(MSU Billings release)
BILLINGS – Montana State University Billings men’s basketball head coach Mick Durham announced the signing of junior college forward Stevie James for the 2019-20 season on Friday. James inked a National Letter of Intent and became the fifth off-season acquisition for the MSUB men’s basketball program, which earned entry into the Great Northwest Athletic Conference last season.
James (6-7, Elk Grove, California) started 30 games for Yuba Community College, a team which went 25-5 last year and advanced to the regional final. James averaged 8.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists for the 49ers.
“Stevie is a spread-four man who can shoot the three and will be able to defend perimeter guys,” said Yellowjacket head coach Mick Durham. “He comes from a very good program in Yuba College who won 25 games last season. Stevie was a starter at forward all year and will add depth and experience at the position and is capable of playing both small forward and power forward.”
James shot 48-percent (96-for-199) from the field as a sophomore and 44.3-percent (27-for-61) from 3-point range. He grabbed 62 offensive rebounds and 94 defensive boards to finish with the third highest rebound total on the team. He also recorded 10 blocks and 17 steals.
He managed double-digit scoring totals in 13 games and posted a season high 20 points on January 25 against Los Medanos after shooting 8-for-11 with three made 3-pointers.
“Montana State Billings is getting a young man who is the epitome of a student-athlete,” said Yuba head coach Doug Cornelius. “Stevie comes to work hard every day, is always 100-percent bought in, and will represent the program with the utmost integrity. The fans in Montana will love everything about Stevie. We will truly miss him at Yuba College.”
The Yellowjackets finished 15-14 last season (10-10 GNAC) and fell in the conference quarterfinals to No. 4 seed Western Oregon 79-72. The team will need to supplement its roster with the graduation of two key seniors. Tyler Green, Zharon Richmond, and freshman of the year Brendan Howard are all expected to return.