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Utah State men's basketball signs 2, including junior college All-American

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, April 20 2012 1:51 p.m. MDT

Utah State men’s basketball coach Stew Morrill announced Thursday that Marvin Jean and TeNale Roland (pronounced Ta-Neal) have signed national letters of intent to play for the Aggies, beginning in the 2012-13 season. Both players will have two years of eligibility with USU.

Jean earned first-team Mid-Hudson conference honors during both of his years at Sullivan (N.Y.) Community College, while Roland earned National Junior College Athletic Association Division II second-team All-American honors this past year at Rend Lake (Ill.) College. Overall, Roland becomes the fifth junior college All-American to sign with Utah State under Morrill, joining Antonio Bumpus (Harcum Community College), Jared Quayle (Western Wyoming Community College, Gary Wilkinson (Salt Lake Community College) and Chaz Spicer (Kankakee Community College).

“TeNale and Marvin are good players and high-character individuals,” Morrill said. “They will both work very hard and represent Utah State in a first-class manner.”

Jean, a 6-4, 190-pound forward from Harriman, N.Y. (Mt. Zion Christian Academy) just completed his sophomore season at Sullivan Community College as he helped lead the Generals to a 27-4 record and to the semifinals of the National Junior College Athletics Association Region XV Division III Tournament.

“Marvin is very sound in all phases of the game,” Morrill said. “He can score, plays very hard and values both ends of the court. He wants to be successful at the Division I level, and I am convinced he will continue to grow and develop his game. We know he will do well in our program.”

As a collegiate sophomore, Jean averaged 13.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 40.8 percent from the field (143-350), 40.3 percent from three-point range (54-134) and 72.6 percent at the free-throw line (53-73). Along with earning a pair of first-team all-conference honors, Jean also earned first-team all-region honors as a freshman and second-team all-region honors as sophomore at Sullivan Community College.

“Utah State was the one school that really stood out to me during the recruiting process due to their interest and commitment level,” Jean said. “I really liked the people and scenery in Cache Valley, and the winning tradition of Aggie basketball was what convinced me to sign with Utah State.”

During his freshman season at Sullivan Community College, Jean led the Generals to a 30-5 record and the Region XV championship as he was named the MVP of both his conference and the region tournament. As a freshman, Jean averaged 12.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field (135-304), 37.1 percent from three-point range (36-97) and 73.8 percent at the free-throw line (31-42).

Roland, a 6-1, 170-pound guard from Louisville, Ky. (New Albany, Ind., High School) averaged 20.7 points, 4.5 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game as a collegiate sophomore while shooting 42.8 percent from the field (202-472), 40.3 percent from three-point range (85-211) and 72.3 percent at the free-throw line (131-181).

During his sophomore season at Rend Lake College, Roland was also named the Region 24 Player of the Year as he scored in double figures in 28 games, had 20-plus points 16 times and 30 or more points in six games, including a career-high 45 points against John A. Logan College as he was 16-of-27 from the field, 8-of-11 from three-point range and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.

“TeNale is a very valuable addition in that he has true guard skills,” Morrill said. “He is an excellent ball-handler and passer, along with being a high-percentage shooter. He has matured and developed as a junior college player, and we are delighted that he is now an Aggie!”

Roland prepped at New Albany, Ind., High School, where he helped lead the Bulldogs to a 70-6 record during his three years and three-straight Hoosier Hills Conference and sectional titles. Roland’s brother, Lemont, played collegiate basketball at LSU during the 1990s.

“Utah State has a great tradition with a tremendous fan base, and I can’t wait to start my Aggie career,” Roland said. “I loved the campus, the arena and the coaching staff, and I got along with the players really well during my visit.

“Utah State graduates a high percentage of its players, which is very important to me, and the chemistry and team they have coming back really caught my eye. My goal is to bring leadership to the floor as a point guard while at the same time adding outside shooting, toughness and a defensive presence to an already solid team,” Roland added.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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