(Editor's note: MSU-Northern athletics release)
HAVRE -- MSU-Northern men's basketball head coach Shawn Huse has announced the signing of C.J. Nelson of Scobey. Nelson spent his freshman and sophomore seasons helping Dawson Community College to two remarkable years. With the versatile guard as a key leader, the Buccaneers made two great runs in 2018-19 and 2019-20, finishing 20-12 and 27-7, respectively.
Nelson averaged 11 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.1 steals on a very well-balanced, platoon-style attack for the Buccaneers this year.
"We are overjoyed on this one," Huse said. "He is a tough guy who has always played extremely hard on both ends of the floor. A high-character individual and hard-nosed competitor, C.J. is simply put, a winner in every way. We are very excited about how he will enhance our already-great group of guys, returners and newcomers. Agriculture and Business are his focus of study, so this makes the perfect match for him and us."
Dawson went 14-0 in league play this past season and won the Region XIII tournament in a thriller over Miles Community College. Nelson scored 12 points and dished out four assists in the championship game. He also led the way with 16 points in their clutch semifinal win over Williston State. The Buccaneers' run came one game short of the NJCAA national tournament in the district title game in a loss at Indian Hills Community College. For his all-around efforts, he was tabbed the 2020 Region XIII Tournament MVP.
"Raised well and coached well, C.J. is a focused guy who brings what is needed in a tough conference each and every day, both on and off the floor," Huse said. "He is an exceptional defender and very smart offensive player who knows how to make plays on both ends of the floor. He is just a great link that helps teammates and classmates to be better versions of themselves. I was really impressed talking about C.J. with (Coach Joe Peterson) and Devin Collins (Dawson teammate the past two seasons), specifically hearing how much everyone loved playing with him on their team in practices and games, and being around him every day."
Nelson joins a Lights squad that finished 20-12 in 2019-20. They won an impressive eight out of their last 11 games and narrowly missed an at-large bid to the NAIA National Tournament. MSUN advanced to the semifinal round of the Frontier Conference tournament before falling 68-73 at eventual champion Lewis-Clark State.