Photo by Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen F. Austin pursuing Kansas transfer Dwight Coleby

May 18, 2017
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Stephen F. Austin men's basketball has their sights set on adding another massive piece to the 2017-18 puzzle. Graduate center/forward Dwight Coleby, a 6-9, 240 pound athletic freak from the Bahamas, is on the market and the Lumberjacks know it.

Since stepping on the campus of the University of Mississippi as a young freshman, Coleby has been chasing one thing: a chance. Part of a deep front court at Ole Miss and averaging just a bit over 16 minutes per game, Coleby made the decision to transfer to Kansas after his sophomore year.

“When Dwight became available, we researched it and watched tape," Jayhawks head coach Bill Self said in a statement at the time. "He’s a exactly what I think we need. He’s a big guy that can play either bigs position. He’s active. He’s got a great motor. I feel like he can play on the block. He can play facing. He can do a lot of different things. He’s raw offensively, but he’s a premiere athlete and should be a solid rebounder and defender right off the bat.”

It didn't quite go according to plan. While sitting out a season as part of NCAA transfer rules, Dwight suffered a non-contact injury and tore the ACL in his left knee. Surgery was successful, but it was already October and Coleby essentially lost a season's worth of practice during his recovery. Although healthy enough to play when Kansas opened up the 2016-17 season, something was off.

Despite his reputation as possessing the ability to be one of college basketball's elite big men, his slow start returning from injury largely kept Coleby away from the action. He averaged under six minutes per game, although he had moments, scoring 12 against Texas in late January.

Then the NCAA Tournament happened.

Locked in a tight second-half battle with Michigan State for a spot in the Sweet 16, Kansas senior Landen Lucas ran into foul trouble. Up by just a point, Coleby came into the game for nine minutes. Nine huge minutes. His defense was dominant and an inside bucket off a rebound pushed the lead to three. Suddenly, the Jayhawks exploded, closing the game on a 36-17 run.

Afterwards, Lucas bear-hugged Dwight. “He just told me, ‘You saved my career,’” Coleby told the Kansas City Star. “‘I’m happy and proud of you.’”

Self agreed. “He deserves that because it’s been a rough go for him,” the coach said following the game. “His attitude is so good. He’s such a great kid. To see him respond like that … I just know our kids are so happy for him.”

Now, with a year of eligibility remaining and fully healthy from his knee injury, Coleby will play his final year somewhere else. SFA basketball sources have confirmed to The Sawmill that the Lumberjacks are pursuing him to complete their 2017-18 roster.


Adding another piece would mean losing one too. SFA currently is at the scholarship limit and making room would require some work - but for a player with the talent of Coleby, completely unmatched in the Southland Conference, it would be a massive step forward for a team with lofty ambitions of playing deep into March this next year.

Already likely the favorite in the Southland Conference, adding Coleby could legitimize SFA's goal of seed-altering success in the non-conference season. Especially now fully healthy, there are plenty in the college basketball world who view Coleby as one of the single best available players in the country. Making him a Lumberjack would not only solidify an impressive SFA roster, it would set a precedent for the big men the Lumberjacks have struggled to successfully recruit in years past.

That said, the odds are still long. SFA head coach Kyle Keller and assistant Wade Mason visited with his family in the Bahamas about three weeks ago, but Coleby has also been linked to SMU, Mississippi State, Illinois, LA-Monroe, UA-Little Rock, and Western Kentucky (where he spent yesterday visiting, according to Basketball Times columnist Joshua Parrott). WKU's head coach Rick Stansbury worked with Kyle Keller at Texas A&M and was linked to rumors involving the SFA job before he accepted the Hilltoppers' position last year. Of course, Keller is also well connected to Kansas head coach Bill Self, for whom he worked for three seasons.

Coleby is expected to make a decision before the month of May ends, although there is no specific deadline for graduate transfers.

In the meantime, enjoy some highlights from his time at Ole Miss and imagine what this man might look like against SLC competition:


Stephen F. Austin pursuing Kansas transfer Dwight Coleby

PurpleOut
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His KU teammates always had good things to say about him. Had a very good showing against Michigan State in the tournament. He could dominate here.
edstile
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Keller's connections with Self could be the difference-maker. Fingers crossed.
No-look
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Let's get this deal done. Get aggressive! Lol
No-look
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Can't help but wonder if SFA is still in the running. The suspense is getting to me. Lol And if we are looking at anyone else if this doesn't work.
cboothe09
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Keller doesn't seem like an "eggs in one basket" kind of guy. I really hope we pull this off, but if not, im sure he has a plan b, c, and d in place
PurpleOut
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Edit I made. I noticed we haven't been doing this for recruits/commits. It may not be a big deal to some, but kids eat it up now. All part of the process.

sfa17
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Yeah in the age of Twitter ,getting likes and followers stuff like that matters to the players. Nice edit.
No-look
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Be nice to get him on campus for a visit.
PurpleOut
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Hopefully, we're in a dead period right now.
PurpleOut
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Not surprising here:



He didn't commit while on his visit at least, so the door is still open.
No-look
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Doesn't WKU have a big that would start ahead of him? If he wants playing time he needs to come to SFA.
No-look
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I'm assuming we are in constant touch with him.
PurpleOut
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Nevermind.

edstile
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PurpleOut said:

Nevermind.


Dang it....
PurpleOut
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WKU just signed a UVA transfer (Guard) and has two 3-stars, two 4-stars and a 5-star center.
PurpleOut
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And then just 30 min later:



sfa17
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Wku can have their fun now but it's going to end badly for them and the NCAA will be harder on them bc they are not unc or Louisville
No-look
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Well, the Southland just dodged a bullet. Wonder if we are still looking at another center for this year?
PurpleOut
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Nothing new here, but interesting that he is still taking trips. Currently at Little Rock.
TallTexan
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Do we have any news on our pursuit of centers other than Coleby?
sfa17
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the market for big man is extremely small. almost no more d1 level bigs left.
PurpleOut
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Not sure but don't think so. We looked at a couple other big guys months ago that didn't go anywhere.
TallTexan
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What about the Aggie Transfer?
PurpleOut
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Vila? No idea, haven't heard anything.
sfa17
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Dwight commited to WKU. Is it bad that i wont to see WKU fall apart next season? something smells fishy
PurpleOut
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I love Goodman.

TallTexan
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sfa17 said:

Dwight commited to WKU. Is it bad that i wont to see WKU fall apart next season? something smells fishy
I either want them to fall apart or if they're legit legally recruiting, get some lessons for every SFA coach, regardless of sport.
PurpleOut
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There's been a lot going on at WKU over the past few months. A couple assistants left, and Mitchell Robinson their 5-star recruit was thought to be wavering. Well, he just left campus and apparently has no intentions to return (not confirmed).

TallTexan
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Any chance of pursuing him as a transfer?
sfa17
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Probably not Mitchell Robinson leaving means more playing time for him. Wku still has a good team that include a top 60 player.

edit:not sure if you are talking about dwight or robinson. dwight=highly unlikely Robinson =extremely unlikely
PurpleOut
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He's visiting KU, so his sights are set high on where he lands.
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