NACHITOCHES - Jalen West's career at Northwestern State started off with a bang when he racked up 8 assists and 3 steals to go along with 26 points.
But his debut came a year late as far as the Demons were concerned.
Following an NCAA Clearinghouse violation, stemming from an academic technicality, West was forced to sit his entire freshman year.
It was a ruling coach Mike McConathy didn't see eye-to-eye with.
"We were very disappointed when Jalen was not allowed to play," McConathy said. "We did our research and filed a hardship. We were very confident, because we had nine cases where he fell within the threshold of being accepted in the rule and the NCAA chose not to grant him an appeal because they had a change of heart in that instance."
It's hard to imagine Jalen not playing basketball. The last time he sat out a season was his freshman year at Bossier High school.
The next three years at Bossier, he would lead the Bearkats to three state title appearances, cashing one of those appearances in for a state championship.
West says his time on the bench helped his time on the court.
"I think it helped me, like it helped me in high school," West said. "It helped me learn the floor and how the defense play."
A year away from the game has created a monster once-again. Through the first seven games of the season at NSU, West is leading the team in three's, assists, and steals.