Jalan West entered college basketball in the same freshman class as Anthony Davis.
Seven seasons later, the Northwestern State point guard’s college hoops career is finally over, according to a release from the school. West left the team during Christmas break due to personal reasons and didn’t play in the last eight games for the Demons. West opted not to enroll for the new semester.
The 5-foot-11 point guard received a nearly unprecedented seventh year of eligibility this offseason to return to Northwestern State. West redshirted his freshman year in 2011-12, played a stellar three seasons at for the Demons, and was viewed as a consensus top-100 player in college basketball entering his senior season in 2015-16.
In West’s first game of his senior season on the road at Ole Miss, he scored 25 points and dished out six assists before tearing the ACL in his left knee in the final minute of the game. Missing the rest of the 2015-16 season, West tore the same ACL, for the second time, that August. The second knee injury forced West to miss the 2016-17 season.
West fought through the second knee injury and returned to play his senior season at Northwestern State this season after nearly two full seasons away from the sport. Finishing 13-16 last season, the Demons had high hopes entering 2017-18. They’re only 3-16 at this point in the season. West played in eight games and averaged 12.0 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per contest before leaving the team. Fellow senior guard Devonte Hall also left the team for personal reasons after eight games and did not return, according to the release.
Before West’s back-to-back knee injuries, he was one of the most potent offensive players in the country. As a junior in 2014-15, West put up 20.0 points, 7.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. One time he made two insane buzzer-beaters in the same game. The nation’s career leader in assists among active players, West is the Southland Conference’s all-time leader in free-throw percentage and a two-time all-conference selection.
West won’t get to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2013, but at least he made a return to the floor. After two major knee injuries and two years away from the game, West was still a productive player. Things might not have worked out as planned for West after the long journey to play his senior season, but hopefully he’ll have other opportunities awaiting him now that he’s leaving Northwestern State. It’ll be fascinating to see what West chooses to do for his basketball future.