Jalen Johnson

Image/MSU Athletics

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State men’s basketball coach Ben Howland has signed Jalen Johnson to an Athletic Scholarship Agreement (ASA) announced Monday.

Johnson, a 6-7 forward from Baton Rouge, Louisiana has amassed 1,061 points and 495 rebounds between his three seasons at Saint Louis and Louisiana-Lafayette. He has played in 99 career games with 77 starts.

Johnson ranked among the Sun Belt’s top 10 in points (15.5 – 6th), rebounds (6.6 – 7th), field goal percentage (42.8 – 4th) and free throw percentage (82.9 – 4th) last season. He piled up double figures in 28 of 33 games for the Ragin’ Cajuns headlined by nine outings of 20-plus points, and his 15.5 points per game paced Sun Belt newcomers.

Johnson posted six double-doubles in 2019-20 sparked by a 26-point, 10-rebound effort against Southeastern Louisiana (Dec. 3). He fired in three consecutive 20-plus point performances to start the season which included a 21-point performance at TCU (Nov. 12). Johnson’s season-high was 27 points versus Louisiana-Monroe (Jan. 25). The Baton Rouge native captured 2020 Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) Newcomer of the Year and All-Second Team honors.

Johnson averaged 8.3 points and 4.2 rebounds over 66 games with 42 starts at Saint Louis during his freshman and sophomore seasons. He secured 22 outings in double figures, three double-doubles and drained 38.2 percent of his three-point attempts with the Billikens. 

Johnson’s prep career was highlighted by three straight Louisiana Class 3A state championships at University Laboratory School in Baton Rouge. He racked up 21.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game en route to LSWA Class 3A Outstanding Player of the Year as a senior.

COACH HOWLAND ON JOHNSON

“I’m incredibly excited about Jalen joining our program and the Bulldog family. 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.” 

Mississippi State won 11 of its last 15 SEC games to earn a top 4 finish in the conference standings, the program’s highest overall regular season finish since 2010-11. The Bulldogs have tucked away three consecutive 20-plus win seasons under sixth-year coach Ben Howland, and the first time dating back to the 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. The 68 victories are the fourth-highest total in program history for a three-year span.

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