Shreve product Coleman enters portal, could leave NSU

EXPLORING OPTIONS: Second-year freshman center Kendal Coleman (right), a Captain Shreve product, may use his breakout 2021-22 season as a springboard to leave Northwestern State.

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

Captain Shreve product Kendal Coleman, a first-team All-Southland Conference men’s basketball selection as a second-year freshman this season for Northwestern State, has entered the transfer portal and could depart the Demons’ program.

Coleman announced his decision in a Tweet sent early Monday afternoon, an hour prior to a team meeting in which veteran Demons’ coach Mike McConathy informed his players that he was retiring.

“First off I would like to thank Northwestern State University for welcoming me and helping me become a better student-athlete,” wrote Coleman. “I have created many memories with my coaches and teammates. With that being said I will be entering my name into the transfer portal.”

The 6-foot-8 Coleman emerged as Northwestern’s leading scorer and rebounder from the beginning of the season. He started all 30 games he played, averaging 15.4 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 54.6 percent from the field and 58.2 percent overall on free throws.

At the line, he started the season struggling, sinking under 50 percent in non-conference action, after making 69.6 percent as a true freshman. He found his touch in conference play when he hit 70.4 percent of his free throws.

Also in league play, he expanded his reliable shooting range to 15-18 feet, creating matchup challenges for less agile post players. His averages in 14 Southland games were 15.6 points and 11.5 rebounds, and he blocked 27 shots as he earned a place on the five-member Southland All-Defensive Team.

Coleman ranked second in the conference and in the top 35 nationally with his 55 percent shooting aim from the floor. He led the Southland in rebounding, and in defensive rebounds, ranking 12th nationally with a 7.4 average.

As a first-year freshman in the Covid-impacted 2020-21 season, Coleman averaged 6.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in 29 games, with no starting assignments. He blocked 33 shots.

At Shreve, Coleman led the state in blocked shots as a junior, then helped the Gators to a 26-7 season in his senior year. He graduated with a 3.9 grade point average.

Entering the portal allows a student-athlete to be officially contacted by other institutions. It does not close the door on the athlete choosing to stay put.

Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State

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