Men’s Basketball: Star forward leaving Northeastern

Men’s Basketball: Star forward leaving Northeastern

And the hits just keep on coming.

The Northeastern men’s basketball program finished the 2005-06 season with a 19-11 (12-6 Colonial Athletic Association, CAA) record and made it to the semifinal round of the CAA Championships. But since then the program has suffered three major losses, the final one announced last week.

Sophomore Shawn James said he will follow former Northeastern head coach Ron Everhart to Duquesne University.

“I wasn’t trying to stay at Northeastern if I couldn’t play for the coach I had come here for,” James said.

The six-foot, nine-inch forward led major college basketball, averaging 6.5 blocks per game last season. He was the CAA Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 12.4 points and 7.9 rebounds. His 332 career blocks are among the most in NCAA history for a second-year player.

“He was a big part of the team’s success,” said Northeastern basketball coach Bill Coen. “I am not sure one player can fill his position, but as a team we will fill his spot. I tried to explain to Shawn what a good option Northeastern had been for him in the past and would continue to be, but I think it was well-documented that he was thinking about leaving.”

James’ departure leaves only two of the Huskies’ five starters from last season, juniors Bennet Davis and Bobby Kelly. The Huskies graduated Jose Juan Barea and Aaron Davis.

“The only thing that could have kept me here was a great coach,” James said. “Coen is a good coach but it wasn’t what I needed to stay here. My friends are here but I need to do what is best for me.”

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