jalen johnson

Forward Jalen Johnson will finish his final year of eligibility at Mississippi State.

STARKVILLE Mississippi State might be missing four of its starters next season, so coach Ben Howland decided to sign some experience just in case.

Forward Jalen Johnson inked an athletic scholarship agreement with the Bulldogs on Monday as a graduate transfer.

Johnson has 99 games of experience at the Division I level including 77 starts at both Saint Louis and Louisiana.

“I’m incredibly excited about Jalen joining our program and the Bulldog family,” Howland said. “He comes to us with a tremendous amount of experience already playing three seasons of college basketball. Jalen is an outstanding shooter and scorer, and he rebounds extremely well for his size.

“ I’m really impressed with his maturation and his intelligence. He is focused on having a great senior season as he pursues his graduate degree at Mississippi State.”

The 6-foot-7, 205-pounder from Baton Rouge, Louisiana started all 33 games this past season and led the Ragin’ Cajuns with 15.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He scored over 20 points nine times last year and averaged 15 points in conference play.

Johnson also ranked fourth in the Sun Belt shooting 42.8 percent from the field and 82.9 percent from the free-throw line.

Johnson accounted for 7.5 and 9.1 points per game as a freshman and sophomore respectively at Saint Louis before sitting out during the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Johnson joins MSU’s 2020 signing class which consists of four-star guard Deivon Smith and three-star forwards Keondre Montgomery, Andersson Garcia and Cameron Matthews.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com

Twitter: @loganlowery

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