduate, and he will be successful in life.”
The Demons have graduated almost 90 percent of their student-athletes during McConathy’s 19 years as head coach. Ten players posted grade point averages of 3.0 or better during the fall 2017 semester.
NSU, which began the season with the fifth-youngest roster in college basketball, plays host to Central Arkansas Saturday afternoon at 3 in Prather Coliseum.