Recruits Pick NIU Basketball

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Northern Illinois University men’s basketball head coach Mark Montgomery announced the addition of Lacey James (Grand Rapids, Mich./Wayland Union/Rider) and Justin Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) to the Huskie program for the 2016-17 season.

“We are excited to add Lacey and Justin to our roster for the upcoming season,” said Montgomery. “I am looking forward to having them, and the rest of our team, back on campus next week as we begin to get ready for the 2016-17 season.”

The 6-foot-9 James comes to NIU after one season at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., where he appeared in 12 games during the 2015-16 season. James averaged 1.0 points and 1.1 rebounds per game in 5.0 minutes per contest for the Broncs. Prior to attending Rider, James earned Class B first team all-state honors at Wayland Union High School as he averaged 20 points and 15 rebounds per game, leading the Wildcats to a 19-4 record.

Following his transfer from Rider, James will sit out the 2016-17 season and will have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2017-18.

“Lacey is a skilled player with good size, strength and athleticism,” said Montgomery. “His year of college experience will help add more competitiveness to our practices from day one and I look forward to seeing him grow and develop as a player while he sits out this upcoming season.”

Thomas, a 6-foot guard, was ranked ninth in the State of Indiana’s Class of 2016 by the Indianapolis Star while at Indianapolis Pike High School. Thomas averaged 15.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.6 steals per game as a senior and earned Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Senior Large School All-State recognition. In the last three seasons at Pike, Thomas helped guide the Red Devils to 50 wins and a pair of sectional titles.

“Justin is a strong, physical guard who will bring toughness and competitiveness to our roster,” said Montgomery. “He is a good defender, a very unselfish player and comes from a winning program with a good history of producing high-level players.”

James and Thomas are added to NIU’s incoming class of Eugene German (Gary, Ind./21st Century Charter School), Noah McCarty (Sterling, Ill./ Sterling Newman Central Catholic) and Nick Wagner (Galesville, Wis./Gale-Ettrick-Trempea) who signed with the Huskies in November.

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