Shawn James Won't Return to the Bluff

InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner reported Thursday that Shawn James, who set blocked shot records in his one season at Duquesne and who earlier declared for the 2008 NBA draft, has hired an agent, thereby closing the door on his college basketball career.

Lenchiner wrote that James signed with agent Steve Cronin.

James will turn 25 on September 10, 2008, and according to yesterday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is getting married. He played two seasons at Northeastern for now-Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart and then followed Everhart to the Bluff.

James was one of five players injured in the on-campus shooting in September 2006. He was already scheduled to sat out that season under the NCAA transfer rules.

This past year, Duquesne's first winning campaign (17-13) since 1993-94, the junior led Duquesne in scoring (12.6 ppg), rebounding (6.9 rpg) and shot-blocking (3.96 bpg) in 23.8 minutes per game, this highest on-court average behind guards Aaron Jackson and Gary Tucker.

His production numbers are deceptively low. The Dukes used a rapid substitution style of play with eight guys averaging between 19.1 and 26.4 mpg. He got the majority of playing time at the post but most likely would have seen 30 or more mpg in another system.

Still, the Brooklyn native's 111 blocks almost doubled Duquesne's single season record (60 by Derrick Alston) and is good for third on the Red and Blue's career blocks list. Alston (229) and James' teammate Kieron Achara (185) are one and two; each played four years for Duquesne.

Shawn posted the first triple-double (17 points, 11 rebounds, 10 blocks) in Duquesne history in the 102-88 upset win over Saint Joseph's and set DU and Atlantic 10 Conference records with 12 blocks in the 92-77 early season win at Oakland (Mich.).

After three college seasons, James is seventh on the NCAA career blocks list with 443, just 92 swat-aways shy of the record holder - Louisiana Monroe's Wojciech Mydra (535).

If drafted, James will be the first Duke selected in the NBA draft since Alston was picked in the second round by the Philadelphia 76ers. The only other DU underclassman to turn pro was Mickey Davis who was selected by Denver (ABA) and Milwaukee (NBA) in 1972 following his junior season.

Another Duquesne junior, and like James a Division I transfer (Siena) in 2006-07, Kojo Mensah, has declared for the draft but, as of now, has not hired an agent.

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